This nervous feeling in your heart?
Breathe in, breathe out.
Stay for one moment.
This is fearlessness.
My new book is coming out. Here’s an excerpt.
Fearlessness is not being without fear.
It’s not machismo, a brittle and bullying touch exterior. Fearlessness feels like fear, because it’s borne of our brave willingness to be vulnerable. Fearlessness is feeling the fear, breathing into it, and stepping through it. Fear is a wall of fire.
We do not get through stress, anxiety, or panic by avoiding them.
We do not get through stress, anxiety, or panic by suppressing them.
We do not get through stress, anxiety, or panic by trying to defeat them.
So…then…how do we actually manifest fearlessness?
We develop friendship with ourself, through being gentle, and honest, with this raw vulnerable heart.
We actually allow ourselves to feel the fear. Fearlessness, in the Buddhist tradition, is developed by opening up your heart, again and again. That can be scary. That takes bravery.
Fearlessness feels like fear. The difference is that you don’t give up. You breathe through it. And you also don’t get caught up in the fear. You don’t freeze. You breathe. And you don’t guilt trip on yourself for freezing up. It’s a practice.
You’re simply brave enough to feel that vulnerability, to feel that fear, and to do it anyway. Again and again.
The above is an excerpt from Waylon H. Lewis’ forthcoming book, It’s Never too Late to Fall in Love with Your Life: Practical Buddhist advice for Everyday Life. It’s 108 quotes, with commentary. Pre-order it here and save $5.
His first book, the best-selling Things I would like to do with You, is also available at that link.