Without any fear
There’s a line in John Lennon’s song “Happy Christmas” that sort of hangs out after the rest of the chorus.
The line is: “…Without any fear…”
[NOTE: Religion isn’t part of this conversation. Which God, or Gods, or Messengers, or None you pray to is totes cool by me.]
What’s interesting and relevant is that the “no fear”/”without fear”-type theme is so ubiquitous you hardly notice it. And it’s in a ton of Holiday songs.
This got me thinking about fear. Where it comes from…
Doing a quick self-scan I realized that though I don’t acknowledge it consciously, I feel fear all the time:
- I want Broga to continue to be a successful business. #fearoffailure
- I want to contribute to a fulfilling and meaningful life in my marriage. #doublefearoffailure
- I want to be a better friend to the friends I’ve fallen out of touch with and the new friends I’ve made. #fearofloss
- I don’t want my amazing dog to get hit by a car. #fearofloss (But he’s usually sleeping on a memory foam mattress in the house, so this one is pretty irrational).
- I need to renew my license before I get pulled over for rolling through a stop sign on a deserted street. #fearoftheman
All of these thoughts make me tense up, pull in, protect, shield, guard, react, bury, and seek some action that will either immediately (i.e. temporarily) alleviate the discomfort or make me believe I’m moving toward a permanent solution.
So yeah, fear is as much a part of my life as are the songs that wish it away. Pervasive. Omnipresent. Both awesome and powerful forces.
As I was thinking this through, an email landed in my inbox. In this email, one of the more fascinating people I follow, Tim Ferris, included a link to a Rolling Stone article by Neil Strauss.
The article is a worthwhile read, compelling and convincing on a number of levels, but there are two key takeaways:
- What we feel, more often than not, is anxiety, not fear. And that’s important because anxiety is “highly manipulable”. Fear on the other hand is hard-wired – e.g. “Lion is approaching with hungry eyes. Must run.”
- Anxiety is mostly an internal condition created by worry about something in the future. In other words, our thoughts make us anxious.
As is evidenced by pretty much everything, everywhere you look… on social media, mainstream media, politics, etc… anxiety is pervasive in our culture.
And what’s amazing is that *most* of us live in one of the safest places and times in human history.
BUT the inputs — what we read, what we watch — the content of it, not to mention the shear volume of it — fill our brains with thoughts that lead to anxiety. And that anxiety can grow and morph and trigger anxiety in other areas.
So having mulled this over a bit, I want to share a couple of thoughts with you.
Thought #1: Take a moment right now to just imagine you don’t have any anxiety. Just drop all the worry and all the tension. Do it. Ok? If you did it, a couple things might have happened — you might have taken a deep breath without doing it on purpose, which probably felt great AND you might have lifted your head and looked around. Maybe you even stretched a little. There, you feel a little better.
Thought #2: An amazing way that I’ve found to reduce anxiety regularly, effectively, and get in better shape is this little thing you may have heard of called: Yoga.
Works like a charm.
You can get your daily dose at YFM.tv for just $12/mo (40¢ – aka forty pennies – a day).
If your brain is anything like my brain, it needs experienced senior management… and regularly scheduled maintenance… and a cheery Holiday song filled with hope… and Yoga.
Have a lion-free weekend,