Simple Exercise To Identify Your Hidden Fears

fear

If you want to overcome and overpower fears that exist inside you, you have to first take a look at your feelings and hidden emotions. After realizing your feelings and emotions, you have to know how to manage them and finally correct or overcome them. Given below is a simple exercise that will help you to achieve that.  This exercise will help you identify the conscious and sometimes sub-conscious (very subtle) fears that lie inside you.

Choose an area of your life that you feel is negative and needs some improvement. Now, ask yourself these three questions:

1. What do I really want, what is my aim and objective?
2. What obstacle/obstacles are stopping me from achieving my objectives?
3. What prevents me from dealing with or overcoming that obstacle?

For each fear that comes to you in response to the question no. 3, ask yourself the following questions:
A. What is the worst that can happen, if what I fear occurs?
B. What is the best possible result for me and for others, if I do it even though I feel afraid of doing it?
C. Keeping in front of you the answer to question B and comparing it with the answer to question A will inspire you to overcome the fears that lie inside you.

What Is The Source Of Our Feelings?

The topmost area of the mind is the area of conscious thought. Thoughts arise in our awareness like bubbles. Many thoughts carry a feeling or a series of feelings along with them e.g. the thought at a restaurant – ‘I love how that pizza looks’, could be accompanied by feelings of hunger, or greed, or happiness, or yearning (longing) or anticipated satisfaction.

The fact offered by spirituality and supported by experiences of many people who are spiritual is that feelings, as well as thoughts, originate from the soul.

Feelings are clearly reflected in the form of physical changes in our body: I may feel my heart beat fast with excitement, my mouth salivate with joy, my stomach sink with fear, my hands shiver or goose pimples on my arms with nervousness, etc. This is because the soul and body are interconnected and work in complementary ways, so that what goes on in the soul is definitely reflected in the body, and what goes on in the body is reflected in the soul. The degree to which both these processes happen in each individual is different. It’s not that feelings arise out of nothing, or merely as a reaction to external stimulation by people, objects, nature, etc. Thoughts are followed by feelings. So we can understand that both of them arise from the soul. Recognizing this is an important step if I want to break free from cycles of unwanted or unsuitable thoughts and feelings.

The longer I experience thoughts and feelings of a particular variety (explained yesterday), the greater is the soul’s inclination to generate those feelings. This can reach the point where feelings take over, and I experience their impact even though they are no longer consciously connected them with my thoughts e.g. my office colleague has done something incorrect without taking my opinion, and there’s a series of negative thoughts running through my mind, such as ‘Why did she do like this? It shouldn’t have happened like this. How dare she! Why on earth didn’t she consult me? I do wish she wouldn’t be so unreasonable. It would have been much better if the task had been done like that’, etc. Bringing over thoughts of this type in my mind leaves me with a negative feeling – a feeling which is critical, nasty and rejecting.

What is worse, when I have let feelings like this emerge; it is very easy to carry them over into circumstances where they have no relevance e.g. it is the evening time now – I have left my office to go home, and in my mind I am now occupied with thoughts related to my children and groceries that I have to buy to on the way back, but the unpleasant, critical feelings for the colleague are still with me to the extent that they affect my behavior. I react over some minor issue with the grocery store keeper, creating bad feeling in him as well. Or, the other way round, I carry bad feelings due to an argument at home, with my wife, into my office, and then create an atmosphere of irritation in the office instead of comfort and warmth.

Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

The Circle Of Influence And Worry

Make a list of the things that worry you most and decide if they are in your circle of influence or worry. Think about what you can really do to have an influence on each of them in an effective way. By determining which of these two circles is the centre around which most of your time and energy revolves, you can discover a great deal about your level of positivity. Positive people focus on the things they can do something about. If necessary, they change their attitude. They are aware that perhaps they cannot change the circumstances but they can improve their inner attitude. This is what positive focusing is all about: being creative, thinking differently, being open to listening, being more understanding, more communicative and showing more solidarity.

