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It’s hard to look at one’s own fears. – fear of criticism from others, fear of being different, fear of not measuring up, fear of being imperfect, fear of persecution, fear of fear. But fear is okay, and fear is part of the human condition.

For me, it’s really important to feel my fear when I feel it, accept it as part of who I am, listen to the messages it brings, and take appropriate action to release it.

If I’m living with a psychopath, the appropriate action is to break off the relationship and find healthier, more supportive relationships.

If I’m dealing with arrogant, pompous people, the appropriate action may be to accept the arrogance and pomposity without kowtowing to it and supporting it. If I can stay centered throughout their verbal explosions, they will ultimately exhaust themselves and retreat to a more human level. This is a wonderful lesson in spiritual centeredness and courage.

If I’m afraid that if I stand in the middle of a busy highway, I’ll get hit by a car, I better listen to that fear.

To release my deepest fears, even my terrors, I MUST trust and pray to a power greater than myself. Is there really any such thing? I don’t know. But when I’m feeling fear, I must believe if I want to stay functional.

The Practice of Journaling

Why Journal?

To help your mind escape from the hamster wheel of conditioned thoughts that keep circling round and round in your head, faster and faster, draining your energy, exhausting your spirit, and imprisoning your mind.

To help you discover and uncover information about a challenge you’re facing, move forward, overcome that challenge, and manifest the vision you want to manifest.

Open your Being to receiving information that may suddenly and miraculously clarify and expand your original vision.

Where to Journal:

In as quiet and supportive location as you can find, where no one or nothing will interrupt your thoughts. This could be a private room in your home, a quiet spot in nature, or whatever other location most supports you.

What You Need:

Anything that supports your ability to document your thoughts: a pad of paper, a pen or pencil, your computer, whatever other tools best support you.

Consider food, water, tea, coffee, juice, if these will support you. If they will get in your way, leave them behind.

Clothes in which you are physically comfortable.

A block of uninterrupted time, just to sit and write.

How to Journal:

  1. Settle yourself comfortably in your chosen space.
  2. Make sure your phone is off.
  3. Let your thoughts flow uncensored through your mind. Uncensored is vital!
  4. Capture as many of your thoughts in writing as you can.

Things You May Notice:

  1. Your mind is going faster than your hand or your ability to type. Just do the best you can to notice and document your thoughts.
  2. Your mind may suddenly go off on a tangent. Just document where it is going.
  3. Your body and emotions may resist where your mind is going.
    1. Is your body tensing? Contracting? Simply notice and document.
    2. Are shame, fear, or rage suddenly appearing? Simply notice and document.
    3. If any of these emotions becomes so intense that you cannot go on, simply stop and breathe deeply.
    4. You are always in choice. If tears start flowing, you can give them permission to flow, cleansing your pain and grief, or you can stop the journaling for now and process what has emerged.
  4. You may think you have one issue and suddenly the focus shifts to another issue and another until you end up somewhere totally different from where your little left brain expected to go.
  5. The original issue is resolved.
  6. The energy has shifted.
  7. You feel you’ve made progress even though your mind may now be focusing on a new, challenging issue.
  8. Having moved through an issue once, you’re no longer stuck in it. You can move in and out of it anytime you want.

Other Words for this Practice:

  1. Stream of consciousness writing.
  2. Big Mind watching little mind (from Buddhism.)
  3. The Witness (from Buddhism)

To Learn More:

Supporting Yourself through Tough Times

When you’re navigating the turbulent emotional waters of a divorce, the death of a best friend, the loss of a job, a forced relocation, or any other major lifetime challenge, how do you stay sane and productive?

The answer sounds simple. Keep your focus on what’s working in your life. However, implementing it is not always easy.

From December 2006 through December 2010, when I fled Panama, I was trying to build a home in Boquete, Panama. The builders kept the architectural plans off site and had no onsite supervision.

They hand mixed the foundation concrete. When tested by the local university, the strength of the foundations was insufficient to support the house.

There was a light pole in the middle of the driveway and a wall where the picture window was supposed to be. The plumber pumped soapy water through the water lines and threw his tools across the yard whenever anyone suggested there might be a better way of doing things.

They built the septic tank too high so that the capacity was 20 to 40 percent. When they tested the water lines, the gauge went down 40 psi in three days.

They said it was the temperature and humidity. My inspector said, “Are you kidding?”

Finally, after 21 months of making mistakes and fixing them, they walked off the job in a tirade of fury and refused to finish the house. Oh, by the way, did I mention that they had forced me to use them in the first place?

Their next ploy was to demand $40,000 if I wanted to finish the house with another contractor. Excuse me! Did I hear that right?

Turning to the Panamanian no-recourse legal system was a waste of time and money. Lawyers are expensive, witnesses can be bribed, judges can be paid off, and getting a decision can take years. The decision is invariably against the foreigner.

How did I stay sane through all this and survive one of the most disastrous mistakes I have ever made? I simply put it out of my mind and focused on the good things in my life.

It was far easier said than done. It took a lot of working with my own mind.

Every time I thought about my dream home turned nightmare, I was livid. I had to consider the possibility that I would have to walk away from a $300,000 investment and let it rot. For yet another time in my life, I had trusted people who didn’t deserve my trust.

Yet, I couldn’t help but notice what my anger was doing to my body. When I focused on the rotting house, I couldn’t sleep. My energy was blocked. I kept banging into a stone wall with no solutions and no support. I had to let go, not because the builders deserved it, but because I needed to retain my own sanity.

My book Shift had become an Amazon Best Seller. It was being translated into Bulgarian, Russian, and Indonesian. It was being distributed in India. The Russian translation alone had sold almost 2,000 copies in its first six months.

I was negotiating distributorship agreements with North American and United Kingdom distributors. Radio and television interviews were pouring in.

Workshops were bringing participants exciting new insights that suddenly turned their lives around. I simply made a conscious choice to focus on all these good things.

I’ve been a member of MasterMind groups for years. Every two weeks, all MasterMind partners exchange templates. The first section of the template is “My Successes.” When I write these down, I remind myself of all the good things in my life and all the things I’ve accomplished. There simply is no room left for discouragement.