Saying Aloha to Fear

Letting go of the F-thing is really rather simple.

Say Aloha. Hello and Good-bye.

Aloha from Hawaii!

photo credit: TheGirlsNY

I picked up a The Sedona Method book a while back and I don’t know why because when I did I was interested in awakening, not self-development, and I had assumed, wrongly, that this book would be about another one of those conquer-the-world self-improvement buy-me-now things.

It’s actually an amazing tool which works very well for letting go fear. You might get the wrong idea because their marketing is rather pushy.

But the method is a little too complicated in my opinion. Of course, almost everything is too complicated in my opinion. That’s the other problem with opinions.

Still, I think there’s a simpler way to present it.

Oh puleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze!

Now when I tell you this, you’re going to have an “Oh puhleeeeeeeeze” moment. When I say just let it go, you’ll say well if I could just let it go I wouldn’t be reading this. Dumbass.

Say that. And try anyway. The thing is as you read this you will think about letting go. And thinking about letting go is not same as trying to let go. Thinking about letting go will bring up gunk.

Trying to let go is not letting go either but it leads up to it. That’s the only reason we need to practice. We practice to see that practice is not necessary. Because really holding or letting go are both decisions we make. We just don’t know that.

Fear is normal?

My turn: Oh puhleeeeeeeeeeze.

It’s not normal. It’s normal to be scared when a tiger jumps in front of you. In the absence of a tiger, fear is not normal. It may be prevalent but it’s not normal.

Tigers, terrorism, violence, threats—okay, that’s a kind of fear.

Then there is the phobia kind, where you get to learn big words like Aphenphosmphobia.

The one we’re talking about here is the fear which threads through thoughts and emotions. It’s the fear around control, approval, security and completeness. It’s the thing which cleverly disguises itself as beliefs and desires and actions and inaction. Fear is unconsciousness. It is reactivity from conditioning. It is guilt, anger, indecision. It is why you wonder about purpose or futility. It is why you are waiting–waiting while life moves on. It is Karma when you take away all the mysticism from Karma. It’s the underlying psychological unease in you which is constant and prevalent. It’s the fear of tomorrow. It’s the thing which is keeping you from peace, love and joy.  It is the claustrophobia that you build around yourself when you seek yourself in beliefs and thoughts. It’s fearophobia. It’s the F-thing.

Don’t face your fear

This is the thing. You don’t want to face fear.

You procrastinate and you don’t make decisions and you don’t take action and you don’t know your purpose and you don’t know how to be and you remain stuck because you don’t want to face fear.

But you don’t have to face fear.

First the set up is wrong. “Facing” is something we do to outside stuff.

Fear is inside. We don’t face it. We look at it inside. Not with defensiveness. With love. Not by readying to squash it. By just looking at it.

Don’t ignore the F-thing

Fear gives the very thing it promises to keep away.

What fear wants is attention. And of course that is the very thing you don’t want to give it.

You are taught to ignore fear. You must overlook, conquer, squash it. You must power through.

And of course these days the spiritual landscape is rife is with positive thinking and the Law of Attraction, and so there is even more ignoring. They say: Be positive, be optimistic, keep attention only on the good, be careful what you put out to the universe. Pseudo-spirituality. Polonius. (That’s the old wheezer in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who was fond of doling out repeatable wise-sounding crap).

You can try all of that stuff. Sooner or later you’ll have to come to terms. Fear will not be ignored.

Instead of trying to snuff it out or “power through” or cover it up with more beliefs and tricks,  just simply look at it.

You have to give it attention. You don’t have to play ball with it. You simply have to acknowledge its existence. That’s all you have to do. You don’t have to carry it. You can drop it. But you can’t drop if you don’t look at it.

How it’s done

Allow it. Welcome it. Make space for it.

I know you don’t want to because you’re afraid. Fear of fear.

You can do it bits at a time. It helps if you know the structure of fear. It’s the structure of all emotions. Emotions are body sensations connected to a thought-story. That’s the key.

Thought-story plus body-sensations.

Observe. Observe them separately.

Allow. Welcome. Make space for it.

And then ask yourself if you are ready to let it go.

It’s okay if the answer is no. Or yes.

Either way, try to let it go.

Do this whenever you feel it come up.

38 thoughts on “Saying Aloha to Fear

  1. Nadia - Happy Lotus

    Hi Kaushik,

    I love this post. You had me laughing with the “oh pulllleeezzee”. I totally agree with you, dude. The best thing to do with fear is to stick your tongue out at it and then say “aloha, baby”. Fear can only take over if we allow it to do so. The sad thing is that society thinks being scared is normal. How sick is it that we live in a world where we have something called “life insurance”? It originally was called death insurance but it did not sell well so they changed the name. Things like that show how messed up we are and fear is just an illusion.

    Hope all is well with you! Namaste, my friend! :)
    .-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog ..Being Creative =-.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Nadia,

      Death insurance–that’s funny!

      It’s certainly more honest. I think it was Krishnamurti who said that being normal in a sick society is no sign of well-being. You’re right, much of social conditioning is the fear.

