Inspiration, Tools and Techniques for Living a Joyful Life Now
How Does Fear Sabotage Your Happiness?
Fear comes in many forms, and it often resides in us quietly, remaining hidden and unnoticed, yet wreaking havoc on our life.
There are two common fears that I encounter all the time:
The Fear of Change
The Fear of Happiness
Fear of Change
Most people are not aware of these fears. We all want to change for the better don't we? We join health clubs, make New Year's resolutions, try different diets, read self-help books... but for most of us, we feel another force within us that resists and keeps us stuck. It comes in the form of procrastination. Or the loss of motivation. Or it takes the form of bad habits, self-indulgences, avoidance, addictions and even self-destructive actions.
Sometimes people that come to me for therapy end up quitting just when they're on the verge of a breakthrough.
We're all on this quest of change and personal growth, and we're moving towards our goals, closer and closer, and then when the stark reality hits us - that moment of clarity when we realize that we really can be different, that our old ways can really be dropped, that maybe we can become free.... we get scared to death. Only we often don't know we're scared. Instead of intense fear, what we often feel instead is something like a loss of interest, or we get "distracted" by something else going on in our life, or by some other person; or we tell ourselves, "maybe it's not worth it... I just need to accept my lot in life."
Why do we fear change?
I'm afraid of losing something
I'm afraid of "going crazy"
I'm afraid of the unknown
I'm afraid I'll lose my identity - I won't know myself anymore.
My loved ones wont know me anymore - they'll be uncomfortable with the "new" me... maybe they'll get angry at me... or even leave me.
Everyone in my family is a certain way and to really be different means I'd would be dishonoring and rejecting my own family.
If I really change, people wont know how to relate to me anymore.
Changing feels like dying.
If we don't address these self-sabotaging fears within us, then no matter how much work we do to change for the better, we will always be slipping back, fighting an uphill battle.
EFT/Meridian Tapping is the perfect technique to remove these hidden fears and clear the way for us to move forward towards our dreams and goals.
Fear of Happiness
The fear of happiness shares much in common with the fear of change.... if we are not used to being predominately happy, this may feel like an unnatural or foreign identity. You might know yourself as a serious person, or a cynical person, or stoic person, and being "happy" might evoke all sorts of mental images of being foolish, head-in-the-clouds, ungrounded, unrealistic, naive, gullible. You might hear the phrase "ignorance is bliss" and say to yourself - "I don't want people to think I'm ignorant, so I can't be blissful, or people won't respect me anymore..."
When I was a child I was fortunate to grow up with parents who were kind and loving towards me most of the time, but there was a hidden side that was not always so obvious. In my childhood I remember that there was a taboo against being too happy. Most kids have a natural joyfulness, innocence and playfulness if they are allowed to be themselves. But those qualities can be seen as weakness to a parent that is worried, stressed out, cynical, pessimistic or fearful of the world. A fearful parent naturally imposes their fear on their children. It's easy for a parent to fear that their child might be too trusting or innocent, and end up in a dangerous situation.
Some parents also impose their own compulsive restlessness upon their children, so that if a child is daydreaming a lot, or being too silly, or not "being productive" then they try to shake them out of it - "c'mon, focus, do something useful, don't just sit around, there's work to be done... the house is a mess... clean your room, get your head out of the clouds..." A parent might actually feel jealous and resentful of their child for being so care-free while they have to provide for the home, and take care of everything and never have a break.
What happens to many of us is that we start to feel guilty or ashamed for being too happy. And we learn to hide our happy feelings, so that we won't get in trouble, or look like a slacker.
Here are some dysfunctional unconscious beliefs many of us have about happiness
Happy people are stupid
Happy people are just an accident waiting to happen.
If I get too happy, I'm going to be disappointed.
Happiness never lasts, so I might as well not try.
Expect the worst...hope for the best.
It's dangerous to be too happy.
If I act too happy I will be shamed and ridiculed.
Showing my joy makes me look week.
If I'm too happy, others will be resentful or jealous and will try to knock me down.
If I'm too friendly, people will get the wrong idea about my intentions.
