5 WAYS TO FACE YOUR FEARS LIKE THE BUDDHA

Want to cross the threshold into immeasurable growth? Learn how to face your fears like the Buddha, says Angel expert and inspirational speaker, Kyle Gray

Photo: Chris Ensey

Let’s begin with a story …

One day the Buddha was meditating deeply in a hillside cave with one of his devotees keeping watch outside.

Suddenly, the devotee glimpsed a demon called Mara coming up the hill. Panicked, he began trying to figure out how to keep Mara away from the Buddha, dreaming up excuses about him being out for lunch or away shopping.

Lost in thought, he felt something breathing down on him and looked up to find Mara in all his demonic glory—tongue out, blue-skinned, frightening. “I’m here to see the Buddha,” Mara said. The guard didn’t know what to say when he was interrupted by a voice inside the cave. “Let him come in,” said the Buddha.

Mara entered the cave and stood before the Buddha. “I see you, Mara,” said the Buddha.

He looked at Mara right in the eye. He acknowledged him. He conversed with him. He accepted him. He allowed him to be there and found comfort in his presence. 

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This story is a huge metaphor for Fear. You are the cave. Mara is your fear. The guard is your ego. And Buddha is the voice of your soul.

We seldom want to deal directly with our fears. But to live a life of integrity and purpose we must shed light on our own darkness, and be willing to feel exactly what we feel. Our emotions are our messengers and Fear is one of our ultimate assignments.

Here are 5 ways to face your fears like the Buddha and begin to uncover your true purpose in the process …

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1// Fear reveals what we truly value 
Our emotions are constantly communicating to us who we are and helping us discern what is important to us.

Fear often arises when we really care about something. It’s a reminder that we want to do a good job, or make a good choice, or even be a good person. Whenever Fear rises up for me, it’s because I really want to deliver my best self to the world. Whenever it arrives it’s simply my higher self, asking me “are you sure you want to be this powerful?” And the answer is simple:  “Yes, I do!”

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2// Fear is our assignment
Ultimately Fear is an assignment, and you can choose to deal directly or run. If you choose the former, you are standing on the cusp of your greatness.

When we agree to face our fears head on, we create space for the miraculous, and remove the blocks that have held us back from living a completely heart-centred life. Your Fear is giving you an opportunity to rise. It’s what I call ‘the spiritual emotional colonic’—giving you the chance to leave your shit in the past, once and for all.

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3// Fear is just another form of Love
On the surface, it may appear that these two emotions are opposites—and we often get told this. That Love is the moment we remember we are one with the Universe—when we feel completely held supported and guided. And that Fear, conversely, is the moment we feel stuck, alone, and even lost.

But in reality, Fear and Love are both the energy of the Universe expressing itself in different forms. The energy that feels heavy, intense, and restrictive—what we might call Fear—is the same energy that can be transformed directly into the feeling of connectedness, support, and abundance. Use Fear to tap into Love by shifting your perceptions and realizing their interconnectedness. Which is that the presence of Fear shows us the path to Love.

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4// Fear is an opportunity for dialogue
When the Buddha (representing our soul voice) communicates directly with Mara (the incarnation of Fear), he is able to penetrate through the Fear and see it for what it is.

When your Fear threatens to take over, you might stop and have a loving but firm conversation with it. Try the following:

Hello Fear. Thank you for being here and for reminding me how much I care about this situation. I see you, I hear you, I feel you, Mara. But today, I am choosing to believe the higher truth that I am one with the Universe. Because of this, I can let you go and surrender this whole situation. I know I am being led to where I need to be.

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5// Fear is your birthright
When your Fear appears, you are being given the invitation to be strong, powerful, and real. Claim this for yourself—it’s your birthright.

All our emotions are messengers. Your fears are assignments. And all of this is ultimately because you have chosen (consciously or unconsciously) to be the most powerful possible version of you.

Know that when the voice of Fear gets louder it’s because you are on the verge of a miracle, and that the only way to experience that miracle is to sit with the Fear, communicate with it, make friends with you. You wouldn’t be experiencing this assignment if the Universe didn’t think you were ready.

Take the opportunity to rise up. In the words of Joan of Arc, “You were born for this!”

