The Gift of Fear

While watching two really great conversations about Fear this morning, Jonathan Fields shared three powerful questions he uses to help him diffuse the debilitating side effects of fear. They were:

  • What if I fail? (telling a new story about a realistic recovery from the failure)
  • What if I do nothing? (often more terrifying than contemplating failure & recovery)
  • What if I succeed? (pivoting into hope, because we cannot really come alive when we act from fear)

And then Chris Guillebeau talked about giving yourself permission, (I refer to this as giving yourself permission amnesia).

And I was inspired to think about the shifts and changes I’ve created in my life since I started practicing re-orienting myself to my fear.

10 Things I Discovered When I Faced My Fear

  • When I faced my deeply held fear that I wasn’t enough, I came out of the closet.
  • When I faced my fear that mistakes mean I suck, I found self-approval.
  • When I faced my fear that I wasn’t smart enough to do my own thing, I became an entrepreneur.
  • When I faced my fear that I’m not supposed to say things that might upset other people, I found my voice.
  • When I faced my fear of others disapproval of my choices/decisions, I discovered I could trust myself & that I actually do know what’s best for me.
  • When I faced my fear of doing it wrong, I discovered there is no wrong.
  • When I faced my fear that shining brightly means I’ll attract something too big for me to handle, I found faith & remembered I am the Light and nothing can change that.
  • When I face my fear of pressing publish, I jump off window-ledges.
  • When I face my fear that the hurt will never stop, I find friends & lovers holding me.
  • When I face my fear that no one really wants what I’m offering (who I am) & decide to show up anyway, I find the perfect RT on Twitter, or email in my inbox, or “I love you” text on my Droid.

Wanna Be Jedi?

Last month, around my birthday, I decided to do this 30 day free coaching thing. A program. An offer.

Because I felt like, the biggest barrier I have to on-boarding my Jedi wanna-be’s is usually money. And not necessarily that you are considering spending it, but who/what you are thinking of spending it on.

Yourself.

“Am I worth this investment?”

I know my light bill is important and the car needs tires, etc. That is money that I understand spending.

However, when it comes to spending it on myself… a whole different set of challenges come up disguised in the form of rationalizations about why you just can’t.

Anyways, I felt like if you had a no-risk way of checking it out (becoming Jedi), you’d personally experience the value and then it would nearly be impossible for you to say No to me.

I mean, you’d discover how rocking it is to be you, getting your Jedi on and that there is no amount of money in the world that is actually worth knowing how to do that.

Right in the midst of creating said “most attractive offer ever” (the 30 day free coaching thing), I got feedback from one of my most favorite Jedi’s (well you are ALL my favorite. I seriously believe the people that say yes to this work rock and are so so brave to want to live a full out fearless life!)

The young Skywalker said “Your coaching rates are too low.”

And I agreed.

So I’m crankin up the awesome (and not necessarily because of Charlie Gilkey, but we will be blaming him for other forth-coming changes very soon!)

Anyways, just trying to be clear and full of heart here.

My coaching rate is going up June 1st.

If you have been thinking about getting with me (or getting with your Jedi), I want to give you the opportunity to purchase some coaching sessions at my current low-low rate of $60. After June 1st, I’m feeling my rate is headed toward the $90 range (not a threat, just some factual information).

If you are ready for more you, Jedi-style, please email me at mynde (at) myndemayfield (dot) com and we’ll get you set up. Even if you plan to start with me, say in July or August… you can lock in a certain number of sessions now and save some dough.

And that’s really it.

And let me just share one more thing… when I pay for it, I end up giving myself more permission to get more out of it. It raises the bar for me. It’s a risk to say Yes to me and say I matter enough to myself to invest in me. And I can feel it (well the pocketbook certainly does, right?) which helps me get more out of any investment, especially investments in myself.

Jedi Moves: The Daily Grind

I think it’s easy to get lost in planning. In processes. In setting future-oriented goals to move toward.

It’s all good.

In a lot of ways, our structure gives us freedom. To flow with our creativity. To be more intentional with it.

And then a bad day hits. Knocking our processes and plans for the future out of kilter.

And you wonder where all your tools and resources went for weathering this, another stormy season.

