What do we know about fear? It usually shows up when we come into contact with something that we do not yet fully understand. Oftentimes, it’s the pre-programmed thoughts of lack and limitation usually stemming from our childhood. When this happens, it means we’re being presented with a couple of options. One is allowing the emotion to overwhelm us by holding us hostage for no reason keeping us feeling stuck and small and option two is allowing the emotion to come forward without judging it, breathing calmly through it, hearing what it has to say, and then detaching from it completely understanding that we do not have to identify with every thought that comes to mind. Sometimes it’s also an opportunity to heal a part of you that’s ready to be released if you’ve already made space for thoughts such as these to communicate with you. Remembering that all situations are powerless without your reaction. When you can sit back and observe instead of reacting off the cuff you reclaim your power.

This is something that I’ve learned first hand. I’ve learned that nothing is worth disturbing my inner peace. That’s where my true power lies. Mindful breathing, positive reinforcement and conscious awareness through a sticky situation such as this or any other turbulent situation life presents me, can make all the difference in either having a moment or having a meltdown. Fear kept me stuck and scared for so many years and I finally see it for what it really is now… A manipulative liar. Fear, like the ego, likes to keep you on a tight leash. It restricts you from wanting better things for yourself that are out of your immediate reach. It doesn’t want you to grow and thrive. Fear is really just an illusion of the mind and it goes out of its way trying to make you feel helpless and desperate. It goes berserk when you are able to self-soothe and use your intuition to navigate through it.

I remind myself daily that I am ok and that my current reality is only a reflection of what I thought was possible for me before because it’s easy to get caught up in the fictional drama. Inner peace and clarity flow through us best when we realize that everything is happening FOR us not TO us. That simple mindset shift has saved me from many potential anxiety attacks. Allowing things to take their natural course instead of reacting from a place of anxiety, anger or fear better equip us in understanding the reasons why things need to happen the way they do. It’s for our benefit- to strengthen and stretch us outside of our comfort zone. It isn’t for us to question. It’s for us to surrender. Nothing really has any meaning unless we say it does and we as humans have a tendency to forget that.

We have a bad habit of occasionally searching outside of ourselves for answers when in fact our own inner gps is greater and more powerful than Google will ever be. The ability to recognize and observe fear when it shows up (just like a spectator watching a tennis match) and having the courage and understanding to detach from it completely becomes much easier the more you do it. You don’t need to hold onto anything or anyone for that matter that doesn’t make you feel good. Emotional torture is not admirable. It’s masochistic and cruel. Life is meant to be a joyful ride. And once you start talking to yourself like someone whom you love unconditionally and would do anything for- reminding yourself on a daily basis that you are always safe, loved, protected and provided for, you will break the chains that bind you. It’s no longer necessary to subscribe to anything or anyone that makes you feel stuck, small or helpless. That is an old, outdated belief system that has never really served or supported us in any way. We are always much stronger and much more powerful than we ever give ourselves credit for.

Fear if anything, must be a call to action for us to get out of our own way (F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing (R)eal and realize that it no longer has power over us. Learning to embrace the uncertainty is where life’s true magic lies. It’s in these moments of confusion when anything is possible. Doubt, believe it or not, is the greatest catalyst for growth because like everything, it serves a purpose. The contrast is only there to show us where we are giving our power away. I’ve spent many a moment trying to rationalize everything only to wind up more confused than I was before. This is not a job for the conscious mind anyway because it’s limited and it can only reference the past. This is a call for a complete belief system upgrade; meaning a total reprogramming of your subconscious mind through affirmations and visualization.

Sometimes we’re not meant to see more than just the next step or two ahead of us. Sometimes we’re only meant to focus on where we are now and why and how to use it to our advantage. Haven’t you ever heard the term “Grow where you’re planted?” It’s not a punishment, it’s a breadcrumb! It’s teaching us about faith and patience. Uncertainty is here to lure us into self-actualization. This usually happens when we have ignored all other warning signs, so now it’s time to let a power greater than us take over. This is the true art of surrender. We can get so caught up at times wanting to know everything right away because we live in a very fast paced world and we forget about the gestation process, we forget that everything happens in divine time. If it didn’t, I’d have a thirty two foot pink unicorn in my bedroom! It’s in these very moments that we must learn to trust that our prayers have been answered and are in the process of being delivered. This was a very tricky lesson for me to learn and I still have moments when doubt tries to creep in, but I remind myself that everything is happening right on schedule and it serves as a reminder to cling tighter to my faith. I had to re-learn the true meaning of trust and patience among other things. It’s funny how life always gives us what we need when we need it.

