Fear

How to Find The Messages in Your Fears

October 7, 2013|104Comments|


Hi Sweet Friends,

Oh, it’s you again. Hello fear. It’s October, which means crimson leaves, beer fests, costume parties and breast cancer awareness. In the US, you can’t get through a store without being bombarded with pink ribbons and candy corns. Naturally, this month kicks up a lot of emotion for people, and rightly so. But it’s possible to work with our fears and use them to our benefit. Fear contains powerful messages. When we’re courageous enough to be with what scares us, we can awaken our intuition and create a new path for healing. Whether you’re worried about getting sick, you’re currently dealing with a health issue, or you’re scared and struggling in other areas of your life, don’t judge your fears, invite them to tea.

It’s common to belittle our fears and try to pre-maturely cleanse them away. But just because we’re afraid, doesn’t mean we’re toxic or failing or falling off the spiritual wagon. Fear is one of the many colors in our emotional palette, and it’s often there for a reason. There’s nothing weak or less evolved about being frightened. And guess what, you’re not alone. We’re all scared. No one is fearless.

Anyone who lives with cancer (myself included), will tell you that managing fear is an ever-evolving practice. Sometimes the shifts happen quite easily, other times our fears refuse to be rushed (and they really hate being trivialized). It took me over ten years to have a realistic perspective about my own health terrors. And let me be honest, I’m still working on it. Though I had the same information that I have now, time and experience have had a tremendous impact on how I work with my fears.

Fear is normal and, to a certain extent, it’s important. We can thank fear when it makes us get a lump checked or tells us not to get into a van with that guy. We can have gratitude for fear when it shakes us awake or jolts us from complacency. But while fear can play a very valuable role in igniting action, we can’t let it run our lives—especially if our fears are totally unfounded or irrational. Once we receive the message (the ah-ha!) we need to disable the fear alarm, turn it off, cool it down. Because no one can thrive in a constant state of panic, our bodies aren’t built for that, and neither are our spirits.

When fear becomes your lighthouse it will perpetually lead you to darkness.

So how do you get what you need from fear without letting it pull you under? Bring yourself back to the present moment. The here. The now. The pillow under your butt. The ground under your feet. The real reality. Unplug the movie in your mind and pet your dog. That’s real. That’s what’s truly happening.

Taking fear for a joy ride: My guide for dancing with the dragon.

Open your heart: You know those fluttering feelings in your belly? Instead of getting hysterical, just sit with them. Breathe through them. Deeply. Slowly. Continually. Have the guts to stay there longer than you’d like. If sadness comes up, let it be there. If anger comes up, that’s ok too. Tears will probably follow. This is the ripest place. This is real and raw and wonderful. Congratulations! You’re licking through your own noise to get to the Tootsie Roll at the center of the spiritual lollipop!

Listen: Once you’ve made contact with what’s coming up for you, ask fear what it’s trying to say. Request that it communicate in a calm, coherent way. Don’t rush it… unless of course Freddy Krueger hops out from behind the next tree, in which case you should save the analysis for later and run very fast! But if the monsters are only in your very colorful imagination, have some R.E.S.P.E.C.T., mind your manners, and don’t interrupt. Let fear speak. Listen.

Do an intuition gut check: Make a determination about whether your fear is constructive or destructive. If you agree with the fear, begin to explore how you can make a healthy shift. If you don’t agree, you can simply decline the opportunity to react. Instead of indulging yourself and peeing in your new pants, soothe your thoughts like you would soothe a nervous 5 year old. Hint: If you’re having a hard time determining what’s constructive vs destructive, a good therapist can help you with this. Mine sure helps me!

Identify fear fantasies: Fantasy and imagination are our most powerful, creative resources. It might make you relax a bit to realize that fear is actually creative. What!? Think about it. What’s more creative than writing elaborate stories all day? The key, of course, is to transform your powerful imagination away from manufacturing irrational fears and towards positive vision.

Here’s a quick tour down one of my irrational rabbit holes: An impending doctor appointment. All I could think of was how my disease had progressed and that I’d like to invite you all to my funeral. What kind of food should be served? Should there be a DJ? No, that’s not serious enough. Who should get my good jewelry? My mom and my sister. Will Brian remember to feed Lola? Oh, god, Lola is going to die! Lola is dead. And Brian is so lonely. I love Brian and I miss him. Maybe he should start dating again. But not someone younger then me. OH MY GOD Brian is dating a hot 20 year old! I hate Brian.

If I can grab myself out of that loop, I’ll probably have a good ole laugh, acknowledge the underlying anxiety, head to Target for some trash mags or watch a great movie (while holding Brian’s hand). However, if I’m unable to see my fantasy for what it really is (stress) then the next time Brian asks where the almond butter is, I’ll tell him to ask his child bride!

Being afraid doesn’t make you inadequate: Many of us feel embarrassed and ashamed of our fears. We’ve been conditioned to believe that fear makes us weak. “Grow up. Man up. It’s not cool to be scared. Don’t be such a cry baby.” But stored up fears never make us stronger. Quite the opposite, stored up fears break us (emotionally and physically). If you want to set a powerful example for yourself and others, give your fears a voice. Talk it out. Call a friend. Chat with the friend within. Book a session with that good therapist. Pray. Ask for help. It’s all around you.

Take Action: Another way to gain clarity is to get back into my body through movement. Activating our bodies changes our perspective. A walk, a run, a bike ride, some inversions (they really help!), whatever it takes to snap out of the fear feedback loop.

Let love rule: Love is greater than fear. And love is everywhere, always. Love is the glue that holds the infinite together. Fear is a tiny drop of water compared to the ocean that is love. If you’ve ever practiced EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), you know that love and acceptance are great tools for calming your nervous system. I’ve used this statement (affirmation) many times: “Even though I’m really scared, I love and accept myself anyway.” Boom. Stress-reduction.

Lastly, sometimes fear is much easier to understand than we think. It may not have anything to do with being useful or not. It may not even really be fear. Perhaps we’re just really uncomfortable with change. New things. New information. The unfamiliar and all that goes with it. Give yourself a break. You’re human. You have many valid emotions. The trick is to stop being so critical and start applying more compassion, kindness to all aspects of you. Now go put on some cute heels or a snappy fedora and dance with your dragon (I promise you won’t get burned).

