By likemindblog




Continued from last week…

 Transformation Tool #8

What’s the Worst Thing that Could Happen? (Dale Carnegie Technique)

Fear often gets out of control because you worry about terrible consequences that may result, when those consequences may not be as bad as you think initially. For example, you may find yourself in the grip of an anxiety attack when you think about doing something new, such as speaking in front of a group of people.

Writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie taught a powerful method to deal with these types of fears: Ask yourself, ?What is the worst thing that could happen?? Using the public speaking example, you might answer, “I could make a fool of myself; the audience would laugh at me; I?d be so embarrassed and ashamed.” Although these consequences wouldn‘t be fun to experience, you could certainly handle them if they did occur, right? Accept the worst possible consequences you think could happen, and then decide to move forward anyway.

This technique can be incredibly empowering because you reduce the size and magnitude of your fear by realizing that you can handle the things you would otherwise shy away from.

Transformation Tool #9

Connecting with Your Source Through Prayer

Prayer can be one of the fastest and easiest ways to soothe fearful thoughts and feelings, simply because the act of praying occupies your mind so completely that you can‘t be focused on fearful thoughts at the same time.

There are several types of prayer that can ease fearful thoughts:

Petitioning Prayer

This is the type of prayer that most people are probably familiar with, which includes asking the universe for a specific outcome.

Examples: “Please heal this disease; please protect my son today; please help us to pay our bills more easily . . .” and so on.

When it comes to fear, this type of prayer is most helpful if you deliberately turn over your concerns to a higher power and believe that they will be taken care of.

For example: “I don?t know what to do about this situation and I?m really scared; I am turning it over to you to be transformed and healed. Thank you, Amen.”

Then concentrate on letting go and allowing the higher power to handle it for you. If fearful thoughts threaten to take over your mind again, simply repeat the process of turning the situation over and letting go.

Affirmative Prayer

Affirmative prayer is one of the more empowering types of prayer because you are affirming to the universe your belief that all will be well, instead of ?asking? for it to be so.

For example, instead of ?asking? the universe to handle something for you, you would instead affirm that you KNOW that it will turn out in the most positive way possible:

“Even though this situation frightens me, I know that you are taking care of it and I know that it?s all going to work out fine. Thank you.”

Gratitude Prayer

Prayers of gratitude can be immensely comforting simply because they boost your emotional state and make you feel very happy, which makes it nearly impossible for fear to remain in your consciousness.

Gratitude prayers are simple: either write or state aloud all of the wonderful things in your life that you are grateful for, and give heartfelt thanks for them. Just a few minutes of this activity can dissolve fear and leave you feeling confident and inspired.

Silent Communion

Believe it or not, you don‘t have to speak or write a single word in order to connect with your source.

Instead, you can simply close your eyes, breathe deeply and imagine that a cord of brilliant white light travels from the universe through the top of your head and down into your heart center. Imagine this light slowly filling your entire being, dissolving all fearful feelings and filling you with joy and peace.

This form of prayer could accurately be called meditation or visualization – except you would be deliberately focused on feeling your connection to the universe.

Ultimately it does not matter which type of prayer you use, as long as you are using it to help shift your focus away from fear and toward more peaceful thoughts. Page | 32  

Transformation Tool #10

Purging Fear with Automatic Writing

Automatic writing is the process of writing without conscious planning or thinking – in other words, simply pouring out the words onto paper without censoring yourself, editing, or directing the flow of thoughts in any deliberate way. This is a powerful method for working through fear-based thoughts because it enables you to bypass your conscious mind and connect with stronger, subconscious thoughts that could be triggering your fear. Even better, the technique is very easy to do; simply put pen to paper and let anything at all pour out onto the page. Write and write until you feel like you have nothing left.

Not sure where to start? Try an open-ended statement like one of these:

“I feel scared right now because . . .”

“I don?t know what to do about . . .”

“I feel powerless about . . .”

By the time you‘re done writing, you should feel lighter and more peaceful, like a burden has been lifted off of your shoulders.

Transformation Tool #11

Meditate to Release Fear

Meditation is a practice of consciously focusing your attention for a period of time. While there are many keys to effective meditation, the essence of the practice is learning to focus your attention as you choose.

How does this relate to fear? You may have heard it said that every moment in life offers you a choice: you can come from ?love? or ?fear.? There are many ways of stating the contrasting choice that each moment offers, but the basic idea is the same: you can live from a positive life-affirming place or in a mode of negativity and protection.

Choice is a skill. It means that you can see alternatives and focus on one versus the other. In other words, you can consciously focus your attention according to how you choose to be.

This is where meditation comes in. Meditation trains your awareness and your skills of attention.

For example, one way to meditate is to focus on your breathing. You keep your attention centered in your breathe. You find a comfortable, upright, seated position in a quiet, private space, relax your body, and focus on following the natural rhythm of inhaling and exhaling.

The skill comes in when something enters your mind that is other than paying attention to your breathing, say a thought about other things you have to do, a memory, or some feeling or sensation in your body. In meditation, you deal with your wandering thought, feeling, or sensation in three steps:

1. You recognize the thought, feeling, or sensation that is other than your point of focus (in this case your breathing). You become aware that your attention has wandered. You accept whatever has grabbed your attention. You welcome it into your awareness.

2. You gently release the thought, feeling, or sensation that has grabbed your attention. You are aware of it, but you let it go, without giving it any more time, energy, or attention.

3. You return to your meditative focus (again, in this case, your breathing).

As many times as your mind wanders to other thoughts, feelings, or sensations, you repeat these three steps. I call these steps the 3Rs: recognize, release, and return.

The more you meditate, the better you become at maintaining your focus and the easier it becomes to let go of anything that pulls you away from your focus. This is a skill that you can apply to anything that you do in life.

For example, you might desire to build a better relationship with someone. That is a conscious focus for you. As you become close, fears might arise as a result of painful relationship experiences in your past. You can treat these fears as you would treat any thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in meditation.

First, recognize your fear, honour it, and welcome it into your awareness. Fear has its greatest power when it lurks in your subconscious. Become aware of your fear and accept it. Don‘t be afraid of it. Observe it without reacting to it. This begins to take the emotional edge off of it.

Second, consciously release your fear. Make a decision that you will not give it any more time, energy, or attention.

Third, return to focusing on your conscious intent to build an intimate relationship. Focus on the feeling of open, honest communication that you desire and bring that into the moment. Be that. Act in that way.

As many times as fear resurfaces, go through the 3Rs.

Most people find that progress in meditation, as well as progress in keeping focus in life, follows stages over time. As you practice consistently, you may find that, at first, you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings than ever before. You may not have been so aware of your fears until you started to pay attention to your inner life. It‘s O.K. That‘s natural.

Second, you will begin to relate to your thoughts, feelings, and fears differently. You‘ll see that they come and go. You‘ll learn that as you become aware of them and accept them, they begin to lose their grip on your attention. You‘ll be able to release them more and more easily over time.

Finally, you‘ll be able to center yourself in your chosen point of focus, whether it‘s in deepening a meditative experience or any other experience that you desire in life.

Whatever you focus on increases. Therefore, your ability to consciously focus your attention is the most essential skill you can master. Meditation is the best way that I know to gain this skill.

To be continued next week…

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Filed in: Health • Friday, September 2nd, 2011

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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours