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. 

HOLY F*CK: IN SEARCH OF A SMILF…

“I want to date a spiritual guy who doesn’t LOOK spiritual, you know?” In the latest installment of her column Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo goes in search of a SMILF…

I was recently discussing relationships with my friend Loulou, and I admitted to finally being ready to surrender to my desire for a “spiritual partner” in love and life.

Lou, like many other friends of mine has a diff take on me about this. As I waxed poetic about Hawaiian yoga retreats with a lover she stopped me, saying: “A big block to finding a partner is putting a limit on who they have to be. Whether it’s the type of clothes they wear, or their career – let’s not throw spirituality into the mix, too.” And I toooootally get it. But if we share our spiritual work with our friends how can we not with a partner?

Over the last 15+ years of dating I’ve mostly stayed away from “spiritual types.” I’ve also spent years sneaking out of bed to meditate in bathrooms in the a.m. Praying silently over my food alone. But while keeping your practice sacred and personal can be beautiful, it can also get old. Most people I dated looked at my altars like I was doing voodoo. (Ok fine, there may have been a snake skin and some bones on there from time to time). A few even made fun of my “woo” at dinner parties – and, well, we DID NOT last.

In my show Be Here Nowish my character Sam goes to a Spiritual Speed Dating event at a place based on Maha Rose in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. After a few too many guys wearing patchouli offer to take her back to their place for an “aura photo” she says to her bestie Nina: “I wanna date a spiritual dude. But not a guy who looks spiritual, you know?”

Since I wrote this line I MEANT IT at the time, and have been casually “researching” this “species” ever since. My findings? There’s the spiritual guy who meditates, but still wants to call you a slut in bed. (Over it.) The spiritual guy who is spiritual by day and does molly all night. (I think this one is called “Burner”?) Then there’s the spiritual guy who dresses in all linen and calls your cooch a yoni. (I may be okay with this, but pls know I may giggle and will DEF group text all my friends about it.)

But I have faith that the “spiritual dude” who isn’t drowning in hemp and OM bumper stickers is out there – and here are 10 of my fave SMILFS to prove it! By SMILF I mean “Spiritual Masculine Identified Person I’d Like to…Follow!” Because following someone and their work and passions is a great way to “get to know them” right?

So thank you, SMILFS, for giving us hope in a world where finding someone vaguely attractive to date that also inspires your spiritual path can feel harder than doing 10 days of Vipassana followed by the Master Cleanse!

:: Kyle Gray ::
Okay, any man that works with Angels wins my heart. Enough reason to FOLLOW. Loulou just got me his book and I’m excited to read it. Not only does Kyle have the most adorable Scottish accent and is a one of few out queer spiritual teachers, but he is also covered in inspirational tattoos and obsessed with Vivienne Westwood.

:: Jesse Israel ::
I found out about Jesse through my friend Steph Simbari and her podcast with Elizabeth Kott “That’s so retrograde” where she talked to him about his project The Modern Man Experiment which I think is important work. Jesse also organizes HUGE and hip group meditations and things and I’m excited to see what’s next from him.

:: Nick Krieger ::
Nick is a trans/queer activist, writer, and coach with goals of de-colonizing and queer-ifying yoga. (Praise Goddess!) He won my heart with this article. He also wrote a book called “Nina Here nor There” about his journey with gender.

:: Light Watkins ::
I discovered Light when he taught meditation to someone I dated who then kept saying: “Oh Light this and Light that.” I may have unfollowed that person on social media, BUT in turn I followed Light! Besides his obvious physical beauty, Light brings Vedic meditation to the masses and has cute snapchats featuring his pug.

:: Michael Trainer ::
Michael founded the incredible Global Citizen project and has a new project called Peak Mind. I happened to go to his gathering in LA and witness his devotion to the Dalai Lama and how he is helping the planet with an open heart. Very genuine stuff.

:: Spiritual Stoner ::
I may have quit marijuana for now, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate this guy. My friend Carlen Altman intro-ed me to his insta when I was in a “conspiracy theory/illuminati K-hole” last winter in NY. Radical Instagram activism is the real deal and his posts range from poignant anti-racism memes, veganism support, worshipping women as Goddess incarnate, conspiracy theory reveals…The kinda stuff I could geek out for hours on.

:: Michael Domitrovich ::
Michael claims to help make “The power of the Spiritual plane as accessible as a bag of chips!” That’s kind of light worker I gravitate towards- anyone who isn’t afraid to use junk food in a metaphor! He uses all kinds of modalities and teachings and does a lot of workshops in LA and NYC.

:: Ryan Cropper ::
Ryan does real fun work, deep but with just enough esoteric to keep things fun and not too woo woo: astral projection courses, shadow integration, memory improvement and more, all with a cute British accent and a great YouTube channel.

:: Patrick Beach ::
His Instagram feed speaks for itself. What else can I say about a shirtless hot man in various yoga poses? “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” are the only words I have.

:: Forrest 44 ::
Okay, so we may have no idea what this dude’s REAL name, is BUT his Instagram feed is full of Goddess and Nature imagery AND he makes beautiful crystal pendants and rings. Big blue eyes, crystal grids, and visionary art?! Sign me up.

For all of us single ladies I will leave you with the wise Miss Lou said as we finished our coconut “Cream Party” juices: “How about you just choose to seek out a partner who has a practice of love. They might get high from joy when watching their favorite sports team, connect to mother earth via love for their dog.”