 

I hope this gives you some tools for difficult times. If you feel moved, share what this blog kicks up for you. Tell me in the comments: have you ever found a powerful message in fear?

Peace & tea leaves,

Kris Carr



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104 responses to How to Find The Messages in Your Fears
  1. Thank you Kris. You need a game plan when it comes to fear and those suggestions totally helped!

    • A game plan is using now to prevent fear from the past from showing up in the future. Magazines and television are distractions that unconsciously feed fear by helping me avoid the understanding of it and how it first manifested in my life. Distractions of avoidance do not eliminate fear.

      Here and now, everything is fine and rationally, we know that, but it is not so simple, is it? Why not? Because of the intellectual need I was always taught to value. Be smart! Be an expert! Convince others that your life has meaning! Phooey. lol

      To let go of the imagination caused by fear, I have to face it and understand how that imagination began in the first place. It is not until I understand how I began my own patterns of fear that I can fully let them go and live an amazing life without those patterns.

      Facing fear is not for everyone. It is for those who are brave enough to face the pain full out, relive it to understand it objectively, and let it go for what it is: a story that is completely irrelevant to the experience of now. :)

  2. Bless you for this, sweetie. I’ve been dealing with MS (all naturally) for over 2 years now and our whole family is still healing from the many unfortunate ways we dealt with the fear initially. It was my first experience of watching my loved ones lose it and reassuring them when I didn’t have a clue if it would be okay. To top it off, we lost our beloved fur baby 2 months ago. Tara was my therapy dog; my unconditional love and light in the darkness and losing her shattered me – but as I sit here cuddling with our 4-yr.-old boy and listening to the rain drops outside, feeling the warmth of his little hand, the crunch of his cereal and the softness of the blanket stretched between us, I’m able to connect with the tiny details of life. All of this has taught me to live in the now and not miss a thing!

    Big HUGS honey. You’re so lovely and I appreciate all that you do for us :-)

    • Big healing & loving light to you and your family Heather.
      I feel you for the MS (a close friend of mine is diagnosed, it’s tough), and I feel you for losing your furry friend (snif).

      Warm hugs,
      XO
      Caroline

    • Hi Heather,

      I just watched this video on MS from vegan advocate Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org & recalled your MS comment that I read yesterday. Thought I should share it with you just in case it may help you somehow.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-multiple-sclerosis-with-the-swank-ms-diet/

      My heart-felt condolences regarding the loss of your beloved dog.

      • Thank-you, KLML. That was so kind of you to share this. I have been dairy-free since my diagnosis and largely low-fat raw vegan for a year now. The discoveries of Dr. Roy Swank, Dr. George Jelinek and Dr. Terry Wahls have been my touchstones throughout this journey and it is incredibly encouraging to see those in the medical field supporting their work. Ann Sawyer and Judith Bachrach’s book also helped me realize why other seemingly innocent foods were causing my symptoms to flare.

        I am not symptom-free and from time to time have to tango with that fear of the future, but my personal approach to any medical issue is this: If any ONE person has beat the condition – that proves recovery is possible. I am determined to reverse MS nutritionally no matter how long it takes.

        • Hi, Heather,

          If you would like to read our story of “miraculous” healing, I’d like to put it out there. It’s on my website on page 5 (I blog a lot, so that may change) and the post is called: “Weird Science! Healing a Rare Blood Disorder: Cryoglobulinemia {Science Hasn’t Caught Up to the Truth About Healing}”.

          Dis-ease is caused by fear – which is resistance to that which I do not understand. We have healed a lot in our lives and do not want others to believe us, but rather to face their fears full out and understand them completely so they can let them go. I do not sugar coat anything. I go straight for the pain so people can understand it. When I began to understand my fear of illness and my partner did as well? We healed so fast – it was like magic, no kidding.

          Healing happens as fast as a diagnosis can seemingly kills us. It’s because the mind is far more powerful than I was ever taught to “think” it is.

          Sending healing thoughts and strength. :)

  3. Kris, this piece really moved me. I am always living in fear of getting cancer (my mom died from it), and I am always at the doctor freaking out about this or that. This amazing piece has given me some perspective and really spoke to me. Thank you! Love your blog. Ashleigh xx

    • Ashleigh, so good to see Kris’s words help you get rid of your fear of getting cancer. When I read your note, I thought of Anita Moorjani (check out her story) who says a big part of her getting cancer was caused by her fear of getting sick. Blessings to you and to Kris for an awesome post.

  4. Thanks Kris!

    I know I sometimes look up a symptom on webmd (biggest mistake ever!) and get struck with the fear that I’m going to die within the year, but I’m getting better at staying in the moment and finding blessings. Thank you so much for all that you do, Kris. You’re such a sparkly unicorn :)

    xoxo, Stacy

  5. Wow, that’s a wonderful description of the many facets of fear and the healthful ways to deal with it, without being “preachy” or “lecture-y”. I’m moved by the way you describe letting fear flow in, be there, and flow out as you experience it as part of the palette of life, and learn from it and even grow. “…mind your manners, don’t interrupt it” (Love that!). I also appreciate your word picture of how fears can take you from a rational doctor’s appointment fear, to: you passed away, a dead Lola, and a hated Brian dating a 20-year old! So funny, yet so relate-able. Beautiful piece. Yep, I think I can see some beauty in fear. Thanks bunches!

  6. Thanks for the brilliant reminder that noticing the “rabbit holes” and backing away from the edge is possible …. and while living life with all of our conditioning and personality quirks those pesky rabbit holes do pop up!! I sometimes forget how normal that is … xo

  7. Finding the messages in your fear is an absolute key to NOT let the fearful Goblins run your life and your decision making.
    We wouldn’t want “craziness” to have a say on your future right?

    Doing an intuition gut check while in fear is very challenging and will almost always give you an innacurate reading. In those intense moments I don’t try to get the answers on my own, I call in a faitful (yet neutral) guide like a coach or a trusted ally. There is something to be said for the magic of a safe and sacred space being held for you to help shift out of fear and back into full alignment with your inner wisdom.