It's wrong to be happy, when so many people are suffering in the world.
Again, the perfect remedy for undoing these distorted and happiness-squashing beliefs, is EFT/Meridian Tapping!
Here's an example of a tapping routine:
(tapping the karate chop point), repeat:
"Even though I'm afraid to look too happy, I choose to freely express my joy."
"Even though I'm afraid other's will resent me if I'm too happy, I accept myself as I am."
"Even though people expect me to always be jaded and cynical, I choose to be comfortable showing my joy."
Then tapping each point (5-10 taps at each point):
Eyebrow: my happiness makes others uncomfortable
Side of eye: my friends will think I've lost my mind
Under Eye: It's easier to join with people in complaining
Under Nose: I wont be respected if I'm joyful for no "reason."
Chin: I feel week and naive if I'm too openly happy.
Collar Bone: My happiness makes others' uncomfortable.
Under Arm: I'm uncomfortable showing my happy feelings.
Crown: It's more noble to suffer.
And now a positive round of tapping:
Eyebrow: I choose to be myself.
Side of eye: I choose to express my authentic feelings no matter what they are.
Under Eye: Some people will love seeing this side of me.
Under Nose: My happiness is contageous
Chin: I choose to accept whatever I feel.
Collar Bone: I don't need to over-think things.
Under Arm: It's safe to be happy.
Crown: Life is easier when I'm happy, and I have a right to feel good.
Then take a deep breath. And smile.
(Remember, persistence is the key with tappping; if it helps a little, then it can help a lot if you just keep at it; and if it doesn't seem to help at first, then try different tapping routines, for different issues, until you feel the shift in your feelings or your energy. Even 10 minutes day can bring profound, positive changes).
In Today's Newsletter:
Book Review and Video Interview: Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.
Complimentary 15-minute guided mindfulness meditation available for immediate download,(see the gold buttons below).
Meditation: The HamSa technique (the origin of Mindfulness Meditation).
Ask-the-Therapist Forum. Ask me any question and see it posted on the website with my answer (you don't have to give your real name).Ask away!(I'll do my best to give you a helpful and honest answer).
Anatomy of an Epidemic: An Important New Book That Everyone Should Read
This is an amazing and chilling book, telling the undeniable truth about psychiatric drugs and the wide-spread myths and disinformation created by drug companies in order to convince both the public and their doctors, that psychotropic drugs are effective and necessary to treat mental illness.
The old "chemical imbalance" marketing phrase is no longer able to survive under scrutiny. Not only is there no real evidence of the therapeutic value of psychiatric drugs, there is faulty evidence of "chronic psychiatric illness" other than those chronic dependencies and neurological imbalances created by the long-term use of the drugs themselves.
“Why are so many more people disabled by mental illness than ever before? Why are those so diagnosed dying 10-25 years earlier than others? In Anatomy of an Epidemic investigative reporter Robert Whitaker cuts through flawed science, greed and outright lies to reveal that the drugs hailed as the cure for mental disorders instead worsen them over the long term. But Whitaker’s investigation also offers hope for the future: solid science backs nature’s way of healing our mental ills through time and human relationships. Whitaker tenderly interviews children and adults who bear witness to the ravages of mental illness, and testify to their newly found “aliveness” when freed from the prison of mind-numbing drugs.”
—Daniel Dorman, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine and author of Dante’s Cure: A Journey Out of Madness
“This is the most alarming book I’ve read in years. The approach is neither polemical nor ideologically slanted. Relying on medical evidence and historical documentation, Whitaker builds his case like a prosecuting attorney.”
—Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota and author of Better than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream
A Trauma can be created in a matter of seconds, and with Meridian Tapping/EFT it can
heal in the same amount of time. So let go of your ideas about “deeply ingrained
trauma,”.... it's much easier to change than you ever thought possible.
