feel the fear….and feel the fear

“Love what you have, and you’ll have more love.” -Regina Spektor

Aah, THIS SONG …”the piano is not firewood yet….” so much yearning in this song.  I’m can’t stop playing it. In it she is saying, ‘Who knows what is ahead of us, so dance today, love today.’

I am an environmentalist, or a greenie, or an eco-freak or whatever – I hate these labels – we should ALL be these things if we care about our future on this planet, and they shouldn’t need labels – it should just be conscious living.

Anyway, because I am awake and aware to what is going on in the world (unlike many people who prefer to do the hands over their ears -“LAH LAH LAH LAH – I CAN’T HEAR YOUUUUUUU….!” thing) – the awareness comes with a great deal of pain. However, it’s not all bad….knowing the things I know does two things to me – firstly, it gives me a great appreciation for what I have, while I still have it and it returns me firmly to the ‘now’ of my life. I sit with so much fear about the future, for myself, my children, my country, the planet…so much fear. But the fear is ultimately pointless, unhelpful, useless. So I sit with the fear in meditation, I observe how it manifests in my body – churning stomach, tight neck, tears coming into my eyes, overwhelming feelings of powerlessness – I try to just sit in that place, observe the physicality of the emotions….and then it goes, it always goes. The sooner I observe it and name it…the sooner it goes.

The second thing the fear does it that is leads me to cultivate beauty and celebration in my life. Actively, I seek it out. I try to create it. I NOTICE all that I have and I am thankful for it, so thankful!

The intellect only gets us so far. Most of what we experience is physical and sensual. To live a life of contentment (not happiness – happiness is a fickle, lightweight state of being that flits in and out of our days like a butterfly, just to be content is what I aim for) takes attention, cultivation and gratitude. These are mental attitudes that often take a bit of effort in our human minds which more naturally descend into chaos, anger, jealousy and fear.

I don’t know how I ended up writing this today – I meant to post about my vegetable garden. I still will – but I guess I wanted to say a bit about why I post so often about simple things which bring me pleasure, beautiful things in my life…which may seem facile, unintellectual, maybe even banal. There is so much going on underneath these little observations, so so much.

I was at Buddhist study group last night and my teacher, Demo, was talking about bringing Dharma (buddhist wisdom) into the heart, to stop intellectualising it and feel it, physically feel it, and I knew just what she meant. On Monday I was having a particularly fearful time – for no reason – it was beautiful sunny day, at home alone, no pressures on me, nowhere to be, no one needing anything from me and I was sitting at the table gripped with so much fear I could barely breathe. I named it fear, and I went from being enslaved by the fear and panicking at it’s escalation, to observing the fear as it manifested in my body. Stomach, shoulders, heart, face. I breathed deeply. I leaned into the fear. I sat there breathing until my shoulders loosened, my body relaxed.

And then I finished my tea, went outside, picked vegetables and took these photographs:




4 thoughts on “feel the fear….and feel the fear

  1. I’m reading Wild, i don’t think i like her. I don’t like her photo! i think she might just be self-indulgent -more later.

    The body/sensuality versus intellect feels unhelpfully polarising to me. My experience is that there is something [often lots!] going on in the body when there is any feeling, but that feelings are a ‘mental’ not physical phemomena. I experience the body directly only as sensations and my experience of these sensations -in and of themselves- is that they are neutral. Cold is just cold hard is just hard, tingly is just tingly. The feeling/thought of like/dislike is ‘mental’.

    I’ve just done a polarising as well of course, there can’t be a body without a mind [citta/mind = thought/feeling] or mind without a body.

    Back to Jay Griffiths. I seem to be afraid of the [inner] wild she writes about and am naturally a represser of that, because afraid. She arrives to me at a time/timely that i’m opening/needing to open to this wild.


    1. I’m sorry you don’t like Jay! I love her – she refuses to be restrained, polite, contained and for that I love her. Self-indulgent? Maybe at times, but why not?
      I definitely directly experience my emotions in my body – of course, sometimes it can be the same physical sensations for happiness as for fear – but there they are, those sensations – pulsing through my gut and heart as my minds flies around.


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