Reactive people focus on the problems of the circle and on the circumstances about which they have no control. They react to the defects found in other people. From this worrying, accusations, destructive criticism, feelings of blame, a reactive language and feelings of weakness and frustration can arise. They want others or the circumstances to change first and when that happens, then they will change. Whenever they think that the problem is on the outside, this thought is the problem. The negative energy produced as a result of this approach, combined with the lack of attention to the areas in which they could do something to improve the situation, means that the area of influence decreases in size. They give power to what is external so that it dominates them. In other words they think that change must come from “outside towards the inside”; they think that something that is outside must change before they themselves change.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Discovering Inner Compassion

Competence and compassion are the two most important aspects of our professional life. We would contend that compassion needs to be valued at least as much as competence in our work and in education.There are many reasons why we find it difficult to be compassionate in our job; often there is not enough time to respond to competing demands, we have to concentrate on our tasks, we feel too exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally to give any more. Then there are the negative feelings that block out compassion. Being clear about what we mean by compassion can help us to understand how it can be an integral part of our work. This will help us to be caring in our work, without suffering compassion fatigue and emotional burnout.

Our own negative feelings, such as anger, hatred and jealousy, can prevent us showing our compassion. By understanding those feelings and how they affect us, we can release them and allow ourselves to be more compassionate.

Compassion can be compared to the sun; it is always there but sometimes it cannot shine through because of the clouds. The clouds are the negativity that hides our true nature of compassion.

To really understand compassion, we have to experience it for ourselves. We can observe and admire others; we can even acknowledge that we have behaved compassionately on some occasions, but how do we develop the virtue of compassion inside us? If we can find a place of inner silence where we can slow down our thoughts and touch our deepest nature, we will discover that it is peaceful and compassionate. This is the source of our compassion and the more we experience it the more it will become part of our actions. Meditation reminds us that we are compassionate at our core.

Most people can remember a compassionate act. It may be an everyday situation or something that stands out as very special. Examples may be sitting holding the hand of a distressed relative or friend, or simply smiling and being positive. Reflecting on such acts helps us to identify the qualities of compassion that a person may express, such as patience, tolerance, generosity and calmness. By thinking about acts of compassion and the people that perform them, we can begin to get a sense of what compassion means and, with further reflection, how we have shown these same qualities ourselves.

We all use words in different ways to describe how we feel and what we mean, and the meaning can change in different settings. We need to come to some understanding of the word compassion, redefining it for ourselves. Compassion can mean simply kindness; it can mean patience, generosity, respect and understanding. Compassion is unconditional love.

When we try to describe compassion, it is worth looking at the words sympathy, empathy and interpathy.

Showing sympathy towards another person’s suffering is acknowledging their suffering, for example, ‘I am sorry that you have hurt yourself’. We recognize that they are injured or ill without really engaging at a feeling level.

Empathy is when we literally share a feeling with someone, we walk in their shoes, for example, ‘I feel really upset that you are so depressed about losing your job’. This can bring great comfort to the person we are empathizing with, but the comfort to them can be at our expense and leave us feeling emotionally drained or sad. If we identify too closely with them, it can also make it difficult for us to help them.

An expansion of empathy is a word called interpathy where we relate to another’s suffering although we may not understand why they are suffering. This may be because they are from a different culture or because their feelings may seem inappropriate given the situation, but we are curious, we try to understand.

Compassion is all these words — sympathy, empathy, interpathy – yet it is more and it is less. We acknowledge someone’s sorrow, we sense how they feel, we try to understand how it affects them, yet with compassion we do not become emotionally involved. We are engaged yet detached. We are standing back and looking on with kindness. By showing compassion in this way, it allows us to be compassionate without suffering from compassion fatigue or emotional burnout.

Some habits do not upset us, but others can cause irritation, frustration and desperation. We want to rid ourselves of them: but how? When we look at the creation and fulfillment of thoughts, it looks like a closed system: the thoughts lead to actions, the actions create a series of impressions (sanskars), and these impressions are responsible for similar thoughts, which lead us to similar actions, this is a vicious cycle. If we want to change a habit, then where do we start? In other words, where do we change the system or how do we get out of the cycle? First of all, we can try changing our negative actions: for example, stop a mental negative habit like anger or a physical one like drinking. In many cases, although we change our behaviour, but because we have not understood deeply why we wanted to do it, is quite possible that one day we will go back to this old habit.

