Transforming Fear to Joy

At various times in our lives, each of us experiences the feeling we could do anything we desire.  It’s a powerful and uplifting sensation, so much so, we can usually recall the last time we felt this way.  Conversely, we also feel at times as though we no longer know what “normal” is.  For normal, you could substitute calm or joy or healthy or strong, or whatever is currently missing in your life.  Whether we feel powerful or doubtful, how we interpret our internal energetic experience is significantly impacted by our level of confidence.  And herein lies one of life’s many paradoxes—how do we confidently make decisions in an environment of uncertainty?

Confidence and certainty are near relatives.  When we feel certain about how to manage decisions regarding work, family and social events, we exhibit an assertive confidence.  However, in these often chaotic turbulent times, the only certainty is constant change.  Here is where our confidence is shaken or even shattered.  So, do you maintain a confident belief you can handle whatever life throws at you regardless of its attending turmoil? Metaphorically speaking, do you remain calm, the “eye of the storm”, when everyone and/or everything around appears out of control?

Confidence and its contrast, self-doubt (fear), are felt experiences in the body.  As forms of energy or vibration, they travel through our physical body informing our nervous system to react with either fight or flight.  For many people, their “fight response” is switched on 24/7 leaving them stressed and exhausted.  As you can see, these personal vibrations not only create our quality of life but are read and interpreted by those around us.  As the laws of chemistry and physics instruct, like attracts like.  Therefore, if our predominant personal energy is fear-based, we attract people, places and events that resonate with fear.  When we are able to shift out of fear and self-doubt into positive thoughts and feelings, both our energy and confidence increase.

If your vibration is on the negative side of the continuum, life will feel like a struggle. If it’s on the positive end of the spectrum, life will feel like it’s going your way. It takes conscious work to move your setting on the dial, but there’s hardly anything you could possibly do that would be more…Worth the effort.  Merci Gracia

Thus, it goes without saying … when we transform fear into joy, we create the conditions for confidence.  In other words, confidence emerges out of eliminating fear-based thoughts and behaviours such as exhausting inner judgment and false bravado.  What gets us there is mindfulness — present moment awareness on purpose without judgment.

As part of my daily meditation, I use one or both of the following present moment awareness techniques:

  1. The breath.  Watch each inhale as it enters your nostrils and each exhale as it leaves your nostrils.  Notice where the breath travels in your body.  In time, your awareness will penetrate deeper and deeper into your felt experience possibly to where you can feel your cells breathing.
  2. The body.  Focus your attention on one part of your body (i.e., heart).  Watch for what emerges as a result of focusing your attention on this single point.  Eventually, your awareness may even penetrate to the point where you can hear or feel your heart beating.

In both mindfulness techniques, two new patterns develop.  The first pattern shifts the mind off negative thoughts and feelings.  The second pattern deepens our consciousness (awareness and felt experience), which ultimately leads to greater understanding and wisdom.

Illness and injury enter where unconsciousness resides.

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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