I have taught leadership classes to youth for years. One of the games we play at the beginning of a new course helps us get acquainted with each other. Everyone stands in a circle. I have a ball of yarn, and I take the end of that yarn and hold it. I tell one thing about myself. Then I toss the ball of yarn to someone else in the circle. They in turn hold on the strand of yarn, tell the group something about themselves, and toss the ball to another person in the circle.
Many of my clients who come for craniosacral therapy tell me that they suffer from anxiety. It is a real problem for them. What I notice, interestingly enough, is that most of them have very tense muscles, and their body feels very, very tight.
There is a true principle: Emotions lodge in the body.
Somehow, we have come to misunderstand what fear is.
Remember the principle: A feeling PLUS a thought equals an emotion.
F + T = E
Fear is the meaning we assign to a situation as a result of a sensation or feeling.
Noise heard in the middle of the night = waking up with racing heart, and fear.
Being told that you are being laid off from a job = fear based on the belief: We will run out of money and starve.
The question is: How do we deal with fear?
Last month I had Grandma’s Camp at our house. It was a lot of fun. For several days my grandchildren and I played and did activities together.
I had checked out a movie from the library - geared especially for little children - and we decided to watch it. But - my little five-year-old granddaughter looked at the cover, and said, “It’s too scary for me.” Since it was a very child-friendly movie, I said, “Oh, I think it will be okay.”
This wonderful, precocious, dear-to-my-heart granddaughter said, very earnestly, “It won’t be okay to me.”
We can think of “fear” as a tool. This is a “tool” to help us figure out a response to an immediate threat.
When we’re curious about our fear, we want to understand what the fear means.
As we’re curious, we wonder: What does this experience mean to me? What does it represent? What choices am I making because of this situation? What choices or options do I see because of how I am looking at it? Are there other options or choices? I wonder what would happen if I were to look at the situation with another viewpoint?
Most people today would say that they feel a significant amount of stress all the time. It’s that uncomfortable feeling that says, “There’s no ability to relax.”
Over and over in my private craniosacral therapy practice, I find that people are saying “stress” is their “normal.”
What would it like to NOT feel stress? People don’t know.