We have been conditioned to live our lives in a state of fear, being dictated on how to live, what to eat, what to do what not to do, how to look, how to feel, what we can and cannot do and that if we dare to go against these beliefs and move out of ours, or their, comfort zone we will somehow fail or be rejected.
However, fear is one of our greatest teachers and allies that can guide us to living a more fulfilling and wholehearted life.
We are all afraid of something, from the small and what can seem mundane, to the big and mighty, and when fear creeps upon us, there is no limit to what we will do to avoid it. In fact, we have built up an entire store of coping mechanisms so we do not have to deal with what makes us afraid.
We will run from it and keep ourselves busy, turn to our unhealthy habits to suppress it, even hide from it by completely ignoring it, however, the more we choose not to engage with it the bigger the fear gets, and when that happens there is no escaping.
Fear holds us in lockdown, disconnected from what it is showing us about ourselves, and keeps us in disassociative behaviour. It is extremely disempowering.
As a Shadow Work Coach, fear always presents itself as a psychological block that prevents the client from accessing the deeper lessons about where they need to go to reveal, heal and integrate whatever is coming the surface, and the necessary action they may need to take to find a resolution to internal conflict. They become paralysed, like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
Does this sound familiar?
When we learn to work with fear it becomes a gateway to a deeper understanding of self, and when engaged and embraced we have the ability to open the gate and walk through it. We receive the unique opportunity to experience ourselves like never before, on the other side, with a new lease on life and a very different perspective.
Here is the 3-step process I use personally and in professional practice to move beyond the limited self.
1) FACING THE FEAR
When we face what we are afraid of we are creating space to actively engage with our unconscious, to shine a light on what is hidden in the darkness of our very being.
Closing the eyes, dropping into the darkness we give ourselves permission to bring what we are most afraid of into our conscious awareness, allowing it to present itself in words or by visualising it we begin the process of owning the fear instead of it owning us. We begin to actively engage with it, allowing ourselves to explore it head-on.
What is the fear?
Why are you afraid of it?
2) EMBODYING THE FEAR
We are living, breathing, emotional beings, that have a body through which to experience life in all of its entirety. However, we have been conditioned not to feel and to deny our emotions and this is how we have become separated, living in the head and disconnected from the body.
Therefore, if we are to face our fear we will need to learn to be present in the body to explore deeper.
How does this fear make you feel?
What emotions does it trigger in you?
By asking these questions we are giving ourselves permission to feel the emotions surrounding it, giving them space to be acknowledged and when we do so, we can simply let them go.
3) MOVING BEYOND THE FEAR
Embodying the fear rather than being held hostage by it, helps us to open and release just that little bit more, and activates our natural capacity to heal and transform by providing ourselves with the opportunity to open that gateway and explore what lies beyond it.
What would happen if you didn’t have that fear?
What would your life look like?
What would happen in your life?
How would this make you feel?
By visualising what lies beyond, and how that makes us feel we activate our innate ability to feel the possibilities available to us. We engage with a level of consciousness that was not available to us while we were in lockdown. The more we sit with those possibilities we come to know them intimately as if we are already living them and therefore we access the courage and strength needed to take the next step, understanding it was just a fear, not some big scary monster in the cupboard.
The more we engage with this 3-step process for engaging with fear, the more we take back control from our limited self, ensuring a healthy habitual practice so nothing stands in our way and we can truly start living our lives embodied, in the present moment and with purpose.
Nicola Lucie is a Shamanic Practitioner, Shadow Work Coach and the creator of the Shadow Walking Process. She supports women in making friends with their shadow to reveal, heal and integrate wounding and trauma and take back control of their lives. She is also a menstrual health advocate supporting reconnection and deep listening on every level, focusing on the fractured relationship women have with their bodies through systematic conditioning. She also loves to write and travel and has all her life in a suitcase and a rucksack while she looks for a place to call home.