Find Your Fear & Let It Fuel You
Written By Tori Swanson
This photo was taken in Mexico City, around Christmas time in 2018. Sam and I were recently robbed at gun point and I was in serious need of ‘coming home’ and back into my body. I believe that this experience set me up to understand what’s going on in the world right now so I can be of service to others.
Raise your hand if you’re currently feeling unsettled by the changes happening in the world?!
We’ve now been isolated long enough now that some of you are still a nervous wreck about the virus and the world collapsing and changing, and some of you are probably excited about staying home and enjoying this time to go inward. I just want you all to know that both are okay, in fact I fall somewhere in between both on a given day.
Fortunately, my life has not changed too much, most of my offerings are all online, and I paint from my studio which I occupy - just me, alone. At this moment in time, the world is shifting fast, and asking us to join the speed at which our old ways are dying, for new ways to emerge. We can change our lives, or we can resist it. Either way it’s going to happen for you.
Old paradigm is ready to change, and the more we grip and hold onto it, the harder it is for us to shift with it. Just because the stock market is crashing and we’re heading into a recession, does not mean it has to impact you negatively. In fact, the more willing you are to take the leap of faith now, the easier it will be for you in the long run. It’s all perspective. The more we try to ‘know’ what’s happening now, the more we pull out of our bodies and in our minds. We’re no longer feeling and being, we’re trying to do and think our way through it.
Too often, we spend a lot of time in our minds, and our minds are either pushing us into the future or holding us back into the past. When we’re living in the past we’re in a constant state of worry and regret. When we’re living in the future, we’re anticipating and creating anxiety. When we’re truly in our bodies, we are safe, we are present and we’re not worried about what we have to do next. We’re in trust, flow and we have faith in Universal Intelligence and the divine. We allow life to unfold for us in uncertain times. Remember- it’s your divine right to have it all and be safe, the choice is yours as to whether or not you’re going to believe you’re worthy enough of having it.
The biggest impact I have felt has been the lack of physical touch of friends and family. This is something that I am grieving, even though I have a wonderful partner like Sam at home with me, we can still feel lonely in a healthy relationship. The loneliness you may be feeling right now, goes deeper than just looking for connection amongst others. It’s that internal acknowledgement within you that is dying for some TLC. Facetime, House party, and phone calls are all great, but don’t seem to do the trick in the long run right? Well, that’s because something inside of you is looking to be seen. It’s the ugly, dark, contrasting, shadow within us that wants to show it’s roots. It’s the one inside that may be looking for external validation to know we’re ok. Think about how often you may feel lonely on a ‘normal’ weekend, and instead of just sitting with it, we look to book or schedule time to see people who matter, or don’t matter, because we’re desperately trying to fill the void of emptiness. I know that as an artist, intuitive, and entrepreneur, my weeks look a lot like this, I spend a lot of time alone, sometimes even weeks on end, and I forget to call my friends every now and then, to remind me that I don’t have to be alone all the time and sometimes it’s nice to be in contact around people we love - or at least have the option to. You know what they say when a loved one has passed away - that their physical bodies are gone, but their spirit is always with us... that same analogy applies here, living or dead.
But I’m talking about the nut. The piece of us that isn’t satisfied with where we are or what we have. The best part of all is that we have nowhere to go, see, feel, touch that isn’t outside of what we have or who we are with. We’re being forced to face it, and it’s uncomfortable AF.
I’m not perfect, I’ve been having my moments of doubt, of feeling low, of worry, of pain. Last weekend I spent the entire day in bed crying, meditating, trying to ‘DO’ in order to have, or at least step out of the yucky feeling I was swimming in all day. The problem with that, was that I was DOING, I wasn’t BEING. I wasn’t allowing how I felt to just be what it is. Instead, I resisted feeling and I judged it and it made the situation more dier. The moment I was finished fighting myself is the moment when I finally let the waterworks out, in a massive wailing sob but it took me all day to allow myself to have the space to do it. Old me would’ve pushed the nasty feeling down, until I was ‘happy’ and replacing my negative thoughts with positive ones, which by the way only lasts temporarily. The only relief we’re actually going to feel is spending time feeling the gross, icky, dark and disgusting parts of ourselves which will truly set us free. Once it was free, I was finally able to be in my home with nothing. Before, I was trying to pick up new hobbies, clean the house, laundry, go for a run, walk the dog, clean the couch, baseboards - you name it.