      Stick your tongue out at fear. That’s beautiful!

      Namaste, my friend.
      k

      Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Dani,
      Yes, that’s it, we can choose to hold on to or let go of any emotion. We don’t really know that or believe that, and so a practice can help us re-learn what we always knew.

      Hope you are really well!

      k

      Reply
  2. matt

    Those are some good points on the law of attraction. However, do you have any suggestions for uncovering and then releasing hidden beliefs in the subconscious that might be keeping people from fully taking advantage of the law of attraction

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Matt,
      In my experience, when we can be this effortless awareness, everything else, including the law of attraction or spiritual concepts or morality and even a belief in God, are just points of view in Awareness. Awareness is full and ungraspable through beliefs and concepts and time, and so it must be experienced.

      To answer your question directly, yes I do have suggestions.
      1. Awareness practice — I like the practice of observing thought, and as we observe, the gaps between thought expand, and a deeper consciousness seeps in. With practice, the observer and observed vanish, and the practice itself vanishes, and effortless watchfulness abides. There are other methods–meditation, being present. More about this in the How To Awaken->Awareness category and the books.
      2. Release practice — Releasing is healing. It is something we already know how to do but have forgotten. My experience as we practice releasing, we realize that it is always our choice to hold to or to let go of fear and stuck patterns and beliefs. Soon, the practice of releasing goes away. See the category How To Awaken->Release and the books.
      3. If there is a goal it is to get into the flow of awakening, where awareness deepens on its own, effortlessly.
      4. I’ve found it important not to attach to any particular points of view or beliefs, not even beautiful spiritual concepts or theories of existence or even practice. The “good” practices are the ones which show us they were never really necessary. “Do not seek Truth; only cease to cherish beliefs.”
      5. I’ve found that we can develop a gentle honesty which can tell us where we are. It’s easy to get trapped–many people meditate for decades or seek spirituality or create an identity around particular points of view, and never really get into the flow of awakening.

      I hope this helps.

      k

      Reply
  3. Wilma Ham

    We do not even simple fright well as we do not do anything!
    So we will hardly ever experience the difference between seeing a real tiger and the imaginary one that we might one day encounter when we do something so we better do nothing.

    Go out and live and you will not have time for fear, because your mind is busy figuring out real things that are right there in front of you and busy with healthy fright.
    And if you encounter a tiger in real life? Well . . . you have to find out how that is and it might be soo much scarier than you ever imagined or it might be so much more exhilirating that you ever imagined :)

    Sorry, only one way to find out, go and live!!!!!!!
    AND BTW fright is healthy, fear is deadening.

    .
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last blog ..A whole new world, a whole new community. =-.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hey Wilma,

      Yes, fear is deadening. Letting go of fear is easier than we think. Possibly, we resist letting go because we are afraid to face it or we think to face we need courage that we don’t have. But when we actually try to face it and let go, it isn’t bad at all!

      Thanks for insight!

      k

      Reply
  4. Tricia

    Few words ~ breath knocked out of me. Wet eyelashes.

    Your words were exactly what I needed.

    IN JOY and Gratitude,
    Tricia

    Bow to Teacher

    Namaste’

    Reply
  5. Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord

    I think this line is wonderfully quotable, “Fear gives the very thing it promises to keep away.”
    Genius.

    As for the rest of what you’ve written, this whole life is illusion, so to say that fear isn’t real is to, in the same breath, also say that a state of “no fear” isn’t real. Yes?

    I seem to come up against the idea that we cannot conceptualize what full awareness really is. It’s too vast, too great, too… It’s just “too.” (How’s that?!)

    Great post; thank you for giving voice to it.
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..7 Steps for Climbing the Staircase to Joy =-.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Megan,

      Yes, people say it’s all an illusion, but does it really feel like an illusion to you? What matters is not the idea of whether this life is a dream or not, but the actual experience. In my experience, as awareness expands and as I have been able to let go of embodied patterns, I can more and more see that there is awareness, and everything else are simply points of view (dreams) in awareness.

      Yes, that’s a good way to say it, that awareness is ungraspable…it can’t be conceptualized…awareness is just “too” everything. But it can be experienced. It is the experiencer and experienced. It’s just what we are and we can see it when we can loosen our attachment to thought.

      Great insights! Thanks, and I hope you’re doing really well!

      k

      Reply
  6. Brenda (betaphi)

    Hi Kaushik
    I wrote a ‘brilliant’ response to this post earlier and now can’t remember what it was. Something about whether to observe, allow, welcome, and make space for the Poloniuses of the world or to reject them outright. I asked my son what he thought and he said to make fun of them. I guess that’s like sticking your tongue out at them. I just wish there was a way to avoid us-and-them-isms. Maybe there’s not. I try to avoid fear-mongers and busy-bodies. If I can’t avoid them, I try to ignore them. Maybe in the future I’ll try blowing raspberries at them. ;)

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      This was a clever response, Brenda! There is Awareness and everything is just a point of view in awareness. When we realize that life is a breeze. Thanks for your wonderful comment!

      k

      Reply
  7. Andrew

    Great post yet again Kaushik.