  8. I have a chronic, undiagnosed lung disorder and when things flare-up I feel like I’m drowning. I did some Theta healing and have relaxed into the fear. It was an amazing process that has helped me tremendously!

    In the session, it came down to “what is the worst that will happen? I will die. What happens when you die? I’m at peace.” My fear of dying was put to rest which allowed me to live….

  9. Thanks Kris. So hit the spot this am.

  10. I liked what you said about taking fear for a joy ride Kris! I talked about this on my blog several months ago, because I had some experiences while mountain biking that reminded me of a unique response to fear. When it shows up, you just have to ride it. Here’s the video: http://www.jennihulburt.com/2013/07/what-to-do-when-fear-holds-you-back/

  11. Thanks, Kris. I’m heading in for major surgery this morning and have been scared to tears about it. I’m grateful to know, myself, that it’s OK to be scared, but I’ve been uncomfortable about displaying my fear in front of my boyfriend—it makes him uncomfortable, kicks up his stuff. (He’s been a champ, most of the time, btw) Oh, it’s a tricky mix. But I LOVE what you wrote: Love is the glue that holds infinity together. We’re all doing our best.

    Thanks.

  12. Kris, I think this post is a perfect example of why so many of us LOVE you. You’re not afraid to tell the truth (or maybe you are and do it anyway) and you deliver your insight in a funny, human, and loving way…go dancing with the dragon…I love that. I tell a similar story and call it…dancing with chaos. Either way, we’re dancing with it and that’s what get’s us through.

  13. Just what I needed to hear today! You hit the nail on its head with this perspective on fear and the brilliant strategies for working through it. I’m so grateful for your work.

  14. Thank you Kris for another wonderful article! Another way I use fear is as a barometer for something great. Instead of panicking thinking that something is horrible – I tell myself “oooooh you’re scared, this means that something really great is about to happen.” This calms me down and allows me to feel the butterflies as you mentioned. When I do this I am able to see solutions much faster than when I am in panic mode.

  15. Thank you so much for this Kris. I cannot tell you how much this post really spoke to me and I am going to work towards not slipping down the rabbit holes as much. Please keep sharing and writing – your words are a panacea in this crazy sexy life we lead!

  16. Thank you for extending the courage to face fear head on. What I fear lately is that after leaving a 17 yr marriage 4 years ago (which started as a rela when i was 17… so a 25 year connection) I will never find the love of my life again…but after reading your piece I realized I lived an extraordinarily blessed life (fabulous children, great job, delicious friends….). I received from your blog today that I need to be mindful that i am extremely blessed that I don’t need to face “real” fears like a cancer diagnosis or recurrence. You have placed my thought patterns into perspective and i plan to invite fear to tea (love it!) and then go on with a truly grateful heart. The right things have always happened at the proper times in my life and i have to believe this love piece will too.

    Wishing you lots of health, hand holding and puppy love.

  17. This is really key Kris- thanks so much for pointing it out. Several years ago, after a shocking cancer diagnosis in the same week as my husband declaring he was no longer interested in that position, I felt a terror unlike any previous experience-( akin to an imagined free-falling through dark space with its infinite vastness ) But at some point, I found myself just giving up and being with the fear-allowing it to ‘have me’ ? Like the boogeyman, when I finally found the courage to turn and face him, he shrunk, lost all stature and power-and somehow I survived!
    Something that helped me greatly at that time- and still does today- is Rumi’s poem, The Guesthouse. He beautifully and succinctly puts it all in perspective. Perhaps mentioning that poem could help others too-
    Thanks for all you do, Kris
    xo Melinda

  18. Thank you Kris for your wonderful messages; they alway seem to be delievered when I need them the most. I have been battling with my fear of the “real world job” for the last year since graduating from college. I have a full-time temporary position but I have been looking for other permanet jobs for about 9 months. I have applied everywhere. I have volunteered constantly. I have just been trying to find SOMETHING. In a recent session of hashing with a friend I decided my biggest fear was that I haven’t been deciding my life and I feel trapped by the 8-5 day. This schedule is wearing and tearing on me and my personal life. I have to keep a job to pay for rent, food, etc., but I am lost as to what comes after this. I feel that going back to school to earn a higher degree is the next option for me. Thank you for listening and any advice is greatly appreciated :)

  19. Thanks for this most vivid analysis of how to deal with fear. I have experienced some of these techniques myself and got insight into some others. I am living with the strong possibility of recurring ovarian cancer having been originally diagnosed in October 2011. However, I have managed to put that fear under control by facing that possibility, facing the worst case scenario – death and then moving beyond it. I have taken a very proactive stance to empower myself by nourishing my mind, body and spirit. Like you, I’ve found very healthy ways to eat. In addition, I am very proactive about enjoying my life by filling it with as many fun things to do including laughing as much as possible. I have strengthened my faith which gives me the courage to keep those other aspects of my life strengthened. I am a deep believer that cancer has to be dealt with holistically. In fact, we should all live our lives holistically, cancer or not. I recall my deep feelings of fear when it was thought I might have breast cancer and a permanent limp in my leg not long after completing chemo for my ovarian cancer. I remember applying the techniques of self-love, relaxation, and letting go and letting God take control. Once I did that, the fear subsided. Shortly after that my breast biopsy proved negative and the limp in my leg completely vanished (turned out to be a case of bursitis in my hip). My fear had convinced me the limp was the result of damage done to my body by chemo.

    My goal in life now is to help others overcome the fears that such illnesses can bring and live a life of joy. Joy doesn’t necessarily mean being 100% happy all the time because as you so eloquently and humorously stated, fear can still creep into our minds. However, once you find inner joy, the fear never maintains a permanent foothold.

    Thank you so much for this article!
    Kathy Daniels

    • Hi Kathy,
      I just posted a comment and then read yours…. It seems we are living parallel
      lives with similar diagnosis since October 2011. Would love to talk or email with you sometime. My email is kecctusa@aol. Com. Please feel free to contact me.
      Kathi McCann

  20. Hi Kris – Your irrational-rabbit-hole conversation made me belly laugh – lovely way to start a Monday! I saw myself and I’m guessing many others, but we don’t voice it out loud. So thank you for your honesty (I’m still chuckling).
    I too find powerful msgs in fear; it’s usually about emotions from past experiences that I’ve long since reconciled, that aren’t true in the current context of my life. When these rabbit-hole-wanderings rise up, I do the kindergarten thing: “Stop, Look, and Listen before you cross the street.” And I recognize both then (past) and now (current me) I CREATE my life as exactly what I need it to be…then I Smile and choose/create a new script.
    Lauren Gorgo sums it up beautifully: “The ability to consciously and quickly choose Love over fear in all ways”.