I LOVE that, and she is right. However! I’m not giving up on my fantasies of meditating naked in Bali and getting matching Archangel Michael tattoos with someone yet. A girl can dream, right?

I want to hear your opinion! Are you looking for a SMILF? Do you have one to add here? Or are you in a spiritual partnership? Please write in the comments your story with any SMILFS! I’m going to go deeper into this next month and interview some of my fave conscious couples so stay tuned…

THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL: A SKEPTIC MEETS KYLE GRAY

Hipster angel whisperer Kyle Gray is on a mission to shift the perception around our celestial messengers. Will skeptic Lisa Luxx be convinced?

Angels. The first time I heard them spoken about in a serious yet non-religious context was two years ago. A friend carried a white feather around on the handlebars of her bike. She said if you found a white feather on your path it meant an angel was present. And I thought, what good is that?

Then I went to meet Kyle Gray, angel whisperer, and while my heart was open a strong gust of skepticism kept trying to slam it shut. We were at the Hay House conference where it seemed like everyone else definitely knew what angels were. But see the problem is, as much as I dig the vibrations of all these now-age ideologies, angels were always just a bit too wishy-washy and indefinable for my liking. So I was quite surprised by Kyle, once the youngest clairvoyant in the UK and now the hippest angel reader ever.

It’s easy to imagine an angel reader turning up barefoot, beaded from head to toe and floating in an effluvium of loose material and harem pants. But Kyle is mostly made up of tattoos, Vivienne Westwood and a good-natured pout. His soft Scottish accent carries an air of naivety, which acts as a sweet welcome mat into the temple of his experience.

His first successful angel reading was at a family party when he was fifteen years old. He has since become the fourth generation of psychic in his family, not exactly unexpected since his mother was summoned to a psychic night one evening when Kyle was six. “The psychic refused to see anyone until my mum arrived. When she went in, this lady sat her down and told her, ‘By the time your son is seventeen years old he’ll be known nationally for being the same as me.’”

But back to that first reading; “I closed my eyes and heard Destiny’s Child’s Survivor in my head.” Enter another almighty gust of skepticism. But I sit tight…and he continues; “I said, ‘if there is an angel present, thank you for revealing a message to Joe’ and suddenly I heard a voice saying ‘tell this man he is a survivor’. When I opened my eyes there was this great gold light, with black eyes, standing behind Joe…I almost shit myself!”

Kyle recalls how cool it was to discover that following their meeting, Joe went on to overcome a depression that had hitherto led him to five suicide attempts, each of which had failed drastically with an uncanny, almost divine, intervention. It turned Kyle on to the power of angel work; surrendering himself to becoming a messenger between the divine and the human. Although it meant he spent most of his teenage years listening to middle-aged women talking about their affairs, which he reflects was “way too heavy.”

But “Angels are always present,” Kyle explains to me. “Every space you look, there is an angel waiting.” And…jackpot! Without warning, I’m ten-years-old again, the moment I realize talk of angels and the like stopped making sense for me. I’d forgotten it had actually been a choice to stop believing in the “make believe.”

At age ten I was exploring things I wasn’t supposed to, like masturbating and smoking my friend Kayan Chan’s mum’s cigarettes. My grandma, who had raised me, had just passed away and I didn’t understand the distinction between angels and spirits. So ten-year-old me was so nervous that I was being watched by Grandma, I was busy talking myself out of that frequency despite having had what I now recognize as vivid experiences with the spirit world up until then. But now here’s Kyle Gray telling me that when it comes to angels; “its your job to turn up, not theirs.”

Ironically, Kyle explains, “when you work with angels they help you understand who you are, help you return to love and help you get away from the fearful stuff in your life. Angels are like guardians, these beings that forever love you, no matter who you are or what you do.” If I’d know that when I was ten, maybe angels could have helped me explore my grandma’s death in a healthy way, rather than running from it and pretending it didn’t exist (much like the angels themselves).

Kyle has been distracted a few times since we began talking by things happenings around me that I can’t see, but he insists that spirits are more distracting than angels – although angels do like to remind you of their presence. And for the record, if a spirit is a loved one in heaven who’s passed away, an angel, he says, is like a divine entity. “If God was to exist and God was to think, that thought would become an angel.”

So perhaps our angels are more like the thoughts we have. Thoughts that grows wings; our intentions. When Kyle first discovered angel power, he says had a lot of fun writing prayers to them. And though he speaks to angels and often hears a response, his practice still is the sacred act of writing prayers. At first this meant prayers to manifest new cars and free holidays, before he realized he could use angel power for internal growth. “Instead of asking for money to pay my bills, I started to ask how I could share more, how I could be more present. The rest of the stuff started to take care of itself.”

Kyle spent much of his adolescence wondering why he was special enough to see angels; “but when I look back now, it was just about the willingness to see.” We agree that it’s a frequency the majority of us are conditioned out of. I’m starting to get that the important thing about angels is having “the open heartedness to experience without judgment,” as Kyle Gray puts it with a nod.

With that, it’s clear that it was only me doing the judging when I was a kid, not the angels after all.

Angel Prayers Oracle Cards by Kyle Gray with be published by Hay House on October 6. His book,  Angel Prayers: Harnessing the Help of Heaven to Create Miraclesalso on Hay House, is out now.

Lisa Luxx is the editor-in-chief of Prowl Magazine.

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