I would say if the fear Jedi had a daily practice, like Qi Gong or something, it would be the act of making it her intention to approve of herself, constantly. In a mantra-like way.

There are many ways of wielding the saber of light in our lives and this practice of daily acknowledgment is just that, a life saver.

Inside each Jedi is a deep well. It accepts deposits from a very specific institution. Although you can put other people’s acceptance of you inside your well, this well can really only measure deposits from the Institute of You.

Every Jedi has a dark side. In it, a voice that says things like …

”What if you just made the biggest mistake in your life… like ever? NOW what will you do?” or

“Just what exactly do you think you are doing? No one really cares about that. It’s not important enough to matter to anyone else.” and

“What will so-and-so think? Omg, if XYZ found out then this would happen (fill in the blank). You had better not do that!”

The only thing that quiets the dark voice of fear is turning the Jedi’s focus to the light.

“I acknowledge myself for staying anchored in my own self while the storm is happening.”

“I acknowledge myself for deciding that I matter more than any current drama.”

“I acknowledge myself for showing up again today & being more me than ever before.”

It’s the only way to keep the edges sharp and clear. And keep the inside well of self-approval full of You.

A daily practice of “I approve of me” that tilts you ever so slightly in the direction of Love. Building reserves of confidence and self-esteem that keep helping you be free to be more you.

Wanna Coach For Free?

Update: (May 1, 2010) I may be offering another free coaching opportunity as soon as June 1st. You can subscribe to stay tuned. 🙂


Wanted: 4 New Clients For 30 Days of FREE Coaching

So Charlie has been talking some super great points on pricing. I’ll probably end up re-reading all his pricing posts, hoping a little more sticks the second time through!

I’m not sure how this idea will line up with his ideas about pricing. The giving-it-away-for-free part. And the whole pricing placebo thing.

A sweet spot of perception we’re aiming for that helps the buyer feel like they got a good deal and also impact their pocketbook in a way that inspires them to decide to do it.

Whatever it is. Read the ebook, use the planners, or in this case, get access to coaching.

So if I give it away for free, does it diminish the value? I’m not sure. But I’ve decided I want to keep trying new stuff. All the time. Stretch and learn.

And work on visualizing more and being mindful of whether I’m trying, pushing or affecting effort in my actions less.

Try & hard became deal breakers when I decided how good easy can be.

Here’s what I got.

Free coaching for 30 days. Or four free coaching sessions. For four perfect customers.

It’s an opportunity to get some feedback, perception tweaks and strategies for everyday challenges or maybe even address something bigger. That you’re ready to face. In a fearless new way.

And the deal is, because the coaching is free, I’m gonna qualify you. Which means there’s an application (more on that later).

This coaching is free and mine to give away so I’m deciding to pick the kinds of people I think I’d have the most fun with and would get the most benefit from, in both directions 🙂

It’s like a vetting process. Which makes me think of politicians. Running for governor. I guess in a way I’m signing up to help you with your campaign strategy. Ha!

So I’m being strategic about who I’m saying Yes to.

These are just a few of the qualities that the You’s-that-say-yes-to-this-offer will have:

  • Willing to be coached. I’m not a built in friend. Or therapist. I’m a coach. I want to coach. If you’d like a coach and a strategist for helping you get jedi on some stuff (whatever your stuff is), we’ll make a great team.
  • Ready to get down and get dirty. It’s serious business. Looking into the closet and pulling our shizzle out. Ack! Seriously? In every way. With dignity, humor and loads of compassion.
  • Committed to showing up. And scheduling four consecutive weekly appointments. Occurring on the same day & time (again going for easy here).

The offer of free coaching for one month begins to expire the moment you say yes to it. I know. And I need some boundaries on this thing. To keep me sane while I do the coaching!

There will be a no-charge telephone “interview” for the job. Both of us having a ‘Do we fit?’ kinda conversation. And at the end of the job interview chat, if we hire each other, you’ll book your next session right then and there. If we didn’t get the job, well we’ll figure that out too. Mostly just saying our thank you’s and good luck’s!

Where’s the hook?

Instead of making you wonder where and when it’s coming, I’ll just tell you there isn’t one.

