Breathe In G-d,Breathe Out Fear

On an almost daily basis we experience fear. Sometimes it can be the type of fear that immobilizes us. Our stomachs tighten, our pulse quickens and our palms get sweaty. When we encounter this type of fear, we feel that there is little we can do until it passes.Then there are other times where the fear is of a much more subtle nature. We realize that something is not right, yet we are unable to place our finger on it. In almost all cases, our fears hold us back from moving forward with our lives.
Recently, a friend from program, passed on a technique that is very effective in countering fear. Whenever you feel fearful, pause from whatever you’re doing. Take a slow deep breath in. As you do so, say to yourself, “breathe in G-d”. As we slowly exhale say, “breathe out fear”. Do a series of these inhalations and exhalations for about five minutes, or until the feelings dissipate. Many have found this technique to be highly effective. By practicing mindful breathing and filling ourselves with our Higher Power, we can let go of fear. You can use this technique with other negative feelings. Breathe out resentment, envy, impatience or whatever else you’re feeling.

Personal Refection: Make a mental note to practice this technique.

Don’t Compare Your Insides To Someone Else’s Outside

12 steppers often suffer from the “less than” syndrome. Years and sometimes decades were spent walking around and comparing ourselves to others. For those of us who suffered from grandiosity, it was everyone else who came up short in our eyes. Far more common was our making comparisons with others and finding ourselves wanting. We would observe someone and say, “They’re so smart”, or “rich”, or “handsome”, or “beautiful”, or “talented”, or “lucky” or “so together”. I’m sure each of us could add to this list. Most of the time we were mixing apples and oranges. The assessment of ourselves was based on deep feelings from within us. The assessment of everyone else was based on the external persona presented by people we met. Although we didn’t know what was really going on in a person’s life, we presumed to know and draw conclusions about them.

One of the gifts of the program is that we really get to know people through attending meetings. People share openly and honestly about their lives. We begin to discover that people’s outsides often don’t reflect what is truly going on within. That “together” person is probably facing the same challenges we are.

Personal Reflection: How can I avoid the “less than” syndrome?