Today’s lesson is from “The Fear Book” by Cheri Huber

Some things we may not think of as fear
– anger, sadness, irritation, urgency, depression, control issues –
are pointing to an underlying fear.  Resistance to doing something is one of the processes that masks fear.

Every time we choose “safety” we reinforce fear.   We close down.  We close off.  And our lives shrink.

The convictions that ‘there is a right way ‘  is actually one of the processes fear uses to protect itself. 

Since there isn’t a “right way,” believing there-is is a way of staying stuck, not seeing the fear.  

It keeps you looking for a right way instead of looking at what is really going on. 

It’s not that trying to do it right is the wrong way to do it;  it’s just that trying to do it right keeps us stuck.  If we think “I have to let go of this right/wrong continuum, “we’re right back on it.  Finding ourselves caught in this trap over and over can be really frustrating.  

And that frustration keeps us in the same place.  What the frustration signals – same with the boredom – is that we’re getting perilously close to seeing through all of this.  

The reason fear keeps such a tight grip on us is that we believe there is a right way for things to be, and we think that finding the right way to do everything  will protect us and we won’t have to be afraid. 

  • The whole idea of paying attention is not a means to an end – which is the way I’ve been thinking about it.  “If I just pay attention, I will get answers” – but that is the end itself.  Don’t seek an end.  Living IN the process rather than “getting something out of it” is the Freedom. 

It becomes an adventure to see what happens when I do the thing I fear and when I don’t, watching it very carefully….. Sensations, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, everything about it

We need to stop taking ourselves personally. 

We need to see that we are simple human beings, and this is what happens to human beings – this is how human beings operate. 

As long as I’m caught in believing that this is right and that is wrong and this makes me a good person and that makes me a bad person, I’m completely enmeshed in egocentricity.   The fastest way to stay identified is to believe the voices in our head.  

  • Worrying that something terrible might happen prevents me from noticing what is already happening, which is that I am actively maintaining fear that is stifling me.  It’s projections at work again:  the very system I’m projecting our onto other people is the system that is operating me. 
  • I’m the one who maintains this, and then I am a victim of it. 

First we watch how get hooked back into fear.  Next we watch the process of identification as it happens.   Because I’m leading this investigation, I’m not it’s victim, I’m the pursuer.  

I’m not doing this for any reason other than wanting to know how it works.  It’s not going to make me a better person.  It’s not going to get rid of anything for me.  That’s not the point.  

The continent of fear is out there (in there?) for you to explore.  When you start out, it’s as if nobody has ever been there before, and as the first explorer you can feel the real thrill.   Being an explorer is not the same as being a traveler.  You are not doing this to get from Point A to Point Z.  You are doing this for the sake of exploration.  You just want to find there in that unknown terror-tory territory.


I don’t know a more effective way to be with fear than to be with it in compassionate awareness.