""... I have already benefited greatly from your guided meditations and your book! I never trust anyone (especially someone I don't even know), but as I used your website and free meditation, asked you a question which you promptly answered, and moved on to your book and began regularly practicing EFT/Meridian Tapping, I began believing in your methods as the results were speaking loud and clear--relief and release from mental and emotional behaviors I have lived with my whole life, and thought I would have to live with forever. I am becoming a new person, seeing life in a whole different context, and actually being happy! While I still have a ways to go with some problems, I know that I can, and I will, make it through--thanks to you and your generosity in sharing your methods. Six months ago I was in a hospital on suicide watch; today I am actually happy and optimistic about the future. Proof that it is never to late!!"
You can listen to a sample from the Audio Book Introduction right here:
(The Full 2.5 hour audio book comes as a bonus, along with my full 62-Minute Guided Meditation Audio, when you purchase the eBook)
The basic technique is simple to learn. Coming up with the right words or phrases takes a little more practice. Experiment with it and as they say, "try it on everything." It's the only way to prove to yourself that this is actually a powerful tool worth an absolute fortune.
By learning to use Meridian Tapping/EFT for yourself and your family, you will be saving yourself from pain, poor health, and even expensive medical treatments, just by activating your body's own natural healing abilities. You will have a tool that can overcome virtually any emotional or mental obstacle to your peace, happiness and success in life. It pays to be persistent!
"This may be the biggest breakthrough in Medicine and Psychology in the last century."
Dr. Dawson Church - Author of Genie in your Genes
Variously called "Energy Tapping," "Meridian Tapping Technique," and Emotional Freedom Techniques® or “EFT” - tapping is an amazing Energy Psychology technique that can be easily learned and self-applied for an enormous array of problems. It is excellent for depression, as well as virtually any emotional disturbance, phobia, fear, traumatic memory, negative thought, and even for many physical problems (including some chronic problems that may have been unsuccessfully treated for years using all sort of conventional and alternative methods).
By tapping on these electrochemical activation points, the nervous system is balanced, and the emotional center of the brain (the amygdala) ceases it's reactivity to the disturbing negative thought, image, memory, or whatever the case may be. Studies now show that tapping quickly reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol...
Learn to Meditate: The True Self Is Ever-New Bliss
"The thinking mind is an obstacle to the inflow of higher gnosis and Truth because its analytical and judgmental thought ripples distort the true message of the incoming knowledge. Only consciousness, free from the ripples of thought in the mind's lake, can experience Divinity in all its splendor, all its beauty and all its Truth."
Healing The Apparent Self
Of The Ignorance Of
The True Self Is The Ultimate
Essence Of All Healing"
"Good thoughts keep off bad thoughts. They must themselves disappear before the state of realization."
"Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts; distraction of mind is a sign of its weakness; by constant meditation it gains strength."
"The mind of one meditating on a single object becomes one-pointed. And one-pointedness of mind leads to abidance in the self...
Realization is to get rid of the delusion that you have not realized...
Realization is our true nature. It is nothing new to be gained. What is new cannot be eternal. Therefore there is no need to be doubting whether we would gain or lose the self."
-Sri Ramana Maharshi
"Learn to be calm and you will always be happy."
You always have the ability to go within and to surrender to your own Higher Self - your eternal and ever present Consciousness. Here is the source of your true happiness, bliss and contentment. That which you seek in the world is already here, within you Now.
Try my free guided meditation here and now. Just make yourself comfortable, stop what you're doing and take a 15 minute break to feed your soul:
"I went to your website and found your “guided meditation for depression”. The 15 minute one. I laid down... just exhausted from all the inner pain and the “trying” to make is stop... and "trying to fix it"... and I listened to your guided meditation for 15 minutes. The inner pain went away. I was kind of stunned! (I meditate daily)…so I felt as if some kind of “inner demon” was tormenting me or something, and it was simply gone and I could breathe and felt I came back to myself. I felt like my self for the first time in days. The pain wasn’t just “shouting at me” nor was it simply “lurking in the background”... lurking to come back...it was gone."
This guided meditation audio, along with an additional segment is now available for sale on my website. You can listen to part one (the first 15 minute meditation) for free directly on the site, or by clicking the player below. The second link below will allow you to download the 15 minute meditation for your personal use - only available for free through this newsletter.