At the end of four weeks, you decide whether or not you wish to continue. If you decide to continue, you begin paying me at my current coaching rate of $60 bucks a session. My coaching rate is going up June 1st. Right now, it’s still a buck a minute for kick ass fear jedi training.

But you get to decide.

And you can decide later even. And I’ll be straight up and say I hope you’ll be throwing money at me and eager to continue our coaching relationship. I won’t hide that. Not gonna do it. That’s what I wish! I want to coach.

But you can also decide to take the free four week jedi training you’ve already received and say “hasta la vista baby.” Not in a totally final way. It could be an open-ended, “I’ll be bock!” kinda way too.

The reason why this would be ok for me is because I have a very strong hunch you’ll at least be willing to tell other people about it. But if you can’t afford to continue or “got just what you needed,” really the easiest and most effortless thing you could do for me is spread the word.

Or not, in the case of “end of story.”

How to say yes to free coaching.

Ok, this is the part where I’m not exactly sure how to do it (can you believe I offer business strategy and consulting services?)…

Seriously. Should it be a mailing list where I pick a name? I mean, isn’t it all about the mailing lists?! Sigh.

Jedi: What would be easy for you?

Me: Ahhhh. Hmmm. Well, yeah. Let’s see. Easy. Easy would be… well I’ve already got the magic number. The magic number is four. Four new clients. This month. Wow, feels kinda nervy too.

Jedi: A sure sign to do it.

Me: Right.

Jedi: How would you like these four people to say yes to you?

Me: Wouldn’t it be nice if a few of them DM’d on Twitter? And wouldn’t it be nice if oh oh oh, I got it… the four slots went super duper fast and a few other people wanted a slot but they were taken so they signed up for a list? To be on the waiting list! Which became the  “new free coaching slot available” list? Wouldn’t that be cool?

Jedi: Good. What else?

Me: I guess they can send me an email. An email that said something about the free month of coaching offer. So that would basically make it first come first serve. Basically. Right?

Jedi: Sounds good to me. Speaking of emailing you, tell them about the application.

Me: Yeah. But first can I explain the “why the application” part?

Jedi: You can do whatever you want. This is your thang.

Me: Ok. I just don’t have a better idea for how to begin. And I don’t want to say something like, “Ready? Set? Go!” on some day & time (ugh & eww) and have you guys raise your hand or whatever.

Plus, I’ve got a few questions for you. That if you answer them ahead of time, they’ll help us hit the ground running when we chat. To get you thinkin’ and help you also know, whether this is a good fit.

I want to be able to give everyone a shot at this, but especially my blog subscribers. Those of you who might be on the edge or have followed me for a while or whatever. And it just seems smart to talk about it for a few days before I pull the trigger. Ya know, get my social media tooting on?

So the “accepting applications” period begins immediately and ends April 30th. I want to be vetted and coaching my butt off by May 15th. I’ll take the first 10 applications and pick the four best “fits” for interview chats. Word!

Jedi: Is this gonna be your new deal? Will you be offering free coaching every month?

Me: I have no clue! Ha! At some point near end of May, I’ll evaluate my work load, whether four is the best number, what to do with the waiting list/other vetted peeps and re-announce for June, if I decide to offer it again.

Not a threat, just all the truth I know at this moment.

Jedi: Excellent! That’s a hell YAY to be certain.

Me: Ok, what’s next?

Jedi: Press publish. Oh and here’s the application

More Window Ledge Conversation

Coach Lee asked me last week, “Was that real time Mynde? When you wrote the post about jumping out of 5-story windows. Had you processed anything or were you writing that “in real time?”

“Oh it was real time honey. No filtering. No processing. No nothing. This is where I am,” I said.

Looking back at it now, I didn’t realize how perfect that was. To just decide to surrender to the moment. And write it all down.

Such beauty and perfection. My definition of perfection being the divine mystery, the unknowable. Faith in the working of things toward the expansion of life. To create. To move out and beyond, into the unknown. With a joyful heart. Remembering I can choose not to abandon my freedom to bondage, with just a single thought. Or vice versa.

When I started working with my fear for the first time, I felt like Harry at Hogwart’s as I discovered the magic I was capable of conjuring. My wand is Love. With Love, all things are possible.

