Transforming Fear to Joy

The Critical Path to Foundation, Flow and Freedom — Part I: Awareness

My poetry reveals much of my own critical path into and through the continuous cycle of transformation.

Coming of Age

Another corner rounded, evidenced by
shifting sensations, expressions, experiences.
We are not left the same as we once were.

The closing of this well-read chapter
settles the scores of the past, opening
once blocked clear-seeing and creation.
Much was shed in the passing.

Turning to a new page provides
the long-awaited blank canvas, which will
soon be collaged with each emerging experience.
With direct experience, we co-create a future.

Joy resides in such effortless spontaneity, and
celebration is witnessed in our playfulness.
Naked, and yet at home, in our new old skin.

22 December 2015

Over my own lifetime, it became clear to me that building and then maintaining a state of wellness requires a whole person perspective.  To move beyond survival into thriving means establishing a solid foundation, having the ability to flow with whatever life presents to us, and all the while freeing our creative spirit.

Integrating these three critical elements of foundation, flow and freedom ensure we are each able to —

  • stand on our own two feet,
  • easily and effortlessly weather the prevailing physical and emotional storms that cross our path,
  • release our fear and fully express the unique loving potential inherent within us.

My yogi collaborator, Candace Propp, and I agree that self-reliance, self-mastery and self-expression are greatly enhanced by the following four pillars of transformation — awareness, deep-felt experience, deep collaboration and creative expression.  In fact, we believe so strongly in their ability to alter the course of one’s life that we designed a 12-week online program, which is soon to be released to the public.  These four pillars emerged from recognizing our own self-inquiry process.  Tried and true, they supported our journey from merely surviving to joyful thriving.  They have shown themselves to be equally impactful in consolidating freedom for many others who chose to join us.

My intention is to spend the next four weeks (one blog on each pillar) digging deeper into what we mean by awareness, deep-felt experience, deep collaboration and creative expression.  So, on to this week’s topic.


Undoubtedly, the wake-up call that snapped me to attention was the following adage — Where attention goes, energy flows.  After reading this statement and watching my own distracted and impulsive attention span, I recognized my unconscious mind was controlling the show.  I was running on autopilot with a lot of “fight-flight” response interjected during times of high stress.  In other words, great chunks of my days, life and energy reserves were spent outside of conscious choice.  I was not purposefully leading in my own life.  And this is only one of the reasons why being aware (purposefully attentive and awake in the present moment) of one’s thoughts, words and deeds is vital to creating a joyful life.

Another equally powerful reason for shoring up our awareness skill is only then are we able to see the truth.

Enlightenment is seeing things as they are,
not as we want or perceive them to be.
Wanting and perceiving bring in the past,
which blocks being present to the moment as it is.
Sandra Stuart

Enlightenment has present moment awareness as its essence.  In fact, they are one and the same.  Every time we learn something new or have an aha experience, we are becoming more aware, more enlightened.  Staying aware in each unfolding moment allows us to access our intuitive wisdom, which is at the root of all worldly creation or innovation.

Here is a simple awareness experiment you can try right now.  You may want to set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes.  Now, close your eyes and take your attention/awareness inside your body.  With your inner awareness, search out a sensation (pain, tension, numbness, tingling, etc.).  There may be several sensations, but choose only one and rest your awareness on it.  Just breathe normally, and if your mind wanders or thoughts and emotions arise, keep refocusing your awareness on the chosen sensation.

Once the timer goes off, you may want to journal about your awareness experiment.  What did you learn about yourself?  That is, what did you become aware of?  Did you find it easy or difficult to keep your awareness focussed on the sensation?  Did focusing your awareness on an uncomfortable sensation in your body begin to alleviate that discomfort?  Did your intuition speak to you about the root cause of the discomfort?

Finally, the ancient adage gracing the Oracle of Delphi — All Knowledge is Self-knowledge — inspired the wisdom seeker in me to hone my awareness skills.  Why?  Because All knowledge is Self-Awareness.

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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