on this Monday, we begin a new theme for the week. And continuing continuing with a general kind of topic of emotions and that which relates to emotions that part of the world. Today, I'd like to talk about this week about fear. And they've done this before, two years ago, I think at the, near the end of June, into July, maybe I gave a short four part series on fear that did during the 7:37am. Sitting talk. And, but he or two years later talking about it again, and thought of trying to talk about it in ways that maybe it's not so common with a hope that maybe you can, getting some new perspectives on fear. And you would be supportive and helpful. So one of the things that I hope this week will bring forth is the gift of fear, that fear has its benefits. And that deeper look at fear, deeper consideration and what it is and our relationship to it is invaluable, and something that we can be appreciate that we've done and and and then following up last week's discussion about stories, one of the things I'd like to suggest that you consider is two things about the relationship between stories and fear. The first is how, maybe the first and kind of more fundamental story is what is the story you have about fear itself? What is the attitude you have? What is that relationship you have to fear? Without, you know, parsing out all the different kinds of fear there might be? Do you have a gut response gut idea, to fears it? Are you someone who tends to be aversive to fear that you pull away? You don't pay attention, you shut down? You escape? You freeze? Are you a person who tends to counter phobic towards fear you move towards fear towards what you're afraid of? Do you step forward? Do you see it as a threat that you're now going to get angry or attack? Or are you going to have a strong aversion to fear as opposed to being repelled by fear? Well, what's the dynamic that happens to you around fear? And and so the story around fear, what do you have, that fear is bad? That's a very simple story. That fear is a consequence of some personal failings, that if we were really wise and liberated, that we would have no fear and certainly I must be doing something that's wrong is a story with fear is that fear is maybe subconsciously the story is that fear is an authority figure, fear is has a lot of authority has a lot of strength, that we have to listen to fear that a fear appears that this is one of the most important signals or messages that we get and we have to kind of somehow you know, listen to it or or hide from it or react to it. So what is it? What is the what kind of policy do you have around fear when it arises? And are you more phobic of fear or counter phobic of fear? Are you does fear the very idea of fear? raise alarm for you and, and concern? Does fear create more fear? Or is the idea of fear something that you have some level of confidence about? And you know, you don't have a lot of fear but when fear is there, it's not a problem. It's it comes along but it doesn't inhibit you. What is your relationship to fear? How does that live fear live for you? And I like to say that
we should be have a lot of care around this question these questions, because the range of people's fear has a lot to do with our life experiences, that people who have had horrific things happen to them or not so horrific, but some things touch the heart or the mind, or there's such a deep way that it leaves his legacy, it leaves it's a traces in us. So that when we even just raising the word fear, there's a physical relationship to that there's a physicality that gets triggered and evoked and maybe a physical memory of things that were dangerous or harmful in the past that still live in us. And so here in a kind of way, there's a story, but it's an embodied story. It is an embodied relationship to fear, not just a mental ideas. So how does, you know what that relationship to fear you have? How much is that as an embodied relationship, where in your body, there's that felt? So what is your relationship to fear? One of the relationships that I've had to fear is the ostrich relationship, which, sometimes when I have been afraid, I just kind of kind of put my head in the sand to kind of like, I don't really, I haven't really shut down, but it's like, I tried to pretend it's not there, or I tried to ignore it, or I'm just like, paying attention to something else, you know, just so I don't have to be with it. And, and I don't do that much anymore. But that was a strategy, I had one point in my life that I wouldn't recommend it not a particularly good one. And and then there are times when fear has Minoes younger that inhibited me that my relationship was fear was one a very strong identification, the fear became me. And, and I was the fear and so strong way that there are times I shut down completely and kind of dissociated when I was very young. Because of the house, how fully I kind of identified lived in was impacted by the fear. So it can have a fear can be a huge in people's lives. And I want to bend this week respecting that. And at the same time, we can come in, come into it with new perspectives, that are freeing new perspectives that show us a different way with fear.
And so there's the stories about our fear that we have the relationship we have to them. And then one of the things to consider very, I think, very important to stories, is the stories that produce fear that we can be sitting quietly by ourselves, everything is good. And, and then we remember something and we start rehearsing remembering a story, or, or it's a fantasy about some kind of danger. And it isn't just a kind of virtual reality thing that is, you know, on a screen in the mind and has nothing to do with us. But as we rehearse a memory that was frightening, or we think about something imagined something that telling ourselves a story about something, there can be a emotional response within the body can respond. It's almost as if the stories that we tell ourselves, the images that we create, in our mind, the body doesn't sometimes know the difference between what is real and what is not. And sometimes the body reacts to the stories we tell ourselves. And then I've frightened myself with stories I've told. One of the ones that surprised me wasn't really, exactly it was a little teeny story. When I was I was probably about 12 or 11 or something. I was in the mountains in the snow. And I let myself it was really foggy. And I let myself kind of slipped and fell and a little hill on a hill and other was fine. I just let myself slide down the hill. And then at some point I stopped and I stood up or stopped and I realized I stopped you know, a foot away from a big cliff mountain cliff. And and it wasn't until I was an adult where I somehow remember that story, that I don't know what the emotions I felt at the time. But maybe knowing more what that meant, as an adult, young adult, I was surprised by how much fear just that's the preview reviewing the story, I was so dangerous, it's very idea of being on that cliff, my stomach got all in knots and, and I got all tense. And so the ability to tell ourselves stories, and have an emotional and physical response is something we should not underestimate. And, and probably most anxiety is a product of storytelling. As a product of imagining futures, it's projecting into the future, most anxiety doesn't have to do with something that's immediately a frightening right now. But it is anticipating something that is going to happen, something clear, or something kind of we're not sure, but it's going to be bad. And this idea of anticipatory fear, is, I would say, belongs to the world of stories of belongs to the world of often stories, ideas, maybe subconsciously about some kind of danger in the future. So stories, what is the stories you have about when fear exists? And what are the stories that you have that produce a fear? And, and how do those stories in you produce fear? And this is a fascinating thing to study is, so you might have a chance to be afraid, maybe be anxious? And then tell yourself the story, be conscious about the story, the prediction, the imagination, that is operating, for that fear to be there, and then start looking at that relationship between the storytelling and the fear? How does what's the magnet? What's the hook? What's the what? What is it that is touched inside? What is it that about? Telling a story to yourself? That produces fear or anxiety? How does that magic trick work? that that connection is made. And if you can see that there's a connection from their fear, and a story. And you really Oh, that says and set yourself that's a story. And maybe even look around where you are. While the story is not happening now. That's a story.
What does that mean for you? What is the implications of that? What can you learn? What's the benefit of really seeing that clearly? So your relationship to fear this, the stories you have about fear, and then the stories that produce fear? That would be fascinating, I think, for all of us to look at and spend a day with and consider and maybe talk to a friend or a stranger, anyone about what you're learning about these stories and your relationship to fear. And, and please do so respectfully carefully. Do so with a lot of respect for yourself in the process. Thank you