Tips on Meditation....the Hamsa Technique - The Original "Mindfulness Meditation"
Mindfulness Meditation is quickly gaining popularity and even mainstream influence as a therapeutic technique for improving mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness. Most people think that Mindfulness Meditation (or Vipassana) comes from the Buddhist traditions - which indeed it does - however, its true source is older than that.
The real source of these techniques originates in India, with the Yogic traditions. The "Hamsa" meditation is a technique of mindful breathing, while mentally repeating the word "Hamsa" divided into two parts - "Ham" (pronouced HUM) on the out-breath, and "Sa" (pronounced SAW), on the in-breath. Hamsa literally means "I AM THAT" or "THAT I AM." In the ancient Nath Sampradaya (sect) of India, this mantra has been taught and practiced for thousands of years and this mantra (repeated sound/vibration) is said to be the natural mantra that is going on subconsciously, from the moment of birth, when the first breath is taken.
Witnessing the breath, passively, while repeating HAM-SA with every in/out breath, gradually calms and stills the mind and leads to a blissful state of natural enlightenment, called Sahaj Samadhi. This simple practice is deceptively powerful, yet easy to learn and practice.
This is part of one of the meditation techniques taught to me by living Kriya Master and Nath Yogi - Yogiraj Siddhanath.
Yogic Breathing Techniques to Supercharge and Balance You
Pranayama – literally “life-force control” – are powerful techniques for shifting your consciousness, purifying mind and body, and raising your energy. Pranayama is a core part of several types of Yoga and is an excellent addition to any meditation practice. Pranayama are dynamic and invigorating and you will feel the benefits immediately.
One of the most easy and all-around important pranayama techniques to use while meditating, focusing the mind, or simply seeking to calm your anxiety or stress, is Ujjai.
Ujjayi Pranayama – “Victory Breath” “Ocean Breath” or “Psychic Breath” – This breath is very important and has numerous benefits. An excellent pranayama for depression, anxiety and stress. Ujjayi is very calming and soothing to the nervous system and this type of breathing can be done during meditation, for added benefit and to lengthen the breath.
There is a slight constriction of the glottis, in order to produce a soft whispering sound in the back of the throat. It soothes the nervous system, calms the mind, relaxes the body, relieves insomnia and slows the heart rate.
The sound may be barely audible to another person, buy you should hear it inside your own body easily. The whisper is produced on both the in and out-breath.
This can be practiced safely at any time you wish. After some practice, taking even one breath using Ujjayi, you will find yourself in a pleasant, mildly altered state of consciousness, feeling calm, focused and comfortable in your body.
My website now offers F*R*E*E answers to your most pressing questions. You can choose to submit them with or without your name, or make up a name. If it's a well written question that I feel our readers can benefit from, I will answer it and post both your question and my answer on it's own special page on my website. Others can comment, or give their own advice too. Where else can you get instant advice from a licensed psychotherapist? Ask Away! I'll do my best to give a helpful answer.
Every life challenge is an opportunity to awaken. There is no situation that is hopeless. Something positive, healing and transformative is possible in all circumstances, even when we can't recognize it at the time. Sometimes we forge ourselves out of the fire of suffering and loss, and it isn't until the end that we realize what a beautiful work of art has emerged within. The glory of waking up can't be experienced if you don't first accept that you are asleep.
May we all find peace. May we all know joy. May we all be liberated from fear, and released from illusions. May we all return to the Truth of our inner Light.
I value your opinions and your feedback. Please let me know if this newsletter was helpful and feel free to ask questions. I update my website regularly, so check the site for new information, and if you like what you see, let others know about it.
Wishing you health and great joy!
Benjamin Schwarcz, MFT is licensed psychotherapist (#mfc35606), meditation teacher, and energy coach with a private practice at 509 7th Street, Santa Rosa, CA, 95401. He can be reached at 707-326-5566.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As with any drug, not all supplements are safe for all individuals and there may be risks and contraindications for people with certain conditions. Always consult a professional health care provider before before trying to treat a serious condition on your own.
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