Today a client asked me “Will giving my attention to fear bring more of it into my life?”.
This client explained that he understands that what we focus on expands, and, I definitely experience this to be true, in fact that’s a core of what makes my work Work. We use our focus to develop strength and capacity, to build and create beautiful things.
But what he was expressing was a fear that if he turns and faces the trauma and locked patterns in his body, that he will create more of it (by the law of attraction) in his life.
So I want to address this, because it’s a concern that I see effecting many people’s ability to be deeply present with themselves, and to actually build new brain pathways towards greater health and resiliency.
There’s a school of thought that says “if you are experiencing pain, the best thing to do is to focus on what feels better and keep building your focus on that, and the pain will melt away”.
Now that works to a Certain extent, but it doesn’t take into account the automatic programming in our physiology, nervous system and brain pathways.It doesn’t take into account the high charge that can be in the body of someone who has experienced highly challenging or traumatic events. And we all have some version of something challenging either in our own or our family history.
We can consciously choose to focus on pleasure, but if the body is holding unconscious trauma, fear or hyper vigilance (for eg), focussing on pleasure can be a bandaid that works till that trauma is unconsciously (or consciously) triggered.
And then, the body takes over as it goes into survival responses.
In this experience, I see many people become self-judgemental and feel shame that they couldn’t maintain their focus on pleasure and shift out of pain. And of course the combination of survival-strength sensations, feelings and shame is something we naturally don’t want to get more of.
The way I view this pleasure/pain dynamic is that we want to be able to Look at difficulty, if it is here!
Difficulty can be such a teacher and strengthener, but not if we ignore it.
So, in answer to the question “doesn’t focussing on fear bring more fear?”.. I want to share how I use FOCUS to help build resilience, presence and inner connection with a sense of Home*. How that focus is not about avoidingfear, but strengthening the foundations that can hold the fear, creating the safety to be able tofeel the fear without fear of it.
This approach doesn’t bring more fear, but allows it to move through in a gentle way so we have More space to feel the whole spectrum.
* I want to be transparent here, that my intention in sessions is to help you to find your way Home into yourself. To me, your inner “home” holds everything you want and need, not in a “happy all the time way”, but in a good and true and grounded way.
When I’m working with someone and they bring something like:
“I feel anxious a lot of the time”
My focus will be on the witness that is able to observe this experience.
On building their capacity as both as a human being and a consciousness, and as a physiology that is able to tolerably manage (sometimes) large amounts of charge/energy moving through it.
On building capacity to be present to whatever life is moving through you.
Because when we focus on our containment, our largeness… that largeness, that capacity and strength, expands. We become more solid, more present, more anchored.
And what is possible when we do that … when I don’t shrink back from fear because I’m scared.
When you’re relaxed, even when trauma or constriction is here.. then, the constriction moves through a larger field of relaxation.
Then you begin to identify yourself with relaxation, with love, with the field that holds all these things.
So I want to bring this back to my clients question “If I focus on fear, (in the law of attraction) wont it bring me more fear?”
And my answer is, it might seem like that at first. Because it’s quite possible that if you’ve set up your management patterns, trying to keep fear away, that when you start to pay attention to what’s happening in your self, you might begin to notice fear is in many places in you, cause you’ve pushed it away and tried to control it.
But as you focus on… “is this ok in this moment to feel this fear?”, the fear may very well start to soften and move and shift into something new.
Once you have a sense of your containment and capacity, then you can turn for a moment towards the fear. And I want to share with you, that if we turn for a moment towards the fear, and give yourself, give in to that fear totally, for just a moment, it will shift into something else, it will become excitement, shivering. It will be Space for your body to shake it off and move into something else.
It’s the resistance to the fear that holds it in place, and keeps “bringing it back”.
So I would re-word the above question in my answer as:
“If you avoid fear (because you’re scared of feeling it) this will tend to strengthen it and make it seem bigger than it is. If you can learn to soften around it, focus on your strength and capacity, there will be more space for it to move through and for you to feel feelings such as peace, joy, contentment and power”
So my advice to you is to do what you can to create foundation and safety in your self in your life in a felt sense way, and then turn towards the monsters you’ve been running from.