Kyle Gray is an Angel expert and an inspirational speaker. He’s also a Lululemon yoga and meditation ambassador, and international bestselling author of 6 books including Raise Your Vibration, Angel Prayers, and the brand-new Light Warrior. 

A SACRED SPACE RITUAL FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Laurey Simmons of The Colourful Dot Boutique, shares a sacred space ritual to open your heart this Valentine’s Day…

Beyond the chocolates and red roses, Valentines Day for me is a precious reminder to keep our hearts open. As psychotherapist and spiritual teacher John Welwood says, our heart’s true purpose is really: “to be an open channel through which great love flows into this world.”

One of my favorite ways of opening this channel is by spending time in my sacred space. A sacred space is simply one corner of our home environment where we keep beautiful objects that are special or sacred to us. The space can be as large or as small as you want. Even if you only have a small section of a shelf, this too can be a perfect place to make your sacred space.

Keeping a sacred space is a precious gift to our soul, a reminder of how we want to be in the world, a mirror reflecting back to us our Inner Beauty.

Read on for a sacred space ritual for an open heart…

1. First thing to do is to cleanse the energy of your space. One of my favorite ways to cleanse is by burning Frankincense resin. Dropping a few pieces of the resin onto a burning charcoal disc allows for the heavenly smoke to rise and fill the surrounding air. Breathing in this aroma, I find my mind-chatter settles, my body relaxes, and my energies become grounded.

2. With the theme of Love in mind, I’ll be adding a few drops of Rose Oil into my diffuser. The combination of Frankincense and Rose Oil smells seriously divine! Rose of course exudes love and beauty, both visually and through her perfect scent. Did you know that Rose essential Oil has been proven in studies to reduce anxiety and produce deep levels of relaxation?

3. Now for some visual beauty. Nothing opens my heart more than beautiful objects from Mother Nature, especially crystals. Three pink, heart-centered stones I’m working with a lot at the moment are Rose Quartz, the mother of Love stones; Mangano Calcite, which radiates the energies of the heart in a very gentle, nurturing, and soothing way; and Pink Morganite, also known as the Pink Emerald, and a wonderful tool to help cultivate qualities of the heart, like compassion. I also love to add fresh flowers to my sacred space—in this case, either fresh pink roses or a bowl of dried pink roses.

4. The next step is to connect to the energy of those who radiate an open heart or Unconditional Love. It could be a spiritual teacher, a historical or mythical figure, a friend or family member. At the moment, the chosen beings of light in my sacred space are Ram Dass, Maya Aneglou, Thich Nhat Hann, Joni Mitchell, and Heqet (the Ancient Egyptian goddess and symbol of new life). Ideally, print off some small images of these people so they can beam their light right back at you from the heart of your sacred space.

5. An open heart is only truly open if we can keep it so in challenging situations. With this in mind, I like to have an object in my sacred space that symbolizes this challenging situation or person. This practice is taken from one of my spiritual teachers, Ram Dass, who spoke about his own puja table and how he’d have pictures of his teachers there, Buddha, Hanuman, Maharajah, Mary, and how every morning he would greet them with love. This included a picture of one of his most difficult people, Caspar Weinberger, President Reagan’s Secretary of Defense. An alternative to a picture of a specific person is simply to include a broken or damaged object. I sometimes use a decaying leaf to, reminding me of those spaces in my heart that sometimes struggle to stay open, allowing feelings of compassion towards that situation or person that challenges us.

6. To finish this ritual, I love to place my hand on my heart and set a little intention: to keep the people who inspire me and the beauty, especially the beauty of imperfection, in my heart throughout the day, so I can be a more compassionate and loving person in the world. I also recommend placing your hand on your heart throughout the day, especially if you ever feel it closing up. This simple gesture can bring you directly back to that inner space of Beauty and Love.

Discover more about Laurey and her work at The Colourful Dot Boutique, an online sanctuary for Inner Beauty. Pre-order her new book, The Inner Beauty Bible: Mindful rituals to nourish your soul, today. 