  21. Thank you Kris. I am surviving ovarian cancer stage IV now…. Approaching my two year anniversary from discovery on October 11th, 2011. I have created a fear of October, have come to dread the sight of candy corn! :) …. Your mention of the palette of emotions … Reminds me that I CAN choose to use another emotion this month. You are always an inspiration.
    Thank you! and best of luck to the gal having major surgery this morning… Few posts back. My prayers are with you. :)

  22. Thanks for this post, it is very timely for me!

  23. Thank you, Kris. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m going to practice turning fear into courage by getting into the present moment. Time to move the body and dance!

  24. Thank you so much for this…this definitely came at the right time! Last year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, she’s doing well now after treatment, but October has become my least favorite month. Pink everything and constant reports about cancer treatments, cures, and new research brings back all the fears and it’s like it’s hitting me all over again. Thanks again for reminding me to get away from the tv and computer screen and clear my head!

  25. Dear Kris, Boy do I know about Fear. I have lived it for almost a year now. As a very healthy vegetarian/vegan, spiritual person, working at a very spiritual place (Tree of Life) helping people with their health and fears as a massage therapist and colon hydrotherapist, I started having incredible back pains, which I attributed to the many massages and hours of work I was doing and the stress of a single parent. The fatigue and anemia I contributed to not getting enough iron in my body as a vegetarian and again the long hours I worked. I LOVED my job, I loved my life I felt I was in an amazing place, I did my meditations and prayers, I read all the books about how to have more awareness and become more enlightened and felt I was putting it in to practice (as my clients could see in me). To make a long story short. About six months into my brutal bone pain and incredible fatigue I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a fairly rare blood cancer that can only be treated, not cured. I hurt so bad in my bones I was in a wheel chair and to sneeze and cough was incredibly painful as the lesions in my ribs had caused two broken ribs. My numbers were so bed I really believe I was months away from death and in that moment, despite having my amazing 7 year old, I thought it easier not to be here anymore. I had so many people praying for me, everybody saw me as such a strong woman, yet I was scared to death and could not shake it. As a natural medicine person, I had always opposed the use of chemo and radiation, yet the doctors adviced me that the 3 tumors on my spine were so intwined with my spinal cord they feared I might be paralized at any moment, and I needed radiation immediately. And so I did. I had to move back to my husband from who I was seperated and we went to MD Anderson to start my chemo (even my naturaupathic doctor friend told me the cancer was so advanced I should start with chemo) I was deathly afraid. Everything I had learned was that chemo was more of a killer than the cancer, and here it seemed I had no choice but to start it. My first two rounds were horrible, I ended up in the ER several times for out of control fevers, needed 4 blood transfusions due to my severe anemia (my pulse was 94 at a resting state due to the extra work my heart had to do) and that with me having always had low pulse because of the triathlons I had done. See, one reason my fears ran so high, was that I had done everything right, how could I have cancer. I ate right, thought right, loved right, meditated, prayed. How could it be me, what else could I have done. There was however one thing that was broken in me. A very discouraging relationship with my parents. I had ran away from home when I was 17 and it seemed I was never forgiven for that as my parents did not treat me the same as the rest, refused to come visit me or even meet my husband and their granddaughter. This was very hurtful to me. There was no anger, but incredible deep sadness. I still loved them so much after 25 years and wanted their approvement. The world seemed to love and appreciate me, but I did not really see or care about that, I wanted my parents to see me for the beautiful person I had become, and they didn’t (or did not want to let me know) Although physically Multiple Myeloma was the least likely physical cancer I should get (I was not male, not african american, not over 65, not overweight, the statistics show those are the ones most likely to get it) I was a thin, vegetarian tall woman (those least likely to get it) However, I realised that the spine bones mean strength and support and this I had not felt since I was a little girl. I gave a lot of Love, but felt very unloved (by my parents which was all that seemed to matter). Even with me having cancer they refused to come visit me, though we did start writing. I KNEW I had to let go of the pain of the past, truly forgive and move on. I had lived with this pain and victim hood and low level stress for so long it had made my immune system weak and likely been the cause of the cancer. I started reading books again and decided I wanted to be around for my daughter.My mind started to shift. I started to look at the chemo as something that was there to help me, not hurt me. My immune system was so overwhelmed it needed some help, and the chemo was there to give it to me. When I made that shift my body changed almost overnight. I had lost 14 pounds of my already thin frame in two weeks due to nausea and when I started my third cycle of chemo I was able to eat. Almost all the side effects of the chemo disappeared overnight and the bone pain dissapeared as well. My cancer started coming down, though not very fast. This brought up more fear for me. My numbers were very high to start with and where most people only need about 4 cycles of chemo before undergoing stem cell transplant, I needed 9. The stemcell transplant was the darkest cloud I ever carried and It was there for about 8 months. The fear of it was so great that I again started looking at ways out of this suffering, to the point I became suicidal and was put on anti depressants and anti anxiety. I had always feared medicine but with all the stuff taking and seeing how my liver and kidneys were handling it just fine I accepted all the doctors gave me. I became a moderate. It was very humbling to go from an avid naturalist to accept allopathic medicine and I felt good about it. Fanaticism is never good. I did continue to eat very healthy, take my supplements where I was allowed to and had a lot of green drinks. Although the cancer went down very slow, my overall blood stayed very healthy despite the chemo. My white blood count never went low, my anemia started to get resolved on its own (though chemo makes the body anemic) and I felt very good ( not my own old self, but better than I had in months) Fortunately the anti depressants helped and it was time to go in for stem cell on August the 24th. I went into the hospital with alot of Peace and felt very safe. The day of the highdose chemo I did have alotof anxiety, but after that was done I was ready to go for the ride. It was not easy, I will never say that, but I did amazingly well and was discharged after only 15 days, with my numbers returning back to normal within a month. Usually you have no energy the first couple of months, but I forced myself to eat the best foods I could and as much as I could and went for walks every day, even started some yoga. I am now a month out and last week the doctor told me I am in remission (not full, but enough where they consider you in a good spot) He said the cancer will continue to go down over the next couple of months and I feel now strong enough to be in a place where my nutrition and supplements can kill the last of the cancer. Because I did not only heal my body, but also my mind (yes, I was able to forgive my parents and myself for the wasted years crying over the loss of my childhood) I am in a much better place now. Like you, Fear still comes up sometimes, but I manage it so much better. I thank the doctors for what they did for me, I thank the chemo for helping me, I thank the cancer for teaching me to live life to its fullest, to Forgive, to Appreciate, to feel blessed, to be kind and to help others. They say MM is not curable, unless it stays away for 15 years. I am not going to sit and wait for 15 years before I call myself cured. I am starting today. No sense wondering only to have doctors tell me in 15 years I am better. I swore that when I beat this thing, cancer will never be part of my life anymore, neither my husband and daughter. I am the one that bore that cross, and we all learned and grew from it. I hope my story will inspire others to never give up hope and to know, no matter how deep we go, there is light at the end of the story. God wants us to be well and remember the body follows what the mind believes. Thank you Kris for bringing all your knowledge and experience to the world. Believe me, you touch and help many !!!!! Namaste Cherie

