Spiritual gurus have told us that life is now in front and only the present moment is present. Scientists like Albert Einstein have confirmed this. We think time is linear, but that’s because we no longer experience it. Our minds are constantly shifting from past (memories) to future (expectations).
Both these states of mind are the basis of fear, especially fertility for the future. Thoughts of what may or may happen can take us down a difficult path. But these fictional scenarios rarely happen as we think they will – and having faith in them will eliminate fear. What we need to do is bring our focus back to the present time, which reduces our fear. Buddhist monk Thich Nat Han said that “fear keeps us focused on the past or worries about the future.” If we can accept our fear, we can feel that we are right now. “Practice these three strategies to shift into the present and break away from your fear:
Witness your own thoughts
We are always choosing which ideas to highlight. When random thoughts arrive, most people join them and lead them in one direction or another. But when we start to witness our own thoughts, they lose their potential because we have separated from them and activated a higher part of us, the part that bears witness.
Witnessing our thoughts is a recommended practice, commonly called thoughtfulness. Notice how one idea leads to another and to another, until they have formed an entire series. You will see that these thoughts are always about something in the past or something that you think may happen in the future.
Pay attention to time
“The Zone” is a state of mind often talked about by athletes, in which, between everything, time begins to stop. We all have experienced a situation in which we lose track of time. But most people do not trust experience. They no longer see those occasional glimpses as real as they rarely are. Or, they believe that the only way to experience them is to do something extraordinary, such as climbing a mountain or running a marathon. The feeling of being pure in the present can be frightening because it is beyond our normal experiences.
But this is the stage in which you are your greatest self, and in which fear cannot survive. Try to access this situation repeatedly and allow yourself to travel as much as possible. Now keep yourself in the center and free yourself from the obstacles that come in this state. Try this exercise: see very slowly what is around you. Look at the shape of your hand, and so forth. Be present for how you turn your head when you do these things. Witness yourself to do these tasks. Which part of you is watching it?
Center your self in your heart
Focusing now also places us in the heart, which is the seat of our consciousness: the electromagnetic field emanating from the heart is 60 times larger than that coming from the brain. Carl Jung, founder of Analytical Psychology, said, “Your vision will only become clear when you can see in your heart. One who looks outside, dreams; one who looks inside, awakes.”
Gratitude is the key to being centered in the heart and now. Operating from the heart place opens us to greater compassion for ourselves and others and destroys the feeling of fear – as well as blame and judgment. Our most common default is dosha, so we have to pay attention to our thoughts and consciously move to the awareness of the heart. Ask yourself what you want to do in the world, and if this is how you want to be treated.
Centered in the heart and now helps us see our problems in a different light. The more we are doing this practice, just through our increased awareness of it, the greater it will be. We are strengthening what is already there. We are focused on what is real.
When we center in the heart and now, and stop reacting unknowingly to fear, we can make incredible healing choices. We can choose love over fear, mercy over judgment, forgiveness over hate, and grace over condemnation. All our decisions will be exponentially more effective and right for us and everyone.
As you read here, everything is in perfect order, focusing only on these words. It is only when you allow your thoughts to wander into the future – such as, “How can I get a better job?” Or the past, as in “I wish I hadn’t said what I said last night” that creates fear and problems surface. The truth is, you can cause an endless number of problems. But if you live in now, you’re fine.
So be thankful for simple things, such as the fact that you are alive, you are breathing, and you can read these words. Your choice is making room for the joy of the present. In that place, now, there is no room for fear.
Lawrence Duchin is a writer, entrepreneur and devoted husband and father. Avoiding childhood sexual abuse, he undertook a long journey of emotional and spiritual healing and developed an in-depth understanding of how our beliefs make our reality. In the business world, he has worked for or been associated with enterprises ranging from small startups to multinational corporations. He is the cofounder of Huso Sound Therapy, which provides powerful healing benefits to individuals and professionals worldwide. Everything Lawrence does, he strives to serve a higher. His new book is A Book on Fear: Feeling Safe in a Challenging World. Learn more at lawrencedoochin.com.
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