    For me at least, when I really boil down my problems, depression, emotions…all it really comes down to is fear. The problem with fear is that often we don’t even notice it, it just hovers beneath the surface, tainting everything we see and do.

    I would say that acceptance is the antithesis of fear – fear cannot survive if we fully accept what is happening in the moment..if only it wasn’t so hard sometimes!!!

    One more thing, I found your blog a couple of months ago and I have to say I really relate well to your writing – some of my problems with a lot of “spirituality” is that it often seems so wishy washy but I find that your writings and ideas are very practical and down-to-earth. It seems like many of the problems you have gone through are the same ones I’m going through right now and it gives me hope. Thanks for your blog,

    Andrew

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks. I appreciate the words of encouragement.

      Yes, it always comes down to fear. And you’re right, fear cannot survive in full acceptance. And full acceptance, I’ve found, is more about something we stop doing rather than something we do. It’s when we let go of all resistance. So it always comes down to letting go.

      I hope you’re doing well!

      k

      Reply
  8. Tricia

    Hi K et all,

    @Andrew
    “The problem with fear is often we don’t even notice it, it just hovers beneath the surface . . . ”

    After 10 plus years of Practice! Practice! Practice! of BEing in the NOW
    that is exactly what happened to me. I did not “see” the slipping back until I was. once again, attached to the emotion.

    K your blog Woke Me Up!

    And from past personal experience I know it takes more strength to “LET GO” than to hang on.(“The devil you know etc. etc. ) however, because of my years of Practice i was able to “Let Go” in a matter of days. At one time it took months.

    I am grateful for the experience for the lesson it brought me. The experience will come again disguised; but bringing the same lesson, until I pass.

    So in the meantime I will continue to practice! Fail again. Fail better.
    (Grande’ smile!)

    IN JOY and gratitude,
    Tricia

    Bow to all my Teachers

    Namaste’

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Tricia,

      “After 10 plus years of Practice! Practice! Practice! of BEing in the NOW
      that is exactly what happened to me. I did not “see” the slipping back until I was. once again, attached to the emotion.”

      Yes, this happens. Often we congratulate ourselves that we are now very conscious, and then Life throws something us to remind us that perhaps we are not quite as aware as we had thought.

      “K your blog Woke Me Up!”

      I’m so glad. A gentle inquisitiveness and a gentle honesty are good things to develop.

      “And from past personal experience I know it takes more strength to “LET GO” than to hang on.(”The devil you know etc. etc. ) however, because of my years of Practice i was able to “Let Go” in a matter of days. At one time it took months.”

      Yes, exactly. There is no trick to releasing. The practice of releasing just helps us remember something we always knew. We’ve always known how to let go or hold on. We decide to hold on or not. With practice, we see that this decision is not gradual or cumulative–we simply decide to hold on or let go in the now.

      “I am grateful for the experience for the lesson it brought me. The experience will come again disguised; but bringing the same lesson, until I pass.”

      Some say the lesson keeps coming back in various forms until we have learned it.

      Thank you Tricia for you openness and for adding so much to the discussion.

      Peace,
      k

      Reply
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  10. Tricia

    Hi K et all,

    Rumi re-minds me, time and again, my body isn’t just a rental; it is a guest house.
    It has visitors. We may not find them all to be congenial,
    but we should welcome them all.

    THE GUEST HOUSE
    by: Rumi

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all.
    Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still treat each guest honorably.
    He may be cleaning you out for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing
    and invite them all in.

    Be grateful for whoever comes
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    IN JOY,
    Tricia

    Namaste’

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Tricia,

      Rumi words are awakened and beautiful. This is a wonderful poem about the wisdom of embracing uncertainty. Thanks for sharing. I particularly like:

      Be grateful for whoever comes
      because each has been sent
      as a guide from beyond.

      Peace,
      k

      Reply
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    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Annaly,
      Yes it takes a readiness, and nothing else but readiness. I’m not sure where the readiness comes from. For me it was exhaustion from depression and anxiety.

      Thanks for the insight!

      Peace,
      k

      Reply
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  14. Ralph

    Interesting post!

    I’m sure all of us who blog have done a post at one time or another about fear. The one I did was called “Playing a Game of Chicken With Fear” I point out a few things that are similar to what you have said.

    Where I think we differ is on facing the fear. I think that as long as we don’t face it-internally or externally-it will find a place to reside in our lives. Thats why when I realize that I am doing or not doing something because of fear, I have to go after it so that I can live free of the shackle.

    Thanks for posting :)
    .-= Ralph ´s last blog ..The Ultimate Guide to Giving and Taking Constructive Criticism =-.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      We completely agree. Face is always internal and we can completely invite it. “Inviting” is not a thought, it’s simply not caring about it in this present time. We invite it, welcome it, feel it completely in the present, and we let it go.

      We can do the same with physical pain, and then we see physical pain is just body sensation.

      Thanks,
      k

      Reply
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