I know. You’re thinking, “Here we go again with the Love thing, and I don’t feel very loved or loving right now, even when I look at this super-cute monkey-cuddling-a-tiger photo.”
It doesn’t matter – you have felt loved and loving at some point, and I’m guessing a lot. It’s just a matter of calling up that full sensory experience and hanging with it for just five minutes. To put out a fire right away, you throw water on it. To stop feeling fearful you need to feel Love.
What is fear, anyway?
Fear is a highly charged emotional response to future things that usually have zero basis in reality – hence the acronym, False Evidence Appearing Real. In order to neutralize fear and see things clearly, the “charge” first needs to be dissolved so emotions settle down. Think about it: you can’t be terrified in the same moment as when you are deeply experiencing Love. You might believe it’s impossible to sit there and make yourself “feel Love” right now, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Science has proven that every single experience you’ve ever had and all of its sensory components are stored in your nervous system, available to be “called up” whenever you want. How it smelled, felt, tasted, looked and sounded is all stored in the miraculous computer that is your brain. These past experiences drive your behaviors from somewhere deep in your subconscious, and not always in the right direction. Instead of being “driven,” why not take charge, and use past experience to “drive” yourself forward in the present? You can proactively call up a past experience of Love with all its associated sensory experiences and reap the infinite benefits of it any time, over and over again.
It’s time to get “sense-able” with this life-changing, five-minute practice:
Minute 1: Bring to mind a small fear.
You are going to be late, you aren’t going to get your work done, so and so won’t call, so and so will call, or you will be alone for the rest of your life. See if you can notice how your body feels when you call up a fear – are you tense or nervous? Does your heart rate speed up? Does everything feel more stressful?
Minute 2: Close your eyes.
Go back in time to any single memory of Love you’ve had. Getting hugged, cuddling with a pet, being kissed, a magical love-filled moment, an experience in nature, or any deeply felt spiritual experience; whatever comes up for you first when you think “love” is usually the easiest place to start.
Minute 3: Get “Sense-able.”
Begin with images, and in your mind, call up faces, expressions, hair, clothing – yours, theirs, anyone’s. Were you inside or outside? What was the space like; what colors did you see? Recall as many visual details as you can. Now, bring in sound. What were the voices or words you heard? Were they loud, soft or soothing? Was there music, wind, or water in the background? Really listen “in” and focus on any sound associated with this past experience.
Now, move on to touch. Can you recall how someone or something felt, like a small hand holding yours, feeling a breeze brush your skin, or the warmth of the sun on your face? How were you sitting or standing; how did your clothing feel on your body? Focus in on any and all details.
Minute 4: Feel the feeling.
Stay with any or all of the sensory experiences associated with this Love Memory for one more minute, really allowing them to fully sink into your being, so that right now, for this moment, you are entirely back in that Experience of Love.
Minute 5: Check in with your body.
Are you relaxed, happy, peaceful? Full of joy? Free from time? Does your heart feel more open? Notice and stay with all of these sensations, paying attention to how they linger on.
For a bit of reinforcement, you might even splurge and write down your present feelings. Follow this five-minute practice, and I guarantee that “fearful” will not be on the list.
Congratulations – you are officially in charge.