    • Cherie – your story is so inspiring and a testament to the fact that we need multiple pathways to heal with possibly both conventional and alternative paths. I do believe that deep seated emotions and the stress that comes with carrying them inside for so long definitely contributes to illness. Thank you for sharing – hugs to you!

  26. I swear I live in a constant state of fear while I am working (which could be 40 days in a row like right now). I love reading articles like this, because on a daily basis I feel as though I’m sitting beside fear. It’s good to be reminded we are all scared, and that it is okay. Thank you Kris.

  27. Thanks Kris. This is great.
    I also try to embrace the good side of fear, which you mention, when it is working in our favor. Lately I have come to believe that some of my fear is my intuition protecting me….from outside threats to all the work I have done to become healthy again. I know that some of my recent fear has been telling me to block these outside influences and to hold on to my Self and what I now I need. Sometimes fear does serve us, and for that, too, we can be grateful.

  28. Thank you so much for posting this, I have fear but not for myself, for my daughter. We have an extremely strong faith but even we have fear…thank you for this blog as it makes me realize that we are certainly not alone in this journey..

  29. Yes kris, fear brought me head on with my ovarian cancer relapse. I had a great apptment in June and in August, 2 pds and a nasty thought of FEAR……had me back getting a ca125…. Reaccurance..”.chemo”…. Fear again….but I have HOPE…thank you for your great blogs……tina

  30. Dearest Chris,

    This blog couldn’t have been more timely and helpful! I was diagnosed with breast canser last October. My recent thoughts have been that October sucks! I’m doing well after my treatment and have been extremely lucky and grateful. I’m ambling up to my annual screening this Friday though it seems like yesterday that I started this carnival ride. (I don’t like rides!) Fear has been flaunting itself as the date gets closer. Your blog really helps as this is the new reality for me. I am a very positive person by nature which has been a blessing, but I am human (thanks for the reminder) and now I have a way of managing/living with these feelings as they arise. You have been an inspiration to me this past year, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. You are an angel.

  31. Great post Kris! I love how you advise us to listen to what fear has to say and then check with our intuition whether we agree with the fear and want to make a healthy shift or whether we simply want to decline our opportunity to react. Also coming back to the present moment and feeling the pillow under our butt and the ground beneath our feet is a powerful tool!
    Thank you!

  32. you are just a fabulous writer kriss. thx. This is how i see fear too, but your way totally rocks it! thx for being so eloquent and funny!

  33. Love this….needed this.
    Time to try and dance with a dragon!
    XOXOXO

  34. I love you. Period.

    You’ve taken a virtual nightmare and turned it on its’ head. What’s more, that ‘nightmare’ is a vastly collective experience today. Whether you’re the one who’s finds them self donning the threat cancer imposes, (as am I), or a loved one, looking on in relative helplessness, (I wear these shoes as well). To lend your mighty Spirit the way that you continue to, in the hopes of vanquishing the fear, the helplessness and hopelessness is just pure Goodness. It’s God, showing His/Her essence in this world. The good you’ve done for yourself teaches the rest of us what is possible. Your attitude Chris… it’s STELLAR. And I am thankful for you.

    <3 Christiane

  35. Kris, you’ve walked the walk which is why your words are so powerful and HELPFUL!
    I too have a chronic form of cancer that can’t be “cured.” Acceptance and gratitude have become so important to me finding joy and peace, even when I’m in a scary place.
    thanks so much for taking time to lighten and brighten my day (tomorrow’s a trip to oncologist for bloodwork!)

  36. Thank you for all your articles. I have no fear but my friends (including my doctor at the hospital) try and scare me into treatment. They think fear of death will get me motivated. How silly of them because death doesn’t scare me. I have a large mass in my lower abdominal area in which they insist on surgery to remove but I’m not ready yet because of life issues I am dealing with and others don’t understand because my priorities aren’t theirs so they try and put fear into me and then I have to deal with it and it causes me anger and sadness towards them. I appreciate your article and tips on dealing with this. I’ll follow my intuition and what I need to do. Thank you.

  37. Thank you for this Kris. You truly are an angel. Sharing your thoughts and fears with all of us makes us realize we’re not alone, not crazy, just human. Lots of love.

  38. Thank you Kris for your timely message. I bought your 2 books 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma. It really helped me then. Now I find myself rereading and reviewing them because the cancer reoccurred. I will be doing stem cell transplant soon and the fear of the unknown is creeping. I am thankful for your encouraging message. I count my MANY blessings and I know something great will happen positively.

  39. Thank you Kris – I needed this article today! I may be about to experience a 3rd round w/ovarian cancer. Tumor markers are up. In the midst of preparing for a possible battle, I’m also looking for a new doctor as my oncologist is not on board w/my ideas on supplementation, nutrition, & mind/body healing (Dr. Rankin’s book has helped me so much!) I’m making index cards w/hopeful messages like crazy but still find myself wanting to cry at times. I just started yoga teacher training to specialize in meditation & help others. I won’t give up, and it’s good to know that my feelings can help rather than hurt me – I’ll be working on that dance.

