In the August 2009 issue of YOGA JOURNAL, there is an article entitled “No Worries.” At first I thought it was yet another missive telling me, basically, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” (which, by the way, was a mantra first uttered not by Bobby McFerrin, but by Indian mystic, Meher Baba). This business of worry/fear is a subject that has fascinated me for years. In my therapy and coaching practice, the majority of people I treat find that the biggest obstacle they face is fear. It’s one thing for someone to tell you not to worry — and sometimes it’s a relief to know that not worrying is even an option. But past that, there’s always the question of “How”? How does one stop fear? How does one move through fear? If one pushes it away, or ignores it, it comes back.

In 12-step lingo, there are some terrific acronyms for Fear: “Forgetting Everything’s All Right”, “False Evidence Appearing Real” or “Face Everything and Recover”. The final acronym, “Face Everything and Recover” is closest to the advice offered by YOGA JOURNAL. This model is also consistent with spiritual direction, inner child and parts work, which have been around for a long time. And here’s the thing: it really works. So, here’s what author Paige Wyatt had to say: “Find a place to sit for half an hour. Sitting in nature makes this practice more effective because you can release your emotions back to the earth. Imagine that you are speaking to your inner child. The part of us that is afraid is often the child within us. Ask yourself what you are afraid of. Then ask what you can do to support yourself through your fear. Many times we ignore the part of us that feels afraid, because we don’t want to listen. But taking care of the part of you that is afraid is an important part of resolving your fear. If you think of your fears as a scared child, you may feel more compassionate and patient, and find it easier to be present with your fears. Once you are in touch with your fear, you can begin to release it. If it helps you, ask the earth to accept your fear, then release it to her.” This practice can also be done with a therapist or spiritual director which provides a loving and compassionate container for the fear to be experienced and released. What have you found that works for you???