There were a few moments this weekend when I felt a little fear. Not a lot, just enough to let me know that I am not immune to it. The dire predictions of a major snow storm on the East Coast have actually come true. I live there. It is Saturday night, and the storm is not over yet, but I am safe and warm, and obviously not engulfed in fear.
I did prepare. I have a ton of crock pot chili, made from scratch, spicy and delicious. I have candles and batteries and water. I have logs for my tiny fireplace. (They won’t do much, but they will give me the illusion of warmth.) Most importantly, I have a new espresso machine and plenty of coffee. All right, I have to have electricity for my coffee. But I won’t die without it. And I’ve eaten cold chili before. Worst case scenario? I have a monster puffy coat to sleep in. Fear did not prepare me. I did. The real me. The me who has a rational mind and a believing spirit, the me who can create fear and then banish it.
Finally, after all these years, I know that fear is my creation.
The part of me that can create fear is awesome. Here’s what it came up with this morning: Suppose a tree falls on my house? What if I can’t get out? People my age die from the cold. I’m all alone here!!! Suppose my street floods? (I live near a river.)
The other part of me is also awesome. Let’s meditate, it said. I’ve learned a new mantra from my acupuncturist/ meditation teacher, David. It is beautiful in its simplicity: I’m safe. Ten minutes of repeating that changes your mind and your physiology. You can feel your body relax. It’s a wonderful way of reaching out to your frontal cortex, the part of the brain that is more evolved than the brain stem, sometimes called the reptilian brain – the part that wants to fight or flight, or freeze. The part that creates fear. Nah. Forget all that. Meditation is magic.
It’s amazing what can happen when your mind becomes free of fear. You become ready for small miracles. I finished a tough writing assignment for my client. Met my deadline. I got a text from my next door neighbor asking if I was all right. Two guys showed up at my front door, asking if they could dig me out. They’ll be here tomorrow, when the snow has ended. I’ve been in touch with my daughters all day. (We text.) My friend texted me from GREECE to see if I was all right. How could I think I was alone? I made sure my ninety-four year old aunt had her cell phone plugged in. She can’t text, but she talks up a storm. (I really did say that!) In all her talk today, she never showed a sign of fear, and she lives alone. I’m impressed. I even took a moment to notice the beauty of the snow-covered trees that stand tall and strong outside my window.
I’m grateful. I am indoors. I am not stranded on a highway. I am not cold or hungry. Fear is my creation. And so is peace.
Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. It is available on http://www.Amazon.com