When things go wrong in life, it can feel like your world is falling apart. I’ve been there. There is an amazing quote by one of my favorite authors Pema Chödrön who said:
“It made me laugh to see that, just as I had so often said, making friends with our own demons and their accompanying insecurity leads to a very simple, understated relaxation and joy.” It’s so true. One of the greatest skills we can learn in our lives is to embrace our fears and the ensuing challenging times that follow as true opportunities for growth rather than something we need to avoid at all costs. Many people through out my life have called me “Brave” however the truth is that deep inside I have always felt unsure and insecure. The difference is that I would forge ahead and do what I knew in my heart had to be done anyway.
To me, being brave IS NOT about having no fear, it’s about feeling the fear and then doing what needs to be done.
Phobias are a common form of anxiety disorders. An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that between 8.7% and 18.1% of Americans suffer from phobias. Broken down by age and gender, the study found that phobias were the most common mental illness among women in all age groups and the second most common illness among men older than 25.
Phobias are not generally diagnosed if they are not particularly distressing to the patient and if they are not frequently encountered. If a phobia is defined as “impairing to the individual”, then it will be treated after being measured in context by the degree of severity. A large percent of the American population is afraid of public speaking, which could range from mild uncomfortability, to an intense anxiety that inhibits all social involvement.
Phobias are generally caused by an event recorded by the amygdala and hippocampus and labeled as deadly or dangerous; thus whenever a specific situation is approached again the body reacts as if the event were happening repeatedly afterward. Treatment comes in some way or another as a replacing of the memory and reaction to the previous event perceived as deadly with something more realistic and based more rationally. In reality most phobias are irrational, in that the subconscious association causes far more fear than is warranted based on the actual danger of the stimulus; a person with a phobia of water may admit that their physiological arousal is irrational and over-reactive, but this alone does not cure the phobia.
My dear friends,
I always envisioned StopStressingNow.Com not as just a website, but the beginning of a movement that would help so many out there. A movement grounded in the belief that the decisions we make about the challenges we face will shape the lives of all of us if only we are honest, true to ourselves and those around us. That takes courage.
This movement was never about making money. It was about creating an open, honest forum, and a lasting legacy that would endure long after I am gone. Creating change that endures for decades to come. That is my vision.
But I have come to realize that I simply can not do it alone. I need your help if this website is to continue.
When I started this new journey in my life, I knew it was going to test me in ways I have never been tested before. In fact it has. Learning you have HIV or any illness or disease can bring you to your knees and that’s exactly what happened to me. But I also knew that possibly the greatest challenge I would face would be confronting my own worse fears. It’s the worse challenges in life that shape our lives. It defines who we are as authentic people and what we are truly made of. While I have much to be proud of in walking this path so far, I know I still have a long difficult road to travel.
One of my recent callers sent me the sweetest note to update me on her situation. I thought I would share it with you since it’s not revealing anything that would identify anyone. It’s a typical situation that is affecting not just her, but many women out there in relationships right now and I felt that not only did she do the right thing, but she has saved herself in the process. The situation could have been much worse. Think: Kids, marriage, house, cars, joint bank accounts, and so on.
Here’s what she had to say a few days after our conversation by phone:
He called me and I said to him what you said I should say (that it’s been fun, but not in my best interest). Then, he told me I was being immature and emotional.
In the wise words of my friend Seth David Chernoff, “Death is inevitable, life is not.”
A lesson I have recently learned myself.
Not everyone in this life is lucky enough to experience true love.
But we will all experience true pain.
It’s the one common denominator that links each of us to the other as people. Any successful comic will tell you that real funny can only come from real pain. I’ll never forget my father once telling me to… “never regret anything that made me smile because none of us where going to get out this alive.” He was right. But what he never told me about was just how painful life can be and the reasons why.
That would take me another 25 years to figure out on my own. The really hard way.