A LESSON IN NEW MOON MAGICK

Want to align yourself with every phase of mother Moon? Gabriela Herstik has a lesson in New Moon magick just for you…

If you’ve ever wondered how you can use the energy of mother Moon to manifest or discard that which may or may not serve you, you’ve entered the realm of what’s known as ”Sympathetic Magick”.

Don’t let this menacing term fool you, it’s really not as scary as it sounds! To put it simply, it means working with the waxing and waning of the Moon, as it gains and loses light, to reflect what you would like more or less of in your life.

Here’s the lowdown on New Moon magick, to help you channel your inner witchy mamma…

What is it
“Sympathetic Magick” works on the assumption that there’s a secret sympathy that connects all energies. We may not be able to see this, but we feel and understand it. This concept can be broken down into two parts; The Law of Similarity and The Law of Contact.

The Law of Similarity
The Law of Similarity is the most relevant when it comes to working with the Moon. This Law states that magick works because like attracts like (as both the Buddha, and The Secret have taught us), and so in imitating the result you desire, you will cause it to happen by attracting it to you. This is also called The Law of Attraction.

The Law of Contact
The Law of Contact works with the idea that the energy of two objects continues to act on one another even after they’re separated. Voodoo dolls are a good representation of this Law! By hurting a certain part of the doll you’re following the Law of Similarity – by using some actual hair, or a piece of clothing belonging to the person the doll represents, you’re following The Law of Contact. (Don’t worry – we’re not suggesting you use Sympathetic Magick to hurt anyone, but this is the easiest way to explain the difference between the two Laws.)

How This Relates to the Moon
Okay, so some basic astronomy- when the Moon is dark it’s called the New Moon. As it then becomes more light it’s called a Waxing Moon. After the time of the Full Moon, it starts to lose light, known as the Waning Moon. The easiest way to remember this? Wax on, Wane off. In relation to Sympathetic Magick – as the Moon’s light grows, or waxes, you tap the Law of Similarity and perform some New Moon magick for what you want more of. When the Moon’s light shrinks, or wanes, you use the same law to perform magick for what you want to let go of.

When the Moon is Waxing
As the Moon grows in size and gains both strength and light, focus on what it is you want to grow and manifest! In the two weeks from when the Moon is black, up until it’s full, there’s a really strong window of opportunity to attract more of anything you want an abundance of. The waxing Moon is a perfect time to think about (and perform magick for) communication, financial and legal matters, healing and health. For example, you could do this money spell. Think about what you want to increase and go for it.

When the Moon is Waning
In the time between the Full Moon to the Black Moon, or New Moon, there’s a strong window of opportunity to let go. This is a time to analyze what no longer serves you and to rid yourself of it, a great time to break old habits, relationships and addictions. The waning Moon is a time of release. Take some time to tune in to what speaks to your soul – if it isn’t letting you rise to your highest possible potential, is it necessary? If not then let it go, let it go.

When the Moon is New
Of all the Moon phases, the New Moon and Full Moon are the most potent. When the moon is completely dark, it’s a really strong time to work your New Moon magick and get rid of what you don’t want. It’s a good idea to retreat from the world, focus and think of what really does and doesn’t serve you. The energy of the New Moon occurs the day it’s marked on the calendar, as well as the day before and after. PS – If you need some ideas of ways to celebrate with more New Moon magick, we got you.

When the Moon is Full
Meanwhile, the Full Moon is a time of celebration! The divine feminine is amped, and it’s a good time to gather up your tribe and give gratitude. The Full Moon speaks of commitment, psychic ability and magickal acts of all kinds. Spells are especially strong on this day (as well as three days before or three days after) and you can tailor your spell to fit the coming New Moon, too. If you want to manifest, think of the Full Moon as the apex of this energy. If you want to perform a spell to let go, tailor it to the fact that every day after the Full Moon will assist in shrinking whatever it is.

Other Tools
If you really want to use Sympathetic Magick to its full advantage during each Moon phase, don’t forget about the other tools at your disposal. Affirmations, crystals, flowers, herbs, incense, trees… go crazy! The more ways you can state your intended desire to the Universe, the stronger the magick will be. Beyond anything else – believe in what you do whole heartedly, Magick flows the best when you completely surrender to it!