We can try changing this system in our subconscious. By analysing what is recorded in our subconscious, through different therapies, the results are not altogether satisfactory. There is always some traumatic event, or painful experience behind a fear which causes us to cling on to a negative habit. And although we can see and recognise our fears and anxieties, if we do not replace them with something better, with a more beneficial and healthier alternative, very often we will feel tempted to cling on to these old systems, even though they do not work and they make us unhappy. To eliminate certain things we have recorded in our subconscious, meditation and silence are the most effect non-violent methods. Another method is to try and change our beliefs with positive affirmations (thoughts) that strengthen our willpower, and thus introduce a new habit to replace the old one. It is vital not to repeat this affirmation mechanically, but to introduce it into the system of beliefs we hold, and act as if we already were what we express in this affirmation.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Neutralizing Anger

What is a good neutralizer for anger? Peace you would say. It’s not only peace, but a combination of truthpeace and love, in equal amounts. Truth and peace are the two inner states, which never ever leave us. Both remain permanently within each one of us. We already know, inside our subconscious and sometimes even consciously, the truth about anger and we can call our inner peace whenever we want – it’s there to be used. But what happens in real life situations is that we lose awareness of what is true i.e. the truth that anger is harmful and the truth of ‘who I am’. And we also forget the practice of peacefulness because some negative situation or experience temporarily blocks our access to the peace of our heart.

Peace is also deeply connected with love and we all have experienced many a times that it is impossible to feel loving and angry at the same time. Both cannot co-exist. In fact it is love that is the healing balm for our heart, that we our self have stabbed and wounded by indulging in many anger habits since we were young. But what happens is that we search for love and peace from the hearts of others. That means we have not yet realized that we already have what we search for, within our own hearts. To heal the wounds of anger, which can be in different forms like irritation, resentment, hatred, revenge, rage, etc., it is essential to rediscover the truth of who we are and the peace and love of what we are.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Carrying Feelings Experienced In Meditation Into My Interactions

If I keep close contact with my internal self, to check what my feelings are like and I maintain the meditative awareness at many moments during the day, even if it is for very short periods of time, I will find that the good feelings I have experienced through conscious choice, in meditation, I carry them with me into my interactions with others. Then, in any exchange, although the other person’s thoughts, words or actions may not be as I would like them to be, I’ll be better equipped to maintain a good feeling towards that individual, and towards myself.

For example, I meditate in the morning and then leave home and find myself in a situation in the office where two of my colleagues are arguing over an issue. When I try and intervene, one of them gets aggressive with me as well, but the feelings of peace I experienced in my meditation a couple of hours ago are still with me, using which I do not reacting angrily or fearfully. In fact, if my peace is powerful enough, it will make the other one also peaceful.

So the key is to emerge and collect positive feelings through meditation at regular intervals during the day. And then become a donor of positive feelings to negative situations as discussed above is an invaluable achievement. It is good for my own wellbeing, and for contributing to the creation of a peaceful atmosphere wherever I am, whenever required.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Overcoming The Subtle Desire For Revenge

Ask yourself very honestly how many times in your life did you feel joy, even a slight trace of it, when something negative happened with someone who had harmed you or hurt you or insulted you in any way in the past – either in the immediate or distant (far-away) past. When this kind of joy, which is an impure form of joy, is seen inside you, even if it is at your extremely subtle thought level (if not in your words or actions), you need to remember that this is nothing but a feeling of ‘subtle revenge’, even if physically you haven’t got back at any point of time at the person who has harmed you, when he did so. It may not sound very nice, but this kind of joy is enjoying the pain of others and is obviously an extremely low grade form of joy. Sometimes, as a way of justifying our ‘joyful revenge’, we call it ‘justice’.

The driving energy or fuel behind this kind of revenge is hatred or anger. It is a feeling of:  “I really enjoyed it when ‘when what they had done to me came to them’ – I was so happy to see them suffer for what they had done, this is their punishment … tit for tat.” It is a type of joy that only increases our accounts of negative karmas with the other person, which as a result, increases our sorrow, instead of decreasing it, although it may give us an impression for a while that it is decreasing our sorrow. This kind of joy will only cause the radiation of a negative form of energy to the other person, which will not only give pain to the other person, but will also cause the radiation of the negative energy of hatred from the other person to us that will never bring us long term joy. Imagine someone meeting with an accident on the road and in a lot of pain and instead of helping that person immediately we smile at that person happy with what has happened to him or her. What energy will such a person send us in return? This example is on a physical level, but the same principle applies on a subtle level. So the next time something like this happens in our life, we need to remind ourselves only if we don’t have the slightest trace of joy inside us that we can safely say that we are free from any desire for revenge, even though it may be very subtle.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.