Fear & Love, The Perennial Choice

Words from Erin:

I keep thinking of this line from that amazing song performed by Leslie Odom, Jr., imagining what Obama might be thinking during the pre-election days:
“Let’s talk about fear and why I don’t bring it in here. It’s a dangerous word, it spooks the herd and we all bleed in the stampede. Fear makes a false friend indeed.”

Indeed.

There is so much information flying around, some accurate, a lot of it inaccurate.

It seems so important to remember that fear does not bring out the best in us.
Clarity helps.
Not going numb helps.

Anger distilled down to its wise essence – a LOT of energy and clarity to stand for what is right? That helps.
Fear? Not so much.

The choice is made clear to us. Fear or love? What will we choose? 

“What do you practice? Whatever you practice, you’ll get very good at. Some people become more fearful or cynical; some more arrogant or vain; some greedy, some needy; some combative or close-minded. That’s what they practice. And then there are a few who grow as solid as a mountain and as wide-open as the sky.”
— Karen Maezen Miller

 

Something we repeat a lot to our 6-year old son is this: “Everything is workable and freaking out doesn’t help.” 

Friends, let’s do our best to stay as grounded and centered as possible while we work with what’s here to be worked with.

I’m not talking about being fearless. (I think that’s bullshit! Especially now.) I’m talking about something like what Georgia O’Keefe said,  “It’s not enough to be nice in life. You’ve got to have nerve.” And, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”

If fear is there swirling around in your guts, your heart, you might find it helpful, as I do, to place a hand on your heart (or belly or wherever you most feel it) and say to yourself, “Oh, sweetheart. I care about your suffering. I’m with you.” Try it right now.

It’s a simple, potent, easy way to get bigger than the fear and remember who you are. Remember – You are the one who can hold space for your fear and send it soothing energy. You can feel the fear and remember you are bigger than the fear. You are love. To me, it feels imperative that we remember this again and again.

Another simple and powerfully helpful reminder: Don’t believe everything you think. 

Would you like to help spread LOVE instead of fear? Here are few delightful ways:

Let’s print these out and liberally post them all around town:

Take What You Need Sign take-what-you-need-sign (2) created by Kelly Rae Roberts

You Belong Here Poster

I posted a message of love and support on the Facebook page of the Utah Islamic Community the day after the election. They were so gracious and grateful. Today I got a note inviting me to a “meet the Muslims” event they are hosting Friday night with the request that they be able to give me hugs in person. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to flood that community with love? If you’re interested in joining, you can find details on this event, Friday night at this event listing on Facebook. I’m not sure I’ll be able to go this week, but hope to go share hugs soon!

How are you spreading love? 

Please share in the comments below.

 

“Small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos have the capacity to shift the entire system to a higher order.”

 ~ Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogene 

Here are some heartening words from a true wise woman.

Refuse to fall down.
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
toward heaven
only you.
It is in the middle of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes

One last thought. I’m so grateful for how utterly clear this is to me: I trust us so much more than I fear him. 
We rise.
It’s time.
We may not feel ready but we grow into it with each day.
And like fear, courage is contagious. I hope we remember that.

With love,

Erin

best and worst

 

 

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Erin

By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.