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The path away from fear toward its opposite begins with relaxing, but it cannot remain there. If there is something that is making you afraid, you need to take a good look as what it is that is making you afraid. Often we find that our fear is caused by situations that resemble the past, and we are simply reacting the same way we did to that original negative experience. That is just our neurosis talking. Sometimes, on the other hand, our fear is caused by something very here-and-now, and a course correction is required. Either way, we need to get a handle on the reality of the situation, and focus on the solution.

Although this seems obvious, the way in which we focus must be a conscious effort. The fear state always tells us that whatever we are thinking about is solving the problem, while we are not often engaged in the process of creating solutions at all. Most of the time we are actually just fixating on the problem, the source of our fear, telling the story about why we are afraid. This only serves to magnify the feeling of fear, and does nothing to create answers. Solutions come as a result of remaining in, or regaining the good feeling that resembles the relief that will come when the situation is returned to a state of balance and harmony. The feeling that the problem is already solved comes out of knowing that we have what it takes to solve it, and remembering what relief actually feels like. When we remember that, we are on the road to resolution.

To many, this sounds backward. The mind that is born from struggle and strife wants to attack the problem, to face it, and never take our eyes off of it. This perspective, the one we see when we feel the worst, is almost always wrong. It is the hard way, and it destroys more than it creates. We must regain our inner balance before we can take the microphone and claim leadership of our experience. We do this by altering our mood consciously, and regaining our perspective of “Everything is going to be OK.” When we conjure this feeling, this space that we cleared out with our deep breath, we are prepared to focus on whatever is next.

If the way that you are focusing is making you feel worse, you are focusing through the lens of your fear. This is your cue that it is time to stop trying to solve things and get back to the job of relaxing. Look for things in your immediate surroundings that help you to feel a bit better, and that will lead you in the right direction. Thoughts lead to thoughts that feel like themselves, so if you scan your reality for ideas and objects of attention that make you feel good, you will find your thinking leading in the direction of relief. Once you are feeling better, you may then focus back on the possible solutions.

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