Right now I’m enrolled in an online course with world-renowned psychologist and meditation teacher, Tara Brach.
The back story, ’cause it’s kinda interesting:
I saw my therapist a couple of weeks ago, who wrote out on a piece of paper some slightly vague instructions on how to engage with my fear instead of letting it run my life.
Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling secure about how exactly to do what she was suggesting I do, at least, not on my own. I kept thinking,
“I need to find a more legit resource on how to work with fear, stat!“
I’ve made a lot of progress in relation to fear and anxiety but I still struggle with the fear experience.
As in, I don’t want to experience it! 😂 I default to rejecting it, ignoring it, denying it – pretty much treating it like it shouldn’t exist.
I know this escapism route, this default, hard-wired reaction to fear doesn’t work for me. I also know I’m ready to stop believing the painful assumption, that I’m deeply flawed because of my experience.
I’m ready to start engaging with fear.
So the day after my therapist gives me her handwritten confusing suggestions I came across Tara’s course.
I had opened up Facebook to avoid doing something I didn’t want to do (hah! Who can relate to that? EVERYONE!) and the first thing that pops into my feed is a post from Tara Brach herself.
In it, she’s promoting her course using some super effective copy: “Today is the last day to enroll in “Awakening Your Fearless Heart…”
I immediately clicked the link because let’s be real, she had me at “last day to enroll.” And in reading the course description I found EXACTLY what I was looking for:
Guidance on how to engage with fear.
The course description claimed the teachings would…
…help you step out of the trance of fear, and out of limiting beliefs that prevent intimacy with our inner life and with each other. Through this program you’ll learn to change deeply rooted patterns of insecurity, judgment, and self-doubt. By de-conditioning fear you gain access to your natural open-heartedness, vitality and inner freedom.
This felt way too kismet to blow off so I grabbed my visa and charged the shit out of it before I could convince myself otherwise. Which, let’s face it, would have been hella easy to do.
But whatever – no regrets. This is an education and an investment in my wellbeing. I’m all in.
Long story short, this course is amazing and worth every penny. I highly recommend you sign up if she ever offers it again.
I’m getting so much out of it – info I wish I’d been introduced to a long time ago. It’s filling in the gaps between my own research and readings and working with my psychologist.
It’s empowering and inspiring because it’s setting me up to be able to process fear without relying so heavily on therapy.
Not to say a person shouldn’t be seeing a therapist. I would just prefer to be less reliant on therapy, and what I’m learning in this course is helping me make that happen.
I’m not going to share everything I’m learning because of copyright laws and karma, but there are pieces, little bits of insights, I plan to incorporate into future blog posts and on Instagram (@AndreaSwrites).
I’m learning things that will REALLY help anyone who is struggling with an overabundance of fear.
But blog posts take time to write, and at the moment I’m all stocked up on busy, helping clients and doing this course.
So I’ve decided to share something I found on Tara’s website that is free and very similar to a resource I received in the course last week:
It’s a worksheet called Working With Fear.
Having resources and strategies in place to rely on when fear begins to consume you is very important. As Tara shares, it’s…
“…ideal to develop familiarity and skill in these strategies when you are not feeling strong fear so that they will be available to you when they are most needed.”
Straight up: If you struggle with an overabundance of fear, you need a mindfulness strategy.
A few of those strategies from the Working With Fear worksheet:
Grounding: Sitting comfortably, become aware of the sensations where your feet meet the ground; the weight of your body on your seat; the contact places where your arms or hands rest on your legs.
Breathing slowly and deeply (this one works incredibly well!) Match the length of the in-breath and out-breath so they are approximately 5-6 seconds each. If it helps, count slowly to four to keep them the same length. Let the breathing be continuous, without a pause between breathing in and out.
Object Anchors: You can also ground yourself by touching an object that you experience in either a pleasant or neutral way. It might be something you carry with you such as a stone, shell, pencil, piece of jewelry or meaningful talisman. Or it could be touching the fabric of your clothing or the material of a chair or sofa.
Resource anchors: These are places to rest the attention that can help collect and quiet the mind, as well as arouse an increased sense of ease. They can be employed separately or in some combination.
To read the worksheet, Working With Fear, in its entirety, click here.
Tara’s website also offers many other free resources so be sure to check it out.
And consider signing up for her newsletter. Free information? Yes, please!