Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
This morning I decided to go for my usual walk around the golf course which I have done quite a bit this week. Twice when walking with others we encountered bears. I was a little surprised because I was not scared. The bears are out and about right now getting ready to hibernate so there have been many sightings in the community. As I began to walk this morning I became aware that I was alone, there were no cars in the parking lot and I just knew that I would likely not encounter anyone else. I spent the first part of my walk in a heightened sense of awareness with a hint of fear. As I walked I contemplated my fear while connecting with the beauty that surrounded me. Eventually I let the fear go entirely and was able to connect with nature and be present to the experience.
What I realized about this "Fear Story":
1) I have never in my life had an actual experience / encounter with a Bear. My fear was a product of stories I have heard and been exposed to. I really can't remember the origin. I do remember spending a lot of time in the forest as a kid and not ever thinking about bears.
2) The mind is a wonderful tool that helps us to analyze and store information. The mind also quickly creates the most wonderful works of fiction that become our fear stories. I noticed this morning how excited my thoughts became as I opened the door to fear. Endless scenarios that took me immediately out of the present moment.
3) Fear creates a disconnection from my true nature. Walking by the river and the trees is a magical experience for me. The forest is overflowing with metaphor and teaching and beauty. When I open the door to fear I am closing the door on myself and disconnecting with my outer world.
4) This fear story kept me from exploring creativity. When I walk in nature I take pictures. All the photos on this website and on Facebook etc. have been taken as I connect with nature. Below you will find the photos I took this morning.
5) This is just one fear story. The majority of my life has been spent jumping from one fear story to another.
My story of "connection" is rooted in fear. As I walk towards a deeper sense of connection in my life, I reflect on where I have been. It is my hope that you can see yourself in this story. What are your "Fear Stories" costing you? What is the world missing out on when you are connected to your fear stories?