Fear Nation

 Fear NationWe’re bombarded 24/7 with scary news.

If we listen to the media, or even to our friends and community members, there is so much to fear that we must be hyper-vigilant to stay safe.  After all, the food we eat is killing us, the water we drink pollutes us, the air we breathe is toxic.  We could get the flu and die unless we get the flu shot.  We can’t trust anyone because they could snap and go crazy.  We could lose our jobs at any moment.  We can’t trust our elected officials because they are all corrupt and in some crazy way are united against us, the innocent general public.  The world is unstable and some crazy 3rd world country leader somewhere is going to bomb and destroy us.  Can’t trust humans.  The weather is changing and will wreak havoc on us.  Can’t trust Nature.

Oh, and our kid will be rejected from colleges because they are not: White or Asian or Black or Hispanic or male or female or rich or poor or middle-class or an athlete or a non-athlete or from the right school or the right state… ad infinitum.

Can’t trust life.

Really?  I’m so fed up with this belief system that does nothing but wear us all down.

Recently I’ve become aware of a small conspiracy movement that believes the Newtown CT shooting was a hoax designed to marshal enough public sentiment to limit our access to guns and undermine the Second Amendment.   I’ve personally been working with people from Newtown CT as part of the Tapping Solution Newtown Stress and Trauma Relief Project and I assure all of you that the events of Dec. 14, 2012 were no hoax and no actors were involved.  This was one huge human tragedy because so many young children were involved.  As with so many tragedies, we’ll probably never know what was in the mind of Adam Lanza, the shooter, because he took the coward’s way out.  But how we respond to and interpret this challenge and others like it in everyday life is the whole point.

When we choose fear, fear wins.  We lose bigtime.

Folks, this is a fear-based planet which is why we’re all here – to conquer fear.  It’s no wonder we’re exposed to it again and again so we can confront and live through the fear. 

So when you get scared that your child will get rejected from his college choices, your cortisol levels go up (cortisol is the body’s stress hormone) and so does your blood pressure and heart rate.  You go into some version of fight or flight and over the long term, this elegant mechanism designed to save your life actually wears your health down and speeds its demise.

So turn off the news and the scary stuff.  Step away from any conversation that revs up your anxiety.  It’s all b.s. anyway.  Look to what is real and true and not there to sell you anything – look at the sky and the trees around you.  Watch the birds and wildlife if you are lucky enough to be around some.  Tune into your breath and your heart rate.  Smile at your children and spouse.  Relax.  In reality, there is beauty and wonder and innocence all around you at every moment.

Perception is everything.

I heard a recent interview with the iconic Louise Hay who, when prompted by the interviewer to discuss some plan or other, responded, “Why don’t we just trust life and see how things unfold?”

This is the perfect way to inoculate yourself from Fear Nation, even if it is heretical to our willful way of being in a world where we believe it’s all up to us.  Maybe it isn’t.  Maybe trusting life is the paradoxical key to happiness.

It’s what I choose.

Less Stress, More Success

"Her book has added to her reputation as a kind of guru of the movement to tame the college admissions frenzy.”
New York Times
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Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
Sophia N. and Nancy R.

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