One way for me to focus on Love more was to understand what was keeping me from experiencing it. Sort of dissolve the blockages. I already knew that Fear was at the bottom of it all; worrying, anxiety, not feeling good enough, feeling stuck in a world that frightened me.

What put me on the window ledge this time, was a disorientation in a relating context (it’s usually always that). I mean, we’re here on Earth with all the other humans! We are going to bump into each other every once and while.

When it comes to relating, again the great mystery is present. According to A Course In Miracles, all relating is holy. My brothers & sisters are holy encounters, where we are doing healing and remembering our individual and collective divinity. That we are all children of God, learning how to love ourselves and each other in a manner reflecting our divine source.

All things are unfolding in a divine timing. And nothing unfolds without the sole purpose of helping us expand into this. To be aware of our own power to create and be creative.

So there are no mistakes.

And Wow. Sometimes this sucks!

Sometimes someone shows up and this concept just stinks. I find myself asking questions like, “How did I get here? Did I really attract this? This is for my divine learning? UGH!”

And then, I become my client (love it when I remember to drink my own kool-aid).  I actually remember to apply what I say to other people about this all the time, to my own life. Huge win (because drinking your own kool-aid takes extra Jedi practice.)

One of the first things we talk about when we’re talking about relationship challenges (spousal/romantic, bosses, family, any type of relating counts) is that in the new world of being a Fear Jedi, the Jedi herself recognizes that she has the secret superpower of being able to alter the relationship. All on her own. To change it completely. Yesssss.  That’s the good news isn’t it?

And the bad news is the good news. And that is, it is completely up to the Jedi to be responsible for how she sees the relationship (and it’s challenges).

And that by choosing to deliberately put your Jedi mind skills (use your wand) upon focusing on Love (which is usually always something that scares you), the Jedi creates shift in the relating.

What we focus on, follows. So follow Love. Just face in that direction. It might be giving yourself the Love or seeing the other person involved with more innocence (less judgment or the idea that they are guilty of whatever we think they are guilty of).

In most all cases, including my own experience, the shift is so significant, it feels miraculous. No measure of size here. Even the in the smallest there is awesome. There is feel better. Relief. Hope. Renewal. Room to breathe (at least a little easier).

And really all the Jedi has done is the inner work to mind her thoughts and change her mind. A tiny miracle that changes everything.

In my moment of willingness, where I surrendered, I put my faith in Love and simply faced in that direction. And when I did, I began to align with the power that creates worlds. It was something I felt. Change I experienced on many inner levels which are mysteriously very connected to my all outer circumstances.

That morning, on my Gratitude walkabout (that was really about being easy on myself, choosing myself, loving myself) I remembered that I have the power to direct my thoughts. I have a choice what I will think about. I have a choice at what story I’m continually telling myself.

How I’m choosing to see the situation, is all up to me.

Even in this unpeaceful relating  moment, I can choose a peaceful thought.

“Wow, look at the beautiful flower” felt way nicer than “OMF’in G, I think imma gonna jump right out of this window if XYZ.”

Pollyanna you say? When it hurts, it hurts. Period. And sometimes it’s simply reaching for the feeling of relief that creates the buffer for Love to do It’s thing.

None the less, welcome to the middle of my life; currently showing is Loving Myself FIRST, No Matter What.

Cliff Notes For Window Ledge Conversations

  1. Acknowledge & feel it. “I’m on this window ledge and it hurts like hell.”
  2. See the good, feel better. “I can count on Gratitude.”
  3. Get my Jedi mind tricks tuned in and humming the song I wish to sing.

The only reason why you could ever experience something other than what you desire is because you are giving the majority of your attention to something other than what you desire. ~Abraham

When It Hurts, It Hurts. Period.

FEEL no matter how painful it is, for numbing is the opposite of living. v @gassho #Pamir

Earlier this week, I found myself in a 5-story window, ready to jump (it’s a metaphor, just so we’re clear here).

I had decided to write about that and pressed publish. Again.

Most of the time, I talk about the anxiety and fear that comes up when I do that. How my self-doubting voices surround me and try to coax me out of a perceived risk I’m considering. It’s always risky to share more of who I am, what is actually taking place in my life right now. It feels silly. Shallow. Too self-focused. Uninteresting.