My coach gave me this wonderful analogy which I have been sharing with everyone, because it speaks so truly to the given situation. She said to me, imagine that the two of us are going fishing. I’m fishing in the shallow end, and I have to continue to draw my line and reel it in. I catch a fish every time, but they’re small, some are inedible, some are. I walk away that day with just enough, and I have to come back tomorrow and repeat the same exercise. You, on the other hand are looking to catch the ‘big daddy fish’ which only lives in the deep water. In order to do so, you have to let your line sink, you have to let it go until you can’t see it anymore, and the only thing you have left is your faith that you’ll catch something, but you don’t know what or how big it’ll be. You may leave that day having caught nothing. Perhaps it isn’t until a week later, you finally catch the ‘big daddy fish’ that feeds you for an entire year and you only have to go back to the pond annually to get what you need because you’re not afraid of ‘running out’.
Who would you rather be?
Going straight to the root of it, isn’t just ideal, it’s necessary to grow.
I attended a circle last night with colleagues who are also light workers. We talked about holding our lanterns for others to find their way in this uncertain time, and it was an incredible experience to just release and let go and be held by one another. We all agreed on the call, some people are finding this time easy and some are finding it difficult, it doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum because as the pendulum swings, we will feel both, it’s only a matter of time. As long as you know how to surf with your emotions, you can ride any wave.
When despair and frustration creep to the surface, we can either be fearful or see this as a good thing. It means we’re growing and we’re expanding, and we’re ready to stretch our horizons. Even if the only thing you take away from this is that when you feel discomfort, or resistance it means you’re ready to level up and growth is happening.
If you have ever read The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, he writes about this experience as being fenced in. When we’re born, we have no fence and as we experience life, and traumatic situations we have created a fence to keep us safe. Whenever we inch toward the fence we experience resistance, fear, anger and frustration, and the only way to break the fences down and expand your horizon is to sit in the discomfort of it.
I made a pact with myself recently that whenever I feel the pain or discomfort of resistance and fear, instead of running from it, I’m going to sit with it and find comfort. I’m going to say yes when I want to say no, I’m going to stay put when I want to run. It’s the only way to get closer to who we are. Take an observer’s perspective and witness your own ‘doings’ by being.
I have at least five things in my back pocket I can reach for when I feel out of balance. Those five things for me, are the following:
Draw a bath with bath salts and bubbles, incense, candles, and crystals (don’t care what time of the day it is, a bath is always a good idea).
I meditate, or practice a Yoga Nidra, aka a sleeping meditation.
I do some automatic writing, so I don’t ‘think’ I just let my hand and my intuition guide the pen on the paper and I tend to get very clear of my motivating fears right off the bat (this is a practice and the more you do it, the easier it is to tap in).
I do something creative like cook, bake, paint, sketch etc.
I move my body in a way that serves me. I’m not trying to do an intense HIIT class, I listen to my body and ask it what it needs, sometimes it’s forest bathing, sometimes it’s yoga, sometimes it is a HIIT class or a bike ride.
Usually once I’ve seen the root of it, I can naturally subside and everything just feels easy. Even if recurring negative thoughts come back in the picture, I don’t fear them because I’m in control of the context that they keep. If I can’t snap out of it and I can feel myself dwelling in sadness, I lean into my success habits and it lifts me up because it gets me in my body.
I’ve attached a simple, downloadable worksheet to this blog. Use it when you’re feeling discomfort and you want to find the root of the resistance. The second part of this worksheet is to write out your own success habits, so you can have something to reach for to pull you out of the weeds.