  40. Thanks for the article Kris. I am currently reading Jonathan Fields “Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance”, which has some great suggestions on this very topic. I’m looking for all the encouragement and reassurance I can find to embrace my fears right now. I’ve made the decision to step away from my safe and secure corporate job to a life of uncertainty as I pursue my dream of writing and travel. Reading insights from those of you who’ve done it helps so much! Thanks for your continued inspiration!

  41. Have been following and continue to be inspired by your “dance with disease”. This article on fear…wow..how glorious to read that it can be ok to let our fear in…and in fact help us. I so love your honesty Kris…truly do…it’s one year since my surgery for breast cancer and as it so often happens for some…my cells have once again decided to rebel…in my uterus…am I scared? Hell yeah…and it’s being heard as I scream across a river….but then there is a kinda retreat..a sorta quiet peace that comes…followed by a late night phone call telling someone how this all feels…so reading your article really helps me to know that these emotions are not really destructive but an overdue call to be heard…thank you…much love xx

  42. Thanks, Kris. I have been sweating the last few days because I’m due for a mammogram in a couple of weeks, and having dealt with the Beast twice, I admit to being a tad nervous. Thanks for grounding me and bringing me back to the here and now. Help seems to come along just when we need it most. God bless, and keep that light shining.

  43. Your timing of your feelings and how to deal with them was just what I needed to read at this point in time. I had a Spindle Cell Sarcoma removed from my leg last October and it has now made home on my lungs (they certainly get around those little devils) Have been told it is not curable and given a time frame of which I am not listening to. Had two rounds of Chemo but ended up with a blood transfusion as my body was not happy at all with Chemo. It only gave me an extra 6 months they advised so I believe quality and not quantity is what is the most important thing to me. Am trying to follow diet and excersise and mental healing and enjoying every day that I am living as I am still in good health at this point in time. Fear slips in from time to time and like you said the feelings of what music will I play at my funeral OH BOY! who will I leave my precious things to OH BOY! Who will my husband of 43 years meet once I am gone OH BOY! Then I slap myself back into reality and just enjoy the NOW!!!!! Am 61 years young on the 20th of this month and life is very precious to me so will continue to remain positive and your feelings and thoughts let me know I am not alone when some of my crazy thoughts invade my space. Am having a scan this week and back to the oncologist next week so not a good week to look forward to and pray I have the strength to cope with results and continue to do what I want when I want while I am still in good health. Once again you are an inspiration and I just loved your Crazy Sexy Cancer Books so please keep going with your inspirational life as it gives hope to all of us. Thank you

    • So well said, Christine. I will pray for you and send you all of the healing rays your way. Remember, YOU ARE AN INSTRUMENT OF WELL BEING!!!

      God bless and heal you with abundant health…..

      Minnie

    • Christine, am sending thoughts and prayers your way as well. Thank you for showing what courage is all about.

    • Christine – I am ordering a book called “Life Over Cancer” by Dr. Keith Block (I’m impressed with his web site as well). I love Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book, “Mind Over Medicine,” and have started a daily meditation practice which has been incredibly helpful…many benefits! Sign up for Dr. Rankin’s Daily Flame – she will send you an e-mail every day on Monday through Friday with positive inspiration! Here’s a quote from Kris when she was interviewed for Prevention magazine not too long ago. I keep it on a card in my purse – “Fear is a feeling, not a fact. Facing your fears is the only way you can understand your true power. Because what scares us is often a lot smaller than our perception of it. ASK – Is it a fact or a feeling?” Stay strong…wishing you many blessings.

      • Hi Barb, thanks for all your info I will follow up on all of it . Have started doing some meditation but it is a difficult thing to stay focused. When I find that zone, be it not for a long period of time it is extremely soothing. Any extra strength and wisdom is another tool to assist in dealing with thoughts and emotions. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated. Once again thank you.

  44. Hi Kris, thanks for your very inspiring article. I have a couple of questions – when you say inversions help do you mean yoga inversions? Also, is Emotional Freedom Technique the same as tapping?

    Many thanks,

    • Great Q’s AJ — Inversions: Yes I mean yoga, down dog, headstands, anything you can do that literally turns ya upside down and gives you a new perspective! And yes, EFT is tapping. x

  45. Kris, my daughter gave me your Crazy Sexy Kitchen Book for Christmas. I am a fan, and I am thankful that the gift of Kris Carr fell into my life. This blog about fear is so empowering. I read it today, a day where fear was consuming me. Funny, you are so right. I know all of the things you write are true and there for each one of us. Still, we let the furry burry creature take hold of us and rattle us to incapacitation. Thanks to this blog, I get it and will use these powerful tools to celebrate-embrace-remove, and move on.

    Merci,

  46. Wonderful blog post Kris. We can all use some self love. Jo-Ann

  47. Not only was this extremely helpful, but so funny too! I was laughing out loud. Thanks!

  48. Thank you so much for this article Kris <3 I have a lot of issues surrounding fear. Your words of wisdom have inspired me to love myself more and not to let fear rule my life. xoxo

  49. This is FANTASTIC! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I needed this. I have just come to the realization that I have allowed fear to rule my life for the past 2 years. Once I realized this I just sat there thinking “oh crap NOW what!” then bam your beautiful post. Thank you so much for your words they have started to helped me figure out how to move forward, stop beating myself up and use this as an opportunity to transform my life. Thank you thank you thank you!

  50. Hi Kris,

    Love this post! Fear vs. intuition have always been hard for me to figure out. I got legally married yesterday (doing our real wedding in Greece this May!) and was terrified. I was freaked out about marriage, found myself wondering if I should panic and leave, and worst – comparing him to my ex. “Is this the real thing? As good?” etc.

