In Blog: All Things Human
D. Chopra, photo uncredited

D. Chopra, photo uncredited

Start releasing fear by reaching out and beginning to talk freely and expressively, about feeling afraid. If this seems impossible because you have been taught that fear is a sign of weakness, talk about that.

Guilt is a tremendous obstacle in this regard, and so is shame. But an opening must be found, and I believe the following steps are effective:

Be with your fear, seeing it as a bodily sensation. Think of this sensation as rooted in old energies that have been stored up. Ask that pent-up energy to flow out of your body. Assist this flow until you have released what is ready to leave right now.

Each step has its own technique. First, feeling fear as a bodily sensation gets it out of the realm of the mind. Fear has a voice. It speaks of many dangers; it accumulates scenarios of doom and whirls from one to the other without end.

As a voice, fear is extremely persuasive, yet the words are connected to bodily reactions. These are much easier to release than your thoughts. Thoughts come and go, often increasing in intensity the more you resist them. Bodily sensations are more objective.

First locate your bodily sensations of fear. These often include tightened muscles – first explore the susceptible areas of neck, forehead, chest, pit of the stomach, and lower back. Sometimes we feel pronounced weakness or heaviness in the limbs.

Fear and anxiety send up countless thoughts, but until you move the energy, attending to the thoughts will not bring lasting relief. Fear will just attach itself to a new set of thoughts. Ask for this unwanted energy to leave, and assist it to depart. This assistance, the most critical step, can be done through deep, relaxed breathing, listening, moving, making sounds, or toning.

Adapted from The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).

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