New Takes on an Old Friend
“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.” — Hafez
Your heart is racing, your breath is shallow, your stomach is tense, and you’re sweating. Which of these situations is about to happen?
1) You are home alone at night when you hear a sound from the other room. You scramble for an explanation and come up with nothing except that someone has entered the house.
2) You near the cusp of a roller coaster. You’re filled with butterflies. Even though you “know” you’re safe, your body tells you this is dangerous.
3) Your new lover, a person you are hoping likes you as much as you like them, is approaching your door for an evening together.
You might identify the feeling in the first situation as traditional “fear,” and it sits heavily in your body. The second feels like “thrill,” and people pay heaps of money to feel it. “Excitement” fits in the third situation, and people wait their whole lives for it.
Below the surface, all of these situations feature the unknown, failure, and rejection. They also feature newness, discovery, and connection. The physiological response is the same; the difference is perspective and judgment. How we think and feel about the situation – whether it is acceptable or not – determines whether we label the experience “fear.” – From Cheri Huber’s The Fear Book
“Fear is excitement without the breath.” – Fritz Perls
It is not unusual to encounter fear on a daily, if not hourly, basis. It is everywhere – in our thoughts, words, and movie screens. Despite its constant unwanted presence, fear is accepted as a fact of life and rarely challenged. This section of the site aims to debunk fear’s myths and offer a framework for understanding it beyond its initial noise. It is our sincere hope that after reading through these pages, fear will govern LESS of your life.
This is not a “how to” section about getting rid of your fears. You’ll learn that getting rid of fear, like getting rid of stories, is not possible—or even desirable. What is possible is a deeper, more compassionate understanding of fear – through learning, examination, and reflection. You’ll find a guide for your journey through fear: origins, categories, metaphors, stories, tools, and meditations on fear and love.
This section features a small sampling of information and philosophy about fear, gathered from various books ranging from pop-science books to Buddhist texts. There are hundreds of such texts, articles and videos about fear, some of which are mentioned in a list at the end. Like all synthesized philosophical information, take this how you wish. You know your fears better than anyone, as well as your journey.
Fear: A Definition
(noun) – (1) an emotional, mental, and /or physical state characterized by distress or discomfort and rumination on past patterns or the unknown future;
(2) the boundary between the comfort zone and growth zone;
(3) a signal to pay attention to and gather more information;
(4) a mind-killer
Synonyms – anger, sadness, paralysis, alert, signal
Antonyms – love, curiosity, courage, creativity, mentorship, wholeness
Here’s what you’ll find in the following pages on Fear.
Feel free to use this as your Table of contents, or if you’d like to read it all at once, simple click through the buttons as you reach the bottom of each page.