However, after talking with Charlie Gilkey over the weekend, I realized that most of the stuff I consider as possible ideas for posts (or anything really) are, in fact, really great.

Not because he told me so. Because he doesn’t (usually) do that.

I realized it because when he shares what he’s thinking about or in the middle of working on, I always think it’s great and can’t wait to hear more or read more about it.

We get into these conversations that go very deep and with Charlie, I’m not really holding anything back. Nothing.

And as I talk out loud with him about the ideas I have for writing or expressing myself in general, he reciprocates the very same interest in my stuff that I do his.

Which is when I cross over and into, “I could definitely be writing about this and sharing more of my journey. There IS, in fact, benefit for others by doing so.” Maybe I’ll just claim a new flag for now that says, “If it’s good enough for Charlie, it’s good enough for you too.”

Not to mention, I’m telling clients all the time, subjects to write about are presenting to us daily. Just look around your life. You’ll find something to write about. Usually, we get in our own way and stop just short of the start line.

So my post about Jumping Out of 5-Story Windows was my start line.

I took whatever was showing up in my life and began to talk about it more truthfully, using my blog. I’ve been doing a lot of truth telling to my support circle. In all honesty, I don’t feel like I have as big of a challenge telling to truth out loud, as I do writing it down. I believe that if it gets written down, it has to be something more than just telling the truth.

But just telling the truth is miraculous, all by itself.

And now we’re back to pressing publish again. Because it was a moment of truth telling. And it wasn’t until I was willing to tell my truth, that I was able to begin moving in a new direction. Or, get unstuck. Releasing the deadlock I was having that got me up on the window ledge to begin with.

So many times, I want to do things fast or quickly. I want to get to where I’m going… but there’s traffic. I want my business to be more solvent, like NOW please! I want results. Honestly, without doing any of the preliminary work to get them.

And it just doesn’t work like that.

If we skip a stone across the babbling stream, life will always find a way of bringing us back to it for the learning. We cannot NOT miss it. We think we’re doing ourselves a favor by jumping over it. Other times we think it’s best to just go around it or pretend we don’t even see it.

Every stone I’ve skipped, for whatever reason, I’ve been brought back to. There are no short-cuts. And there wouldn’t be any on the window ledge either.

And since there was going to be no faster way of getting down, I surrendered a little. I realized that getting down “in my time” would require patience with myself. And a willingness to show myself a bit more compassion and lot more love. Some generosity.

After all, if it had been you up on that window ledge, I wouldn’t have asked you to just hurry up and get down from there. But I do it to myself all the time.

And in the moment of choosing to be a little more compassionate with myself, the resistance backed off just the teensiest bit. When you are in high anxiety, even the teensiest bit of relief can feel like a huge weight lifting.

There’s a shift. Out of resistance, into relief.

Tiny. Miniscule. Yet, it’s always enough.

So really, the very first thing I practiced that helped me off the window ledge, was compassion with myself. Compassionate meant saying out loud, this is where I am.

Acknowledging the window ledge and that I was on it.

Instead of focusing so much on how to get out of it, solve it, feel better… whatever. I simply started where I was. And said, yep this is where I am.

And there was a freedom in that. A freedom that came from facing what I didn’t want to face.

That I am hurting. And I didn’t know what to do (I’ve tried everything!) And I feel like jumping out of this window.

By admitting it out loud, I no longer was using energy to fight with that. I was accepting what is. Which created a new space. For me take a deep breathe. And in that moment of breathing deeply into the pain of what I was feeling, a little bit of grace entered and asked me, “Doesn’t that feel better?”

And it did.

One of the biggest challenges I see with being human today, in our culture, is this dynamic of refusing to feel our feelings.

No one ever taught us how to do that in a healthy way (speaking for myself here and about 99% of my coaching clients).

We’ve been conditioned to “do something” with our feelings. And rarely does it include, feeling them. If we show up too brightly as children, “You better settle down. Don’t get too big for your britches!” Or if we hurt too deeply, “You better knock that off right now! It’s time to buck up, get on with it. Don’t be a cry baby!”

