This morning I realized I have been feeling a lot of apprehension about living here on Manitoulin Island this winter. It’s the same sort of angst I was feeling about moving here in the first place and it seems to have crept up on me unwittingly. Then I was concerned about moving 6 hours away from my family, living in isolation on a lake 15 minutes from town, by myself for two weeks of the month. So far, it has been great!
Now I’m concerned about living here in the winter, in isolation, on my own for two weeks of the month, dealing with the snow and firewood, up and down the stairs, shoveling the driveway and ensuring that the road is sufficiently plowed in order for me to get to town once or twice a week. My goodness, what if there is an emergency or power outage [I am imagining what is going on in the mind of my unconscious mind!].
Like it has been so far, I expect that I will get along just fine. But that is the conclusion of my rational, conscious mind. It seems that my unconscious mind thinks differently. Hence the apprehension/anxiety/fear!
As I have written before, it seems that I’m predisposed to fear due to my upbringing and life experiences. My subconscious mind has been programmed to believe that the future is to be feared rather than treated as an adventure! And so I have to remind myself what I taught my karate students before I retired from teaching about how to deal with fear. This means reminding myself of the few things.
First, fear is a feeling created by a thought, so I need to change my thoughts.
Second, I need to bring my attention into the present moment. Fear is the result of a negative thought about a future event. When we bring our attention fully into the now there is nothing to fear.
Third, I need to focus on doing my best. One of the most common fears, is the fear of failure. When you focus on doing your best you always succeed. I need to remind myself that I will do my best to handle every situation I face, be it shoveling the driveway, dealing with a power outage or whatever!
Fourth, I need to remind myself to make a plan and prepare appropriately. One of the things that causes us to feel fear is the unknown [when we don’t know how things are going to turn out]. When we plan and prepare, we go long way towards eliminating this fear.
Fifth, I need to remind myself that I’m acting with integrity. Something else it causes us to feel fear is the idea being caught for doing something inappropriate. I’m not doing anything inappropriate. I’m following the rules and I’m doing my best.
Sixth, I need to remind myself that fear is meant to guide us to self love and living with acceptance, trust and faith. It has a purpose! It is difficult to feel good about yourself or love yourself when you’re feeling fear. It inspires is to seek change, to find courage. When we live courageously, we feel good about ourselves and we enact self love!
Seventh, I need to speak to that wounded child inside me and let him know that he/I am safe. I know I’ll be okay, but that little boy doesn’t. I need to reassure him!
Eighth, I need to remind myself to act like a kid again and live life like an adventure. I have a choice, I can live fearfully or adventurously. Given the impact on my health, the choice seems rather evident.
Ninth, I need to face my fears. Just like I moved here and discovered that my fears were unfounded, I need to take the same approach with winter living. Yes, it will likely be more challenging, but I will be okay!
Tenth, I need to remind myself that for every difficult situation I face, there’s always, always a solution. No problem is insurmountable. Every fear can be overcome.
Eleventh, I need to remind myself to live in gratitude. The more I express gratitude, the more I become predisposed to it and the less likely I am to fall into fear.
Lastly, in those moments when I’m feeling fear, all I have to do is look skyward, raise my fists, take a deep breath, smile and yell hallelujah! End of fear!
A tranquil, trusting mind is essential for my recovery. I believe that I’ve been placed in this situation in order to find acceptance, trust, faith and tranquility under challenging circumstances; to dissolve all fear in order to live in peace, love, joy and bliss!
Have an awesomely fearless day!