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Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

COURAGE

          Sometimes life is too much. We don’t know what to do, we are afraid to do anything. Yet if we don’t do something, terrible things might happen. Our loved ones may leave, our parents may die, our children may fail, we will lose control or we may lose everything. Our minds go out of control seeking a solution for these often-irrational fears. This is a classic case of fear of the future. The only way to shift the fear and agony of the intensity of this circumstance is to seek courage and get back into our heart. When we are afraid and we don’t know what to do, we are completely in our mind. Our mind loves to control everything and everyone and goes berserk when it can’t. There is no way to think our way out of this situation; we have to take certain steps to find serenity and peace again.

          Courage is having faith and trust in ourselves to keep breathing and do the best you can. When we are in our minds and attached to outcomes, we create a self-perpetuating loop of panic and fight or flight. This is the well-known monkey mind that only keeps grasping and demanding life is a certain way. Courage is like a clutch that allows us to disengage the mind even for a brief moment to allow us to get back into being, rather than doing. Courage allows us to face the pain, the fear, the agony, the potential loss and see it for what it is, an illusion. East and West have different concepts of courage…in the West, we conceive of courage as fortitude, the ability to do things in the face of danger. In the East, we say courage is love, the opposite of fear. With fear, we shrink and lose ourselves in the ego. With courage, we expand and become more than we were before the fear.

          In the West, we say, “think twice before you jump”. In the East, we say “jump, then think.” We get stuck in life because we want to know we will accomplish the goal before we even try. When faced with uncertainly, we freeze because the ego mind does not want to take a risk. Courage means taking the first step, even if you don’t know where that will lead. Courage means letting go of results and keep breathing. Courage means being the best person you can be, knowing that nothing happens in life that isn’t for our benefit. There are some strategies for getting past the seemingly insurmountable fear of the future and into peace and serenity.

          First, we have to remember that we control our emotions or our emotions control us. We can change our emotions one step at a time. If we are panicked, imagine that you are only afraid. When you are only afraid, imagine that you are actually excited. There is a fine line between fear and excitement; it is only how you perceive it. Be excited for the opportunities ahead of you, the momentary crisis that you may be experiencing may only be the pain of growth. Set hourly goals for your self, to breathe, to laugh, to love, to forgive. Do these every hour and your emotions will rise to more positive and bearable ones.

          Second, continue to breathe. When we are in fear, it is because our brain is not getting enough oxygen. Just take a few minutes and breathe as deeply and slowly as you can into your belly and then exhale as slowly as you can until your lungs are completely empty. Do this for at least five minutes on the hour. You will be amazed how much better you will feel.

          Third, get still for a few minutes. While you are breathing will be a great time to quiet your mind. Focus on shifting your focus from what is happening outside of yourself into your heart. Allow your self to feel loved, and to feel love. Send love to whoever or whatever is causing your fear. When you connect to that love, you will connect to your immortality and the panic will decrease. Imagine how you would feel if you were truly immortal. Would the issues facing you change in their perspective if you knew you would never die? This is not a religious commitment, it is simply an exercise in shifting your perception to a higher level. When we look at our challenges and fears from a higher perspective (such as we are immortal) they are not so fearful.

          Finally, remember whatever you are experiencing is a reflection of what is going on inside of your subconscious mind. If you look in a mirror and see your hair is messy, you don’t try to comb the hair in the mirror that you see, you comb the hair on your own head that you can’t see. Then the hair in the mirror magically changes. So when we are able to calm our minds and get into our hearts, what we perceive as reality will naturally change. This takes patience and persistence. Sometimes events that took years in the making won’t go away in ten minutes. Simply continue to breathe, go into your heart, and do the best you can. Sometimes the transition from caterpillar to butterfly really sucks. But when you keep breathing and get into your heart, the results are worth it.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

HOPE

            I was contemplating my navel the other day and realized how much we have going for us in this universe. The truth is that no matter what your circumstances, this is a kind universe and everyone in it has the primary motivation to work in favor of a peaceful, bountiful life.  The only obstacles in our way are created by the projection of fear into our present and future circumstances. Granted we are far away from universal peace and cooperation, but happiness is readily available anytime we want it. Love is pouring into all of us in amounts hard to perceive much less feel. If we are not open to receive it life can become very uncomfortable.

            At least once a day we should take a moment and practice quieting our mind from worries and fears. Focus on our breathing, and allow nothing else to intrude on our focus, at least for 1 minute and longer in time. Demand from ourselves an increase of hope, faith and optimism. No matter what seems to be in your way, remember that it will pass. Take off the black hood of despair and needless worry and open our eyes to everything that is beautiful in this universe. Do this at least one minute a day.

            Hope, faith and trust are all intertwined. The increase of one will increase the others and raise the light contained in and around us. So choose which one each of us would like to increase. The most common core issue is lack of trust, hope and faith. We think we are not enough because we can’t control everything in our lives. This is nonsense. We have to grow in our own power and stop giving all our hope, faith and trust to others. Don’t blame anyone for anything. It is not the politicians who have created our present situation. It is the greed that we all mistakenly held in our hearts because we did not trust that there was enough for everybody.

            It is simple to stop worrying, simply remember that everything we are experiencing is designed to bring us closer to the one thing we want the most, which is an intimate connection with ourselves, to love ourselves, and to be happy. So quit comparing us to each other, start cooperating, and have hope, faith and trust that we will solve the unhappiness in our world today.

            If you believe, there are millions of angels, guides, devas, ascended beings and other magical beings all sending love, hope, trust and faith, more than we will ever need. Not to mention the energy which put us here in the first place and lives within us every minute of our life. It doesn’t matter what we label this energy, we used it to create ourselves and we can use it to create an abundant future. Even atheists can accept this concept, for without this energy they can’t be here. Although I can’t help but observe that atheists may be the most arrogant believers, they can’t argue that it takes energy to run this planet and keep their life force in place.

            Fear, anxiety and worry are our minds at work, closing off our ability to accept our divine birthright of joy, gratitude and abundance. Ninety percent of worry is useless, and the other ten percent is distracting. If you look long enough with enough energy, you will find the fly in the ointment. Why use all that energy on looking for something that may prove you are right when you think the world is a horrible place? You can use that same energy and develop hope, faith and trust that tomorrow will be better and connect with the universal creative energy to create happiness for yourself NOW!

            The next time we find ourselves worrying about life, remind us that we need to increase hope, faith and trust instead to create heaven in our lifetimes.  Heaven is not something to wait for; we can create it here and now. I know, because I have seen it. As I create more hope, faith and trust, I see more and more of it. There is no end to this happiness, and it is only blocked by my needless fear and anxiety. This is the universe’s promise to us, have hope, faith and trust and we will live in heaven.

             It may take great discipline to focus on heaven, rather than hell. Our consciousness oftentimes has been trained to avoid hell, rather than find heaven. The more we resist hell, the harder it is to find heaven. We have to start first thing in the morning with prayers, mantras, affirmations and positive thinking. This is the path to heaven. Negative thinking, thoughts of doubt, fear, anger and similar thinking ends in hell. This causes more pain and suffering even though we think we are trying to avoid that. If there is only one word to think throughout the day, a good one is “hope”.