    Then, during the actual ceremony, I felt such a deep calm. Love conquers all. I didn’t know if those prior feeling were fear or intuition, but I believe that intuition (when something feels right) comes as peace, not as panic. And you’re right, don’t overrate it! Those feelings may have come up just by the fact that I’m doing something new and I’m human.

    xo
    Alexis

  51. OMGosh! I am run by fear, out of control fear from so much that is out of my control and not my doing but there it is, fear and I am ashamed of it and I feel bad and weak for feeling it so often. No one can walk in my shoes and I can’t walk in yours, but I can respect you and see you in a light that makes me grow but I can’t see that in myself. I don’t want to be sick and I don’t want to be afraid of it anymore I want to live.
    Thank you for being you and for sharing this piece on fear and how you cope with it. I have never invited my fear to tea…I always run from it which turns it into panic. I never thought to make peace with it.
    Thank you so much!

  52. Kris- Such a great message about fear. Thanks!

  53. Ha! Thanks, Kris, for that tour down the rabbit hole. Little windows on someone else’s world like that reassure me that I’m not alone in having such a wonderfully *creative* (as you so aptly point out) gaggle of fears. :)

    One of the most powerful messages I’ve ever found in fear has been around the drawing of personal boundaries. Anger has always terrified me, and I’ve spent most of my life letting people walk all over me because I’ve been afraid to assert my own needs.

    I always thought I was staying safe from the anger that would be unleashed at me if I expressed even the slightest bit of assertiveness. (Enter countless numbers of your “fear fantasies” about whatever I imagined would happen.)

    Turns out, though, that my assumptions were completely erroneous.

    As I’ve practiced facing my fear of anger and finding the courage to speak my needs, the more I’ve noticed how many (most!) people are totally willing to listen and do whatever they can to meet them, or at least have a rational (non-angry!!!) discussion and meet somewhere in the middle.

    It’s so liberating to watch that huge wall of fear-based illusion gradually crumble into dust.

  54. Thank you for this post. Every time I go for a follow up with the oncologist or for the caving party known in clinical circles as the “colonoscopy” — any time someone goes looking — I fear something will be found. Letting love rule really resonates, and for me includes telling a loved one where I’m about to go and how I feel. Being vulnerable and giving space for their support dissolves the fear a little, my stomach unclenches a little too.

  55. dear kris, this blog came at just the right time. i love how the Universe does that. thank you, thank you, thank you, from the center of my heart – i needed to read this today. i am saving this blog so that i can read it again when the fear-monster comes again. :) i am a canSer survivor too, and my emotions get triggered from time to time. you are such a light to the world! thank you for sharing your wisdom. :)

  56. Thank you so much, Kris. Did you know? You’ve made a big difference in my life. It is your energy, the love you radiate and this piece on fear was right on. Thank you! :-)

  57. Thank you Kris!

    I’m never usually compelled to write a comment but this spoke very true to me right now in my life. A fear that has finally come to a head that has been building for the last 15 years i’m finally starting to really understand why it is what it is. I have been breaking it down, listening to it, literally stopping in my tracks & allowing it to speak. In doing so I was able to unravel it piece by piece & acknowledge the rational reasons behind it.

    But it wasn’t until I allowed it to do so that it all made sense. And it was scary & uncomfortable but I spent a week going over it, through it, under it, every angle possible & finally I got to where I needed to be. Simply accepting & understanding why I have this fear, and then asking myself how I would like to choose to resolve/dissolve it.

    Your words helped reassure me that fear is OK, & it’s just another part of the process.

    Thank you! Yvette Xxx

  58. Kris, I’m welling up with tears. Your blog is so timely for me right now. I’ve been through lots in the last (almost) two years, yeah me! Primary liver cancer and a whole slew of ups and downs. Your books and blogs have kept me sane and strong. I realize how hard it can be to stay strong when fear comes calling. A recent (not so great) scan has sent me reeling. I’m waiting for my fabulous doctor to come up with the next plan of attack. Inthe meantime, I will invite my fears to have a nice green juice with me. Cheers!

  59. “However, if I’m unable to see my fantasy for what it really is (stress) then the next time Brian asks where the almond butter is, I’ll tell him to ask his child bride!”

    I almost spit out my green drink! HAHA.
    Thank you for making me laugh off my fears (I love hearing the insides of other peoples heads). We are all so much the same. :)

    Love!
    Carla
    xx

  60. I have just started becoming more actively watching your videos. I have great admiration for you. Not yet reformed to Vegan. I am a 51 yr old, single mom with stage 2 diabetic, high blood pressure, asthmatic struggling with stomach issues and terrible bloating. ( No Health insurance) Waiting for Obama care. I was also told I have 3 lesions on my liver. In the past 3 weeks I have definitely turned into a juice maniac. Although, I can’t afford organic, I do my best and wash my veggies thoroughly. I am also trying to become gluten free and exercise whenever possible. I still feel like a swallowed a walnut that sits in my intestines. I know I need tests to see what exactly is wrong with me. But, January is around the corner. Hopefully, all is nothing to fear. I did have a question… Do you believe in the flu and Pneumovax vaccine? I also want to thank you for educating me. I have so so much to learn.
    Gratefully,
    Gloria

  61. wow! this is so timely and needed, for sure. this has been one of the most unsettling weeks that I have had in a very long time. I recogonize that the challenges I have right now certainly would be a luxury for folks who are battling illness. so, if your reading this please know that I know these aren’t major challenges. however, they are still stressful. to give you an idea- the last 5 days I have; moved (well, in the process of moving) started grad school, have a new workmate, leaving for a business trip, 3 key projects at work and continuing the approval process for a procedure that will hopefully improve my severe asthma. phew. that’s alot, sorry! geez- the point of this is- this reminder and information to take a deep breath, ask for help and get movin’ is so wonderful. thank you, kris! smiles to you all:)

  62. Hi Kris,

    Just felt compelled to reach out to you to tell you that my 16-month old daughter is fascinated with your book. (couldn’t find another appropriate space to send you this) She keeps asking me to take it off the kitchen shelf and studies yours and Chad’s picture carefully, and the pictures in the book… I’d love to know what is going on in her head, but I am pretty sure she is reacting to the good energy emanating from your work… Just thought you’d appreciate it… Thanks for all the great work you are doing!

  63. I love that you often promote finding a good therapist! As a therapist I have seen so many people learn to accept their emotions and process them in a healthy way – instead of stuffing them with food/tv/alcohol/drugs etc. Emotions are natural and by turning towards them they are much easier to experience.