And yet, by refusing our feelings, we reject a part of ourselves. We think, “If I just scoot this over here (jump over this stone), I can still get to where I’m going (and maybe even faster!) Plus, dealing with emotions is sometimes messy and I just don’t have time for that!”

And any unresolved emotional stuff, that we refuse to feel, even if we think it’s better for us, loads us down with baggage. Suitcases full of sore spots. That are easily triggered. Until we learn how to face them with grace.

Because it’s really part of our self yearning to be healed, saying, “I’m here! I need your love. Your attention. If only for a moment.” First steps can take just a moment. Pressing publish did. Writing about it was actually easier than I thought too. And I felt better for it.

Feelings don’t go anywhere. They must be acknowledged. And we can choose to acknowledge them with judgment and criticism or acknowledge them with grace and generosity.

But getting off of 5-story window ledges will not happen with judgment and criticism. In fact, judgment and criticism only keeps me stuck on the window ledge. Judging myself for not knowing how I got there, how to get down, what I’m doing wrong, what I need to do more of, how must I contort myself to get outta this window?

I got outta the window by telling myself the truth, feeling all the messy feelings (hurt, loss, grief, betrayal). All of it. And giving all those feelings the simple courtesy of being. Existing. And putting my foot firmly down on that stone.

Then I could move forward to the next one, which was the beginning of coming down off the window ledge.

There’s more “window ledge conversation” coming next week where I’ll share the miracle of how I finally started getting what I needed without requiring the participation of anyone else in the situation to be or do something other than what they were already being/doing.

That shift could not unfold without me first acknowledging the painful feelings of wanting to jump.

Acknowledge it. Feel it. It’s counter-intuitive to what you’ve been trained to do. But it’s the only way to get to where you’re going.

Climbing Down Off The Window Ledge

Something shifted almost immediately after pressing publish on my last post. I talk about pressing publish all the time. Which, unless you blog, you may not understand. But it’s similar to the window ledge. Pressing publish and jumping.

When I press publish, there is a sense of empowerment that happens. Sort of like saying “I choose.” And over the last two days, I’ve been choosing to step out of the window and down from the ledge.

I thought about writing it down, so I could remember how to do it next time. Because I’m learning, there is usually always a next time. Otherwise it wouldn’t be called practice. There will be another window ledge moment.

The first thing I noticed after pressing publish were the familiar voices of fear asking me to doubt myself again. Was I sure? Was it appropriate? Does it matter?

In they come. All gathering around me to console me in some way. Like, “I’m so sorry you have to be you and make all these mistakes all the time.” Hideous. Obsurd even. And even hideous-er is that I actually stop for a minute, sometimes even longer, getting distracted going down that rabbit hole.

So I took a walk. And I decided I wanted to feel better. I mean, taking the walk in the first place was a “feel better” thing for me to do. I’m on this window ledge… what can I do to feel better right now?

And as I was walking and reminding myself that that’s what I want, is to feel better, my eyes distracted me, in a good way. And I found myself in a familiar but distant-at-the-time land of Gratitude. I noticed colors first. Flowers. I said, “That is so beautiful. That is SO beautiful. Boy it’s nice to see beauty. I like seeing that. I like seeing beautiful things.”

Followed by a beautiful moment of recognizing a sense of peace, relief, easy breathing.

Which is me being aware of myself. How I was feeling. Being aware that I am aware. Awareness. Coming back to the moment.

Remembering the good that started it… Gratitude.

Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.

What is already good that I’m just missing the boat on? Where is good floating on by but I’m just not focused on that? My attention is… well stolen. Or unguarded. My attention. Drifting away like a small just-walking child wanders to & fro, bumping into things, waking up, forgetting again.

Focus. Beauty. Gratitude.

Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.

Remembering… gratitude is a way through. I can count on gratitude.

I can count on gratitude.

I can count on seeing the good if I’ll remind myself to look for it.

Make it the most important priority. See the good. Feel better.

I’m still up on that window ledge. I’m just slowing, gently easing myself into a new direction. In this case, down from the window ledge. Instead of wanting to jump out and get from here to there in 2.5 seconds. Or just be done with it. The learning. Or karma. Or whatever it is.

Easy does it. Moving down off the window ledge.