There are a lot of disturbing situations in the world today that could pump up our fear. Those of us on the East Coast might feel particularly vulnerable since we have already come under attack. Most were personally touched in one way or another on 9/11.
However, there is nothing that my worry will accomplish, other than disturbing my sense of well-being. While it is important to stay informed and aware, that does not mean it is helpful to be afraid.
But being aware, being mindful, doesn’t mean ignoring fear that arises. It means just watching the fear arise without giving it any additional fuel.
In this moment, right now, I am powerless over the world situation. I can let the fear go past, like clouds in the sky. If I take a deep breath the fear can dissipate.
Additionally, worrying about anything, ever, is non-productive. As Kelly Cousin recently said to me, “Worrying is as effective as chewing bubble gum to solve an algebra equation.”
There are occasions when fear tells us to beware and can be productive. Fear can tell us to get off of a cliff, for instance. But fear, or worry, about that over which we are powerless is not helpful.
Staying present in the moment, staying aware of our feelings and thoughts, allows us a freedom to rationally choose our next actions. This mindfulness can help us be flexible and productive.
Staying informed is important. Stewing in fear isn't. When it comes let it go (unless you are on a cliff, then retreat to safe ground).