    Thank you for all you do!
    Charlene

  64. Thank you. This is exactly what I needed today. I was spiraling down the fear tunnel and you helpede take a breath.
    Hugs,
    April

  65. Such an awesome post, Kris. Thank you.

    One of my favorite quotes in the bible is “perfect love drives out fear.” I love how active that phrase is. It makes me feel validated, strengthened, protected. And I’ll take all of those when I start spiraling into a “fear story!”

  66. I am struggling with Bulimia at the moment. Before Bulimia, it was anorexia. I am 36, and this has been going on since I was 18. I am scared that some grave illness will come rat-a-tat-tatting at my life door the day I heal…I try to practice gratitude. I try to savor the present. I sometimes am able to conquer bulimia..but on minimum wage and no health insurance, there is only so much I can do.

    We are love. We are part of the same divine life force. We’re all connected. The ephemeral nature of life makes it beautiful..but it also makes it so darn difficult to breathe and let “it” go…”it”= all of what we hang on to….

    Fear consumes me and stops me from being “me”….

  67. Hi Kris, thank you for an inspiring article. For me, fear is something I now love. We are best of friends and because of that it no longer limits me. When I am fearful I look in staright in the eye and acknwledge it is there. I don’t try to change it, I just accept it for what it is, and then the magic happens. jill

  68. I am working through Gabrielle bernstein’s may cause miracles, so this post was a lovely way to start Monday morning.

    I am trying to work through fears of not being enough manifested through personal judgement.

    And I love that you pointed out that sometimes if you just acknowledge the fear and say to yourself, I accept and love myself anyway is seriously powerful.

    Thanks for this spiritual boost to my Sunday! Have a great day!

  69. Kris, thanks for another insightful post, one which is very timely for me. Fear hit me over the head recently, and I was temporarily down for the count. Fortunately, I was able to get back up, and now you’ve given me an additional way to confront my fears and really get to the root of the issue. Thank you.
    P.S. I hope your tour will include a stop in Atlanta!!

  70. Thank you Kris for this great post. Love and light your way all the way from Australia xx

  71. I love the way you write and explain things, Kris. It’s so colorful and fun to read and relate to. Your writing and perspective makes life fun, even the hard times. Thank you! You are now a favorite of mine :)

  72. Thank you Kris! After hearing two days ago that my #s were climbing, now scheduling new tests, waiting for results, this is just what I needed to deal with the fear. I will practice your advise.

  73. Thank you, Kris. Your first paragraph especially helped me: “Fear contains powerful messages…” We are so afraid to listen, and I appreciate your reminder to listen, then calm the fear and ourselves.

  74. I don’t know if I ever found a message in my fear. All I know is that it sometimes grabs me and squeezes so hard. I am afraid to give my cancer any respect and I am afraid not too. This month is difficult because it is like you can never get away from your Cancer. I have Stage IV Breast Cancer. I am on Femera, but it doesn’t seem like it is working. I will go back to my oncologist on Monday to decide what’s next.

    I love your books and your encouragements. They really help. You are adorable. Thank you.

  75. Wow! What a great sense of humor! Thanks for this fun read and the honest truth that we can’t let the “what ifs” take over for us. Thanks again.

  76. Hello Kris!

    I cherish your blog so very much and learn and get inspired from you every day….
    As a cancer survivor, I understand fear firsthand. I too have been learning how to make fear my friend.
    I also help people as a therapist to take fear by the hand, learn to work creatively together, instead of turning away from fear.
    you can read my article and more about me at
    thttp://opentherapy.se/?m=201306

  77. For me, Family Constellation Therapy has helped me accept so much, including Fear.
    With this therapy, I have learned that much of my Fear is not even mine, but inherited from my parents and have unconsciously been keeping that feeling out of love and loyalty to them.
    Through Family Constellations, I have learned to recognize it and let it go.
    Now I am facilitating this kind of counselling.
    Please visit http://www.opentherapy.se to book a session.

  78. Kris,

    You are in the process of saving my life! Emotionally, physically, mentally all of it. All day I have been feeling scared. I don’t know why but I have been developing fears of things that I have never been afraid of before, and I feel like I am running out of time to accomplish all of my (quite large) dreams, and for no reason at all. I am fine, I should feel that way, and instead I feel scared. Reading this post really opened my eyes to how I can kick fear in the face and just use it to motivate me to be stronger and more grateful instead of overwhelmed with anxiety. Thank you a million times, I can breathe easier now!

  79. I am so glad that I read this today. I am really trying to focus on WHAT it is that I am supposed to be doing in my life right now. I have a really stressful design job, but all I can think about every day is WELLNESS. I want to be well. And I want others to be well. But I’m not a wellness practitioner…

    I am a natural networker. One of my favorite things to do is to connect people who need something with the person/place/thing/idea they need to get them where they need to go. My fear right now is – how do I package and monetize my gifts into something that can be useful to others? How do I turn my strengths into a career that will allow me to gleefully run out of this soul-sucking job and NEVER LOOK BACK?

    I need to focus on love and unleashing my passion and power.
    I can’t listen to my fear telling me “You might fail…”
    I have no other choice but to succeed.

  80. This is a really wonderful article. Fear is such an old friend of mine: a friend I’d love to boot out the door. Here’s my question…I’m familiar with EFT, but how do you practice it in public during the moments when Fear has a strangle hold? Any Tappers out there?

  81. hello Kris!
    thanks a million for this article about fears!!! It has helped me a lot!! i have big fears myself, but reading you and especially your mantra « I’m really scared, but I love and accept me anyway” , gave me confidence and cut down my stress immediately! you’ve been very helpful, I send you big kisses from France!! (that’s how we end a mail in my country)
    See you tomorrow on Facebook or on your blog,, have a good night!
    isabelle

  82. I love your posts, and really appreciate your message Kris. Fear… it feels all-consuming at time. Paralyzing and crushing, it’s way too easy to lose sight of our personal value. I love this reminder to embrace my fear, and use it as a way to move forward. I’m writing down the affirmation, “Even though I’m really scared, I love and accept myself anyway.” Thanks Kris!