Meditation and Fear

May 19, 2010 at 8:24 am (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization, Why do we meditate?)

What is Fear?

Fear is a unique combination of emotion and physical experience. Fear can be associated with a physical circumstance or it can be only in the mind.

While there are many ways to describe it, fear can be defined as the concern, worry or expectation of an unacceptable, damaging or harmful outcome to a present or future situation.

We as humans are unique among species in our ability to anticipate and fear the future or the worry about things that have not happened yet.

This unique ability presents both opportunities and challenges. Anticipation of llikely outcomes, problems and situations is a helpful and useful ability that lets us plan, prepare and enjoy greater success.

Excessive worry about potential problems, ‘boogeymen’ in the closet, all the bad things that might happen and possible failure or rejection is debilitating, hinders growth and stifles creativity and learning.

Is Fear a Bad Thing?

Fear is neither bad or good by itself. It is a natural emotion when we are faced with a real or imagined threat. How much we feel the fear, what we do with it and how much we allow it to control our thinking, planning and actions is the key to the answer to that question.

Fear can lead us to be cautions in a dangerous situation. It can lead to prudent precaution if you drive in the snow on an unfamiliar mountain road. It can lead to better preparation for an important work effort if one worries appropriately about the consequences of a failed presentation. It can lead to moderation in trying a new sport or skill if one has just a little fear of broken bones or injuries.

Generally the problem is not in having too little fear. Mostly we allow our fears control our efforts, weaken our resolve, derail our dreams and slow our progress in many areas.

We are afraid we will fail at losing weight, we don’t think we are good enough to get a promotions, we believe we can never learn to speak or present in public effectively, we are sure that no one will listen to our point of view, we feel small and worthless and so we just quit trying in so many situations.

In this and ten thousand similar ways we allow fear and needless worry to exert far too much control over our lives and success. 

OK, Now What?

In meditation we learn to look at emotions differently. We learn to understand them without their attendant physical effects and then learn to decide when and how much to allow any emotion, especially fear, to control or affect our lives and efforts.

Meditation will teach you to control your fear, to elimanate worry and to master your inner resolve and power. Meditation will give you the tools, courage and resources to destroy you demons and banish your big phobias and silly little worries.

Meditation will give you power to keep a calm assurance about your goals, dreams and daily walk so you have confidence, perspective and are able to live joyously, even on bad days when difficult things happen.

You do not need to be controlled or dominated by fear for one more day. Take the steps you need to free youself of this draining anxiety and controlling worry. Give yourself the power to control your life, feelings and heart. Explore the wonderful tool of Meditation.

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Meditation and Gratitude

May 11, 2010 at 10:20 am (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization, Why do we meditate?)

I read an article this morning in the March 2010  issue of the Ensign by Vaughn E. Worthen, a practicing psychologist, that was a great collection of thoughts on grtatitude, what it is and what it does for us. It has several good points and I wanted to share them along with some of my own experiences.

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is an experience. It is a feeling that we have when something happens that blesses our lives in some way. It can be an emotional feeling and sometimes it is accompanied by a physical sensation.

Gratitude is an attitude. It is the point of view or outlook that is willing to realize and acknowledge good things that come to us either from others, or from circumstance or as blessings.

Gratitude is a also a habit, a cultivated response that guides how we look at things. It is a way of looking at things in a positive and grateful way instead of a focus on what is missing.

Gratitude is a coping mechanism. This is very important and perhaps the hardest to use effectively. When things happen to us that are unexpected or difficult, we can focus on the things we are grateful for. This serves not just a a momentary distraction, but as a real and tangible reminder that there are usually far more positive things than negative things in our lives.

To me this all means that gratitude is a choice. In each of these meanings, we have the ability to choose to experience the feeling, to have the attitude, to cultivate the habit and to employ the coping mechanism of gratitude. We are able to choose this tool to help our lives and feelings and to bless those around us.

Meditation and Gratitude

When we meditate, it is powerful medicine for the soul to experience and fully explore things that have blessed our lives. We can use the tranquility of meditation to fully understand and explore the things, experience or people that made us feel grateful, and then deeply ingrain those feelings, choices and attitudes in our lives.

 The cultivation of habits of recognizing and acting on opportunities to express gratitude, particularly to those who have provided the kindness is a refined and uplifiting approach to our daily experience.

When we go through our day with an intentional focus on seeing the good, being grateful for the blessings, and expressing gratitude with ‘thank yous’ and smiles to those around us, we are lifted from our troubles, we are filled with positive light and we can spread goodness to those around us.

We are then in a position to be the agent of other’s gratitude. We are better able to be of service and blessing to others so that they too can experience the feelings and cultivate the habits and experience the lifting and blessing power of gratitude.

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Meditation and Positive Aspects

May 4, 2010 at 11:39 am (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization)

This might seem like a bit of a strange title for a blog post, but let me explain. I have the good fortune of being associated with a good coach that is in the business of helping people become what they can be and improving all aspects of their lives.

Her name is Dawn Newman and she and I have been regularly visiting for months. She made a suggestion to me one day that has proved very useful and positive in helping focus my meditation sessions and I wanted to share it with you here.

Book of Positive Aspects

This is the title of the exercise that she suggested. It really consists of taking a sheet of paper, or better yet a small book that you can keep and dedicating a page to a single person.

On that page you write down everything that you can think of about that person that is a positive thing. For example, you might describe how it feels to be around them or you might list positive character traits that they have.

You might list how they positively affect others, or things that are uplifting that they might have said or done in your experiences and relationship with that person.

While this is an easy task with a person that you like or you consider a friend, you might also try it with a person who has mistreated you or with whom you are angry.

At first this might seem impossible or at least very difficult, but if you try for a few minutes, you will be surprised at how much you can remember that is positive and something that you feel good about.

Meditation and Positive Thinking

After completing such a list, you then have the opportunity to use the gift and power of meditation to focus more clearly on one or several of these attributes or circumstances.

I completed this exercise with someone in mind who has been extremely unkind and difficult for the past two years. It was a difficult test to say the least.

I can honestly report that it changed my outlook and completely softened my feelings toward that person, even though the situation has yet to change. It removed all anger, resentment and all feelings of having been treated poorly. 

I have not yet been able to remedy the situation but I can tell you that my heart is not stirred up or angry and I am completely at peace regarding the situation.

Better still, through regular meditation, I am completely sure that there will come a time that the situation will be remedied and return to a positive and uplifting circumstance as it once was.

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