Transforming Fear to Joy

If It’s Not Alright, Then It’s Not The End

Last night I watched a delightful movie titled, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. My attention was captured by the mantra (see quote below) of its young proprietor, Sonny, as he struggled to create his dream accommodations for the “elderly and beautiful”.

Everything will be alright in the end.  If it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.

Recently and not for the first time, my friend, Chris, and I had a lengthy discussion around the theme of this mantra.  In its essence, it speaks to our ability to hold belief in a vision of possibility even when everything visible appears otherwise.  One of the many questions Chris and I puzzle over is, “Why is this phase (between an ending of what once was and a beginning of what is desired) so difficult?”  Although as challenging and energy demanding as any ‘start-up’ can be, we knew this was not the greatest obstacle.

What often emerges during transition from the old to the new is our fear of the unknown, and our fear rises like a thermometer on a hot day when we are uncertain or confused.  Several months back I blogged on facing fear and finding freedom as a means of navigating tumultuous change.  Today, I am interested in digging deeper into the source of fear and optimism — our underlying beliefs.  Consider this, underlying every fear we hold as humans resides a limiting or negative belief about ourselves. Conversely, underlying every confidence we hold exists a positive or unlimiting belief. As an example, the echo of my mother’s words, “You can do and be anything you desire, Helen” set me on a course of exploration to discover what I wanted.  Her unlimiting belief propelled me confidently forward in life.  It also brought me face-to-face with several societal limiting beliefs — one in particular was social class.

For the most part, Canadians don’t talk about social strata in our society, which leads me to wonder what that underlying belief is.  However, we are all products of our era and social conditioning.  Although I rarely hear the labels of “blue-collar workers” and “white-collar professionals” in reference to job status, I certainly am aware of the boundaries between the poor, middle-class and upper-class.  And crossing these boundaries requires one to face fear and to shift from a limiting belief of unworthiness to an unlimiting belief of equality.

Simply put, although not as easy to enact, shifting our negative beliefs about ourselves and others into positive beliefs transforms our fear into peace, love and joy.  This is what Sonny is referencing in his mantra.  If everything is not alright, then we are still holding on to our limiting belief.  Our work becomes clear — replace the negative with a positive belief.  Herein lies the essence of trust — trusting oneself and trusting Life to provide and protect.

I wrote the following poem as an homage to this richly fertile time of change.

Aimless Wandering

The view ahead looks bleak.
A dull grey sky overhangs weatherworn deserted buildings.
Even neighbouring trees share the gloom of abandonment
refusing to bud, appearing disinterested and in decline.
A single lamppost stands sentinel to a life once lived and lost;
a not abrupt ending.

None people this scene leaving only an echo of what boom once was.

I understand this dull emptiness, felt
when an ending is evidenced as loss,
when once-felt purposefulness subsides.
Uncertainty, our main companion along transitional walkways,
travels repeatedly between here and a new beginning.

This time the walk is not long tho’ previous iterations felt never ending.
Or, does residue of that past memory shadow clear seeing?

Nonetheless, a short peaceful saunter takes me to the edge of grey.
Like the proverbial light at the end of a tunnel,
a glimpse of white catches my eye.  Curiosity stirs, but
neither squinting nor wishful thinking discern what lies beyond.
First, I must wander aimlessly trusting the seemingly uninspiring
will birth the colour and creation of the new beginning.

May 2012

Can you adopt the belief that “everything in your life is working out for your greatest good?”

If not, ask yourself “what am I afraid of?”

Once you know your fear, ask “what limiting belief am I holding that keeps me fearful and not moving forward?”

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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