Fear or faith? “Dis” – ease or health?

Plants near a lake

Hi Everyone,

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon, and here I am, writing to you from cyberspace. As promised, my intention is to be interesting and empowering. Hoping you’ll find that what follows is both.

Fear or faith, “dis” – ease or health. Are you in fear or are you in faith? Are you feeling well or unwell?

Are you thinking, doing, acting from a place of fear or from a place of faith?

If you’re worrying – about money, your health, relationships, your work, life path, and/or anything else – then you’re in fear. If you worry, you’re in a state of fear, not faith. If you’re in fear, please consider reading on.

Fear and faith act like a toggle switch, like an on-off switch. They can’t be both on or off at the same time. Either you’re in fear or faith.

So, what does it mean to be in fear? It means you’re not present, in the moment. It means you’re not in the flow. It means you’re not allowing, trusting, surrendering.

And here’s the end result: you’re blocking energy in yourself and in your relationship to everything in life. In fact, you’re making (or keeping) yourself sick, and stuck and poor (if money’s an issue for you.)

Yes, believe it or not, “”dis” – ease, sickness, or ill health, can and is often the result.

(More on this in another blog. Just a minor aside to explain that the emotion of fear results immediately in a state of stress in the bodymind. Illness can result. Stress can cause disease.)

So, what does it mean to be in faith? To be in faith means to be trusting, to be surrendering, to be letting go of our need to control, to figure things out. It means to surrender to the notion that we’re not in charge.

For many of us, and I’ve experience it myself, this can feel scary and overwhelming and sometimes even impossible. Yet, if you’ve ever actually had the experience of totally surrendering, letting go of trying, trusting that all will happen without your efforts, as it’s supposed to, this can be incredibly liberating.

A personal aside: I’ve had quite a few personal “health opportunities” as well as other life challenges, although I really prefer to call them all “opportunities” as opposed to challenges problems, because they’ve offered me just that: the opportunity to experience the magical power of surrendering. I wouldn’t have gotten the point at first, otherwise.

Some of these experiences were near crisis level. That’s how far I had to go to learn about letting go. I was forced to stop doing, to surrender to my body, to surrender the the circumstances and situations in my life, without trying to change them. (Yet another upcoming blog topic: the healing power of illness, if we can allow it, because it necessitates surrendering. And it’s surrendering to what is that heals us, health-wise and even otherwise.)

Okay, so how can we be in faith not in fear? Sometimes it’s really hard….but, and yet, at the same time, once we experience it, it can come more and more easily.

Here’s how we experience a little bit of it:

By slowing down. And stopping doing.

Sounds easy? Or not? Or paradoxical? Or ridiculous? Maybe some of all of these?

Practically speaking, here are some suggestions (they’re 18 of them, but simple, short and they take minutes):

1)Rest when your body is tired.

2)Rest before your body is tired.

3)Learn how to belly breathe. Infants do it, dogs do it, cats do it. By breathing, I mean the kind of natural breath that allows for balancing of our bodymind, our autonomic nervous system. We automatically enable the physiologic state of relaxation. (Check out the breathing article on my website for more details.)

4)Play. Cultivate your inner kid. Do something fun and childlike every day.

5)Observe children and animals at play. Take a couple of cues from them. They’re in the moment. They don’t stop to worry.

6)Be here now. With what is. That means not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. This moment is all you have, right now. The moment we go backwards or forwards we are no longer present.

7)How to be here now: belly breathe. For 3 minutes. That’s all you need to shift things, what you’re thinking, how you’re feeling.

8)Feel your feelings….This may be hard. Sometimes there’s deeply held stuff that feels uncomfortable, that we’re not often encouraged to be with. I’ll be writing more with easy tools for doing so. In the meantime, find the feelings with the breath. Belly breathe, as above. It’ll help to ease things if you’re feeling uncomfortable.

9)Take time in nature. Walk on the earth, not on the pavement If you’re an urbanite, this is a must. Find a park, or a little bit of ground that’s not concrete.

10)Move your body. Dance if that’s your thing. Exercise if that’s your thing….but, be careful, if you tend to be in fear. Many of us “fear” types can overdo it. Too much exercise makes more stress for your body.

11)Express your creative juices….even if it’s just doodling.

12)Take time to daydream.

13)Start a journal. Write down your deepest desires. Free associate. Limit nothing. Allow everything.

14)Meditate. (If this feels challenging, I’ll be blogging in days to come on how to make it feel easy.)

15)Believe in a higher power. God. Or divine source. Or just the power of something/someone greater than you, if all the God stuff makes you uncomfortable. Even a friend can be that something/someone.

16)Be gentle with yourself. No judgments. No shoulds.

17)Breathe. Inhale, exhale….again. Inhale, exhale….exhale longer.

18)Finally, stop trying. Release your effort.

And, after you finish reading this, take a minute, just a minute, to do the following: close your eyes, soften your throat. And breathe.

(All you need is a minute, a mere minute, because of how breathing affects the nervous system.)

Breathe some more. Let the belly out on the inhalation. And gently in on the exhale.

Breathe again. And, yet some more.

You’ll toggle on the nervous system that creates ease in the body and peace in the mind. You’ll be able to shift from fear to faith, from dis-ease to ease.

Hoping all of it was helpful, interesting and even empowering.

As always, please feel free to reply with comments and any questions.

Yours in service of healing, wellness and living,

Dr. Muehsam