Dr. Bernie Siegel is a physician, author, motivational speaker, and advocate for individuals living with the challenges of chronic illness. Here, he leads us through a meditation, exclusive to Beliefnet, to help us release our fear.
Read Bernie Siegel's Introduction:
This meditation will help you to deal with all the fears that we all confront, whether it's 9/11, Iraq, or the rejected teenager at school. We're all here for a limited amount of time, and life is difficult--not unfair, but difficult. The key is to really confront our fears because when we do, and when we look at them, we really begin to realize that we are capable of handling them.
When you say "I lost my job, I don’t know where I will be next year; I have cancer, will I be dead?" you are picturing the worst. Remember, we're in control of the images. The only thing we can control are the images and the thoughts that go on in our brain. You can't control the world, but when you control your thoughts, you bring order.
I see this again in people with life-threatening illnesses. They really begin their lives when they learn that they can die. And it may be, in a sense, tragic that our planet has to be threatened before we all become one family and can be there for each other and change things. Then again, out of all the fears and disasters, some wonderful things may truly happen.
Read the Meditation:
Look up and let your eyes close gently and let's go for a walk. The first thing that we encounter as we're walking on our path is a beautiful stream. Think of that stream as your bloodstream and just be aware of what brings it peace and calm, what disturbs it or dams it. Where is it going? What will it become part of? Take a moment to observe the flow of your life.
Then build a little bridge across that stream, and let's begin our journey as we walk into the darkness of the forest. Just let nature surround you, and if you have a question about your life, present it to nature. Nature has all the answers, and you can talk to a tree about how to deal with all the changes that a tree has to deal with: environment, weather. Or a stream or a bird--they'll have answers for you. When you're done conversing with nature, continue on your journey.
You'll see a large house ahead of you with a beautiful garden around it. Enter it and allow the aromas and the sights and colors of the garden to bring you a feeling of peace and then enter the house and explore it from the attic to the basement. What is the living room like? What does the kitchen feel like? What's stored in closets? Take a look.
As you walk through the house, you'll hear a baby begin to cry. Go to the sound, go to the nursery where the baby is. When you look in, you'll see an infant in a crib very upset and crying. Stop and think of that baby as representing what you most fear in life. Then walk over and pick up the baby and embrace your fear. Watch what happens as you embrace it. When you feel ready, you can put down the baby and your fear, and walk away.
Come out once again into the garden and the sunshine, and walk over to the pond and look at your image. Become one with that image and who you are. When you feel like "one," then turn and begin your journey toward that beautiful light that you see off in the distance, and know that on your way you'll meet many guides who can help you. All you have to do is ask and reach out, and they will be there.