Wednesday, December 24, 2008


7 Steps to Eliminate Manufactured Fear

1. Reality Check. When consumed with fearful thoughts, ask yourself: is this thought constructive or is it of the "worst case scenario" variety? Sometimes playing the "what if" game can be a helpful tool in forward thinking; but, remember: true intuitive messages are constructive, offering direction and guidance, and do not appear in the form of never-ending, run-on dialogue in your head. Terrifying, debilitating thoughts, or those that encourage you to do something harmful, either come from manufactured fear or psychosis (i.e., think Son of Sam). If the latter, please seek medical attention--immediately!

2. Don't be a "Debbie Downer." Saturday Night Live does a crazy skit with a character called “Debbie Downer.” In each skit, Debbie is hanging out with a group of friends or at a social gathering and someone in the group will say something like, “Yeah, I ran 5 miles this morning. It was so hot that I drank 6 bottles of water!” Then Debbie chimes in, “Did you know that bottled water killed 10 million people last year . . .” As the camera zooms in on her depressive face, you hear this sound bite of trepidation and doom. Distance yourself from the rumor mill. People LOVE drama--entire industries are built on it—and they love to repeat as fact things that sound alarming but which may or may not be true. Sure, educate yourself but keep it in perspective! Refuse to participate in the fear-based chatter and drama going on around you.

3. Pull your own strings. Be selective about what you read or watch on T.V. If you are a news junkie, give yourself the gift of intervention. Don't worry--you're not going to fall into the abyss of the uninformed if you skip stories of terror and disaster. And if you can't bear to sever your ties to the news, then find a way to keep it in perspective. Remember, disaster sells. Refuse to manipulate or be manipulated by fear.

4. Be an observer, not a reactor. When you hear disheartening news and you're tempted to engage the fear, pull back and take an aerial view of society. Recognize fear-based patterns in human nature and don't go there; distinguish yourself from the masses. Learn to view world events with discernment.

5. Get to the root. Examine your deepest-held beliefs about what or who God is. Ask yourself some hard questions: Do you really believe that you are being punished by a vengeful God because you are an evil sinner? Why? Are there other possible explanations for why bad things happen to good people?

6. Live in the light. In her best George W. Bush impersonation, my mother once said to me, "You're an inspirator, not a negatator!" Develop your core of peace and happiness--it starts within. Then, as you move through life, you will inspire others simply by being a bright light in the world.

7. Awareness is key. Be the constant gardener of your thoughts and train them on the trellis of awareness. What you allow to take root in your mind will create unruly weeds or beautiful flowers. How does your garden grow?

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