Darbella’s Articles — Moving through the fear into the now

After return­ing from the Phase One pro­gram at Haven this sum­mer, one of the mem­bers of my group typed in every­one’s email address and wrote a note to the group let­ting us know “where he was at” since return­ing home and encour­aged the rest of us to “check in” with the group.

Emails still fil­ter in to our Phase One list with increas­ing­ly longer pas­sages of time between them. I have noticed my reluc­tance to write to this group. I wrote a cou­ple of time ear­li­er on and then stopped. I con­tin­ued to write to indi­vid­u­als and not the group.

After a lengthy lapse of no mes­sages, sev­er­al mes­sages arrived in the past cou­ple of weeks. I noticed again my reluc­tance to tap away at my keys and send a mes­sage to the whole group. I reflect­ed on the fear I was feel­ing and rec­og­nized it as the same as the fear I expe­ri­enced when I con­sid­ered say­ing some­thing in the large group. I was com­fort­able shar­ing myself in small groups of one or two and tend­ed to be silent in groups that were any larger.

Sit­ting in these larg­er groups as the fear built, I began to see myself as more and more invis­i­ble to the group. Dur­ing the pro­gram, I learned that this fear less­ened and I felt more at ease as I added my voice to the group. It did not mat­ter what I said or how much I said. It only mat­tered that I said something.

I rec­og­nized this same strug­gle as I con­sid­ered adding my thoughts to the group email. Rec­og­niz­ing my need to move toward the things that I fear most doing, I wrote a note to the whole group and brave­ly pressed the send but­ton. In response, I received sev­er­al love­ly emails from peo­ple I would like to stay in con­tact with. If I had cho­sen to stay in the fear and iso­la­tion I so often cre­ate for myself, I would not have had the con­nec­tions that I received through email messages.

The fear I expe­ri­enced fits in well with the tape I am lis­ten­ing to. Eck­hart Tolle in The Pow­er of Now, sug­gests, in these moments of fear, to look around at the imme­di­ate sit­u­a­tion. In that place there is no imme­di­ate dan­ger. The fear is about some­thing that might hap­pen – our pro­jec­tion of the future. In the fear, we are liv­ing in the future — not the now. The fix for this is to firm­ly plant our feet in the now.

This liv­ing in fear of some­thing that may hap­pen in the future cre­ates an anx­i­ety gap in our lives. In this place, we have lost touch with the pow­er of the now. We can always cope with the present moment. We can’t always cope with our pro­jec­tion of the future.

Our ten­den­cy in these sit­u­a­tions is to make the prob­lems com­plex. The ego loves this place and works hard to keep us there. The ego has some­thing to attach itself to and in the process strength­ens itself. Our sense of self gets wrapped up in the prob­lems and seeks its iden­ti­ty in this place. Iden­ti­fy­ing with the mind dis­con­nects us from our true power.

There is no need to make the prob­lems quite so com­plex. The mind has an end­less list of ways to dis­tract us. There is no need to explore or under­stand why the mind does what it does. The ten­den­cy of the mind is to dis­tract us from the present. Explor­ing why this is so sim­ply achieves the result of dis­tract­ing us fur­ther from the now. The “why” is not important.

Bring your focus into the present and sim­ply observe what you mind is doing. Tolle sug­gests that we allow the mind to be as it is and not get entan­gled in it. He clear­ly states that the mind is a won­der­ful tool and only become dys­func­tion­al when we seek to iden­ti­fy our­selves with our mind.

If we become our mind, it will take over our whole life. In this place we live through our mem­o­ries and in antic­i­pa­tion of the future. In this place we are not acknowl­edg­ing the present and allow­ing life to be.

As I sat in each of the groups at Phase One, I had three main choic­es. I could lose myself in all those past times when I was too scared to say any­thing. I could live in those past mem­o­ries. I could project myself into my imag­i­na­tion of what the future might be and con­cern myself with what­ev­er reac­tion could hap­pen if I choose to open my mouth and let some of myself out. Or I could sim­ply choose to live in the present and sim­ply share what­ev­er is hap­pen­ing for me now.

Notice how the mind dis­tracts itself from the now. Tolle tells us to observe our mind and we will not be trapped by it. Notice when you choose to be in the past or the future. Don’t judge — sim­ply observe. Feel the emo­tion and observe your reac­tion. The more you real­ize you are not present, the more you become present. Be gen­tle with your­self and sim­ply bring your­self back to the present as often you need to do so. In that place, you can allow life to sim­ply be.

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