Beyond Fear: Living with Audacity

The Tiger
We see a tiger standing before us on the path and… we automatically feel afraid- naturally.
We see the tiger and… there is fear- of course.
Take this in slow motion…What has happened in between? – so fast, though that the fear is there instantaneously.
We see the tiger and… we create a series of thoughts (images) of the tiger pouncing on us… we feel afraid… we run / freeze.
Consider if either of these reactions are the best response?
Imagine a child with no pre-association of tigers equalling danger… What might their thoughts on seeing a tiger be… and their resulting feeling about the situation?

When we create an internal response of fear we lose our ability to create another response; we can’t see another response. To be creative we need to be calm. This is not to reject the situation rather it is to accept it as it is and look for a solution.

A situation happens…
We may all be in the same situation yet we may all ‘respond’ differently. Why? Our ‘responses’ are based on ‘the image we see’ which is based on our past experiences. The thoughts we think create our response which in turn determines our destiny.

When we say it is ‘instinct’ we are in fact giving away our power. We are saying that the ‘situation’ has created our response and that we have no say in this… we give away our freedom to choose our response. We make ourselves victims of the situation.

If life is automatic (responses) and we have no control over what may happen, not even over how we respond, then there will be fear and hopelessness.

Consider… when you push a button on the computer there is an automatic response- there is a program behind it. If we don’t like the automated response- the program can be changed. An instinct is just an automated response- we don’t think first we just respond.

To change the program…
i) Accept that fear is our creation. Our thoughts about the situation create the feeling of fear, not the situation.
ii) Learn to observe the fear. When we ‘observe’ things come back into our control. I am creating my thoughts and so in control- I have a choice.
iii) Starting with small situations begin creating new responses. See what thoughts you are creating in response to situations? See if it is possible to remain still and create a different response? After time you will be able to do the same in bigger and bigger situations.
iv) Live for a day in ‘slow mode ‘ and become aware of what you are thinking. Just decide to do this for a day and then stick to it no matter what for that day. Situations will come, can I choose a response of stability? All the power is in my hands.

‘Natural fear’ – Is fear or love natural? We say that fear is natural but see how it is rather that we have made it so. What is the feeling that fear generates? Is this is a good feeling? Can fear and happiness ever go together? Who would you like to live with? If you want happiness- how much? How many days / year? How many seconds / minute?

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