May 19, 2015

DAY 153: Facing Fear Series: Exposing The Fear of Flying

In this blog I am starting a new series of articles that reflect my process of facing my fears - the fears that I have accepted to be me and to exist as it. Even if some of the fears that I will explore don't resonate directly with yours, I recommend reading it from a starting point of seeing the patterns and assisting yourself to identify yours.
In my self-investigation I am realising that the experience of fear towards something or someone is simply the tip of the iceberg: once I start digging further I see that it is no longer the fear itself (the experience of nervousness, reaction, automatic anxiety, thoughts and images)  but what is underneath all of this: what in my personal history has lead me to this moment in time where I fear this or that; how have I created my life based on the fear; what does this fear tell about me and my relationship with myself; why do I keep participating in it; who benefits from the fear; what consequences does it bring; what can I learn from it; and how can I change myself to stop feeding and creating more fear.
The process of bringing the fears to myself demystifies much of the mystery behind fears: the initial energy felt in my chest starts to slow down as I direct myself to understand the fear and to not fear the fear itself.

To kick off this series I will share a fear that I have personally been ashamed of and I don't think I ever shared my writings about it: the fear of flying on a plane.
I faced it very recently and it was actually during this experience that I decided within me to open it up to the world - if I have been hiding it from others (and myself) this may be happening to other people. The primary reason to open it up is first and foremost to say ENOUGH to this fear, begin the process of forgiving myself and letting it go. Until now, every time I go on a trip I face a time-loop: the same thoughts, the imagination of an accident, the paranoia, the cold in my body, the anticipation of the worse case scenario, and ultimately the fear of dying.

As I was writing this blog I typed the words "fear of" and the automatic suggestion of Google was "fear of flying". Apparently I am not the only one and I wonder how other people deal with it (or not). In my case, this fear reaction is very specific and only emerges when I have a trip planned - sometimes it also influences me in the process of planning but it has never reached the point where I don't go on a trip stopped by the fear. Nevertheless, from the moment I book it, to the experience of being in the plane until I land safe and I leave the plane I have always participated in the fear emotion.
It is relevant to mention that since this fear is very specific, I don't experience it "outside" the environment of flying or planning a trip, which is quite tricky because either I write about the fear in that moment or it will not be easy to replicate it to investigate the various dimensions of the fear. As soon as I allow myself to pass the fear of facing the fear itself, I pick up my notebook and I write. Initially it is as if I have a blank and don't know where to begin, but then I simply start writing what I am experiencing. Then, I write my self-forgiveness statements about the experience that I am allowing inside myself. I will share my self-forgiveness and self-corrective statements in my next blog but for now I wanted to first open up the point and lay down the practical ways that each one of us can face the bogus personality that exist in our minds.

An interesting thing that happened last time I took a plane was that I could clearly see beyond the fear. Since I have been walking this process for sometime and I knew already my reactions and the thoughts, I deliberately stopped and asked myself the questions: if I bring this point to myself, what do I see? If I am distrusting the pilot, what does that say about me? What am I projecting towards another? If I am blaming the market/businesses for putting profit above security, what does this thought show about me? If I am here but fearing to not be here (death) what am I accepting inside myself? Why do I create the experience of disempowerment to my own self?
For the first time I saw that the relationship that I have created to flying is an opportunity to get to know myself, my thinking, my concerns, my vulnerabilities and, ultimately, the points that need correction. As with any fear, I can see my pre-programmed behaviour that is almost outside of my control unless I realise that I am responsible for directing myself and for stopping/de-programme/change my mind. The fact that I was ashamed of sharing this fear publicly is another indicator of the self-sabotage that I am allowing to occur: shame is another personality that emerges with fear and that is justified with ideas about myself, about how I must act with others, what I must pretend to be or not to be. All of this is pointless because this is a process of self-honesty whereby I am the only one responsible for the thoughts, personalities and behaviour that I allow within me, so hiding it from others would be mainly about hiding this point from myself. Finally, this is a process of layers and one layer must go in order to make other layers visible and let go of the layers-burden that limit my life, my expression and my movement Here.

In the next blog I will start by sharing the memory of my first flight, the fears that emerged many years ago and the practical ways that I am assisting myself to slow down the mind, stop the fear and allow me to stay grounded even when flying high.


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