Through out my life I have always used laughter as a way to avoid pain. Like many, when ever an awkward situation would occur I would make light of it to try and lessen the blow. I’ve learned over the years that people (myself included) will do almost anything to avoid pain. I know I certainly did. We don’t understand emotional pain. No one ever talks to us about it. It’s not taught in school and so we are just left to our own devices and herein lies the root of our social problem.
Seth David Chernoff is an award-winning author, two-time cancer survivor, gifted speaker, highly successful marketing professional and founder of multiple companies. His new book is Manual For Living: Reality, A User’s Guide to the Meaning of Life. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Popular Mechanics, Business Week, USA Today, and on national TV and Radio.
By facing death as a two-time cancer survivor, Seth David Chernoff learned to experience the fullness of life. In his award-winning new book, Manual for Living: Reality, A User’s Guide to the Meaning of Life, he offers straightforward guidance for achieving lasting happiness, overcoming fear of death and finding true purpose.
He has lived his message, and pulls no punches as he writes about the hard subjects of death, illness, fear, finding balance, our toxic environment, our perception of what is real, our finances, and our need to accumulate. He deals with change and major transition, living in the “now” and so much more by answering life’s most burning questions.
I am greatly concerned by newspaper articles and television news reports urging people to get their flu shots early. The articles are almost always one-sided; presenting only the viewpoints of government health officials, pharmaceutical companies that manufacture flu vaccines, and drug stores that sell them. The tone is the same: get your flu shot or you could die.
As we’ve seen in previous years, people see these reports and needlessly run out to get vaccinated without knowing the facts about the flu or vaccines. And if this isn’t bad enough after last year’s fiasco of “the sky is falling” warnings, pharmacists and others who sell vaccines, along with public health departments that are supposed to inform the public about real health issues, are warning more people to get their vaccinations even earlier this year.
The facts are that flu vaccines have a negative impact on the health of people of all ages and the government knows it! Even the CDC’s own website about influenza and flu vaccine includes a section about who should not be vaccinated against season flu: including people who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past, and people who developed Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously (www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm). One of our primary national public health organizations says people can get Guillian-Barre syndrome from flu vaccines!
We all are force to combat loneliness at some point in our lives. It’s just human nature. The truth about dealing with loneliness is that it can be a very delicate balancing act. Sometimes you have to sit at home and face it, but sometimes you have to go out and try to meet people. It’s takes effort on your part and that’s where most people have a problem with combating loneliness.
I get a lot of email asking me what can a person do to help rid themselves of loneliness and feel more integrated into our world. What they are really searching for is how to rid themselves of the isolation they feel in their lives. It’s a growing problem in our world. Especially since the advent of the internet. Now people hardly have to leave their homes. We can do our banking online. Pay our bills online. Order food online. Have relationships online. Visit with our family and friends around the globe online, all without even having to leave the house.
Nina Amir, is a seasoned journalist, author, inspirational speaker, and a conscious creation coach. Additionally, she does a show called Conversations with Mrs. Claus, a weekly podcast heard in more than 90 countries and downloaded by 110,000 listeners per month. Through her writing and speaking, Amir offers human potential, personal growth and practical spiritual tools from a unique perspective, although her work spans religious lines it is pertinent to people of all faiths and spiritual traditions. In all she does, Amir strives to help people live fully and feel the Divine Presence in their lives every day.
Here’s Nina Amir
Choosing to Move from Fear to Awe Allows You to Live Fully and Achieve Your Full Human Potential
These days, many people feel they have reasons to fear. They may worry that they will lose their job, their home or their life’s savings. Other people worry about their health and safety. Their worry may turn into fear, and fear soon can become terror.
Any degree of fear, however, stops us from reaching our full human potential. It keeps us stuck in place, unable to move forward to achieve our goals. Plus, our fearful thoughts only create more reasons to have fear. However, learning to move through our fear, or to deal with it in a positive manner, allows us to achieve a new level of personal growth. In this way, we can, indeed, live our lives fully.