The narrative for me at a very young age was that if something doesn’t happen for me right away that it’s not meant to be at all and that was a tough one for me to shake. That’s complete BS!! It takes six months to build a Rolls-Royce so does that mean I should refrain from wanting to buy one because it takes time to build? No. It means I should remain patient knowing that my car (or my new desired life) is being built according to my specifications and it will be delivered upon completion. That’s how life works. When you want something the entire universe conspires on your behalf to bring it to you, so long as you believe that you deserve it. Worthiness is the key. We live in a time of instant gratification and we rarely remember that anything worthwhile takes time. We’re so used to seeing things happen instantaneously nowadays that we immediately assume and demand that everything else operate the same way. We just need to pause. “Nature doesn’t hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

The true meaning of god and prayer has shifted so many times for me during my short time on this planet but I finally feel like I’ve got it right now. I cut ties with my Christian roots during my early twenties because I felt like organized religion was too structured and judgmental for me. It never felt like I was learning how to harness my own power within or how to embrace being a mess and a masterpiece simultaneously while being ok with who I am regardless of what anybody else thinks of me. Humans are beautiful and messy and powerful and resilient and magnificent and yet not once did I hear the message of self-love and self-acceptance in any of the sermons I was present for in school or in church. I always felt like I was never good enough and that I was chasing unrealistic expectations. It was ten years out of high school before I learned that god was not some mythical creature. God is an energy, a life giving source. A universal, omnipotent, benevolent, loving energy. I’ve never doubted god’s presence in my life, I just view it in a different light now. I’m no longer concerned with what my ancestors may or may not have done before I was born. I’m solely focused on where I can create more joy in my life and how I can improve myself. I feel like organized religion was one of the many reasons why I fell into a deep depression years ago. It lead me to some very questionable decisions. I’m not saying religion is bad, I’m simply saying it isn’t for me. I love knowing that I can come undone and that it’s ok and that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone and yet still be worthy of love and acceptance just as I am. There’s your gospel.

It’s so easy to lose yourself in the demands of the outside world because the message is that self-love and self-care are a luxury and not a necessity and that it’s selfish and it should be secondary. In fact it’s quite the opposite. How can you give all of yourself to others with little to no concern of your own happiness and fulfillment? One needs space and opportunity to recharge and it’s got to be a high priority on your list. For some, there is an invisible stigma attached when loved ones feel like you’re not catering to their needs above your own. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Trust me I’ve tried. I think self-love and self-care are two key components that must be at the forefront of any and all teachings. We’re not taught early on how to self-soothe or how to think or choose for ourselves and I think it’s vital that we have these skills. Getting good grades by having the same answers as everyone else on an exam is a useless skill in real life. Thinking outside the box is where the magic is. Reality can be anything you want it to be.

I never got the message in school or at home that I always had the power within me to create anything my heart desired. “Hard work and sacrifice will get you there” was the directive and it never sat well with me. You don’t have to work hard I thought, you just have to work smart. You have to have a clear picture of what you want out of life otherwise you’ll never get it. You can’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Contemplating our desired life is something we must all do on a regular basis. Self-auditing is a great way to keep ourselves in check. It’s not meant to shame you, it’s meant to guide you. The goal is to roll with it and accept that whatever is happening within at that precise moment is for our highest good. It’s when you graciously release the stagnant energy within in exchange for fresh new energy in the direction of what you really want that exciting stuff begins to happen. You’re on your way toward a successful life once you make yourself a priority. Your confidence builds and your self-esteem soars!

I’ve learned to not only embrace uncertainty in my life, but to love it. It means that anything is possible. Leaving room for the unexpected is such an exciting part of life. We tend to forget that life is a journey not a destination. We never really complete anything or arrive anywhere. Arrival is merely a state of mind. There will always be new challenges and new desires, even new demands, but the real treasure lies in the ability to silence the monkey mind. Everyday I’m leaning into more and more into my journey and everything it teaches me about love, loss, strength, growth, gain, faith, trust, triumph, success, gratitude, happiness and resiliency. This is the human experience. Society teaches us that a successful life revolves around materialistic items or deadlines, but, it’s wrong. Of course we are meant to live an opulent life (our experience is definitely not meant to be lived in poverty) but paper chasing must not be the goal. Inner peace and contentment is all that matters. Once our time is up on Earth there are no redos. So enjoy your time while you’re here experiencing everything and just know that if it’s not an experience you wish to continue, you and you alone have the power to change it.

Despite what you may have heard, life is meant to be an exhilarating ride filled with joy at all times. Even on the shitty days, there is always something to be grateful for. And on the days when confusion is at an all time high, unplug. Go for a walk, spend some time in nature, meditate, exercise, cook, read, have a meal with a loved one, paint, write, play with your pet or take a drive- whatever helps you decompress. Loosen your grip on life and enjoy this delicate dance. Everything that takes you out of your natural, loving, happy state isn’t real. Separation is an illusion. We are not separate from anything. We are one with everything. Being mindful of everything that perpetuates fear or distracts you from hearing your inner gps communicating with you about who you are and what you want is how you stay balanced and sane. Know that we are always being lead to everything that is for our greater good. The only time we lose focus of this fact and forget it completely is when we’re not being deliberate with our thoughts, but that’s when visualization comes in handy. Generating that feeling of happiness within is how we create our world in advance. As long as we have that momentum going it will carry us through the chaos.

With enough practice, our outer world becomes a reflection of that inner joy. Who cares what that looks like to others? Taking responsibility for your own life and how you want to feel, that’s the secret sauce. It can be a bit challenging in the beginning, but our imagination is a powerful muscle that only ever gets stronger the more we use and rely upon it. Everything is constantly working out for our highest and greatest good. We just need to get out of our own way and by negating any thoughts or beliefs that don’t support this fact we are putting ourselves in the prime position for all of life’s infinite possibilities to come pouring in.