Fear and the Auditory Pathways
In September of 2019, I spent an inspirational weekend at the Rockvale Writer’s Colony where I I crafted a poem on fear.
We are not best friends.
You are welcome
to keep me alive
in times of peril
of which there are
You can have my attention
in car garages
and in parking lots
at night when I’m
leaving Target loaded
down with nonsense.
You are welcome
when I am making
sustainable shopping choices
and doing my part
to caretake the earth
as we burn us up.
But I am turning
away from you
when I am not at risk.
Survival is no
longer a priority.
Not like you
want it to be.
We no longer
by saber-toothed tigers.
I’ve turned you
down as a friend,
Me and my soul
are BBFs now.
I LISTEN to her more
And hear you less.
Written at Rockvale Writers’ Colony 9/21/2019
That prompted some pretty transformational work around fear using Lindsay Mack’s radio 1 and 2 until I read about auditory pathways a couple of months later and evolved my work into filtering fear through intuition using the pathways approach.
This personal work has deepened as we have been shifting into living through a global pandemic. Covid-19 has brought up issues of anxiety, fear, loneliness, loss of control of our daily lives and routines for the collective and the individual but it has also offered freedom and a pace that so many of us hadn’t realized we had been pining for. This pandemic, for many, has offered us a chance to reconnect to something we never realized we had as well. And as soon as we thought we had our bearings, we are now living in a resurgence of long overdue systems of oppression finally unearthed from plain sight and laid bare as well as laying a path for the important work of our lives as to how to be an instrumental part of the dismantling that must happen on a massive scale to ensure we all are truly free. That bridge generation business I talked about in the introduction when I said, “When we truly know ourselves and our stories, we begin to transform into the matriarchal elders that our vastly changing society needs and deserves. We are the bridge generations who will hold space for and support our living and future descendants at the end of an era we neither ushered forth nor will be able to rectify.”
This is part of that work. Of course you are doing other work too but this is essential personal work; this business of unearthing how we manage fear and practicing how we can reframe fear. Reimagine fear through the lens of a society which profits off of each of us receiving the fear mongering information that comes at us from EVERYWHERE and connecting it immediately to our survival brain without even a pass through our dusty intuition to check and see if it deserves to take up so much space in our lives. Sometimes it absolutely does. But more times than not you will see that it simply doesn’t.
In this module I share an essay where I offer my perspective and contemplations on why we are so assimilated into a life of fear as well as practices that have served me in the past few years to limit that constant channel set to “breaking news” into which our society expects we all are always tuned.
Fear is a Liar.
In the past few years, I have spent much time in deep reflection of the fears we carry, many of which are ancestral bridges that I think we are seeing more clearly now as we sift through the work we all are called to do around dismantling white supremacy. I offer here in this essay a chance to drop into a deep understanding of ourselves and the fear we carry, to untangle the frustrations that fear brings up every day in each of us.
Since 2015, a tremendous part of my daily inner work on self and outer work as a founder, spokesperson, staff member, and parent in a paradigm shifting, transformational learning community, has resided in fear. I have been connecting with fear every time I feel him and sense him in others. Each time, I intentionally drop in and meet him face to face. And here are some things I have observed about this energy we call Fear…
Fear dwells deep at our core, within our DNA, because we needed him to survive and evolve into the species of humans we are today. We carry the traumas of our ancestors in our DNA, which wrap themselves around him, that primordial Fear that came with the dawning of our sentience, and envelope him in warmth and safety. Fear has a really dark and comforting tiny cave dwelling deep within each of us with an unfettered supply of ancestral trauma to fuel the fire that keeps him content in his cozy abode. He likes to be there and he knows that we, as a species, intrinsically know that without him, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today.
When Fear comes out to play though, he uses the brain to tag us, which can get confusing, because we humans are indoctrinated into the tale that our “advanced brains” give us righteous power over all creatures great and small… But y’all, that’s fear down in his cave at your core of your being screaming through a bullhorn into your brain that you are “it”.
Some of our universal ancestors listened to fear, but they knew how to filter him through their gut, their senses, their intuition, and that allowed them to survive and evolve for generations. Some of those ancestors stopped listening through the filter to their intuition and decided to listen directly to fear’s bullhorn echoing around in their brains, which bred the need for “power over” rather than a “collective powerful understanding of all”. And that’s when fear reclused himself even deeper into our core and began feeding off the power it had manifested in the brains of humans.
Here is where my personal work picks up. I have been dropping in to “pay Fear a visit” daily for a while. This is what I know.
That tricked out tiny cave dwelling, where Fear lives, has guards posted at the entrance. Fear rarely leaves his comfortable home because we don’t need to give flight that much anymore… But his survival game is strong. In some humans, fear has anger and hatred on guard. That’s when shit gets scary, right?! Fear loves that!! Fear loves our world right now! Fear owns this society we live in. Every single aspect of it. I bet we all can think of something we fear that brings out anger and hatred right in this very moment...
So to face one’s own Fear, guarded by anger and hatred, we must be brave. We must begin listening to our deeply rooted fear through the filter of our soul. This is not something happening widely nowadays but it’s having its moments in some circles… I hope it can have its moment here in our radical self awareness work.
Tapping into our Soul, connecting to her, the deepest and longest existing part of ourselves, is the key to meeting fear in its darkest interior, guarded first by anger and hate.
Lindsay Mack, of Wild Soul Healing, gives the brilliant analogy of radio stations. Radio 1 is the brain and it’s turned up really loud while Radio 2 is the soul which can’t be turned up as it’s exactly as it should be heard. So we must turn Radio 1 down so that we can listen to the intuitive whispers of that radio of the Soul that can tap into the other instincts that are more subtle and just as needed as Fear. And they tell Fear to settle down. They offer him respite, which is all he really wants. And in that offering, he backs off and tells his guards to take a break… But he’s always ready to scream into that bullhorn. So it is a practice that we must maintain through a development of habit where we listen to the Soul more deeply and hear Fear less.
But sometimes Fear lives out in the open with worry as his roommate/guardian of sorts. It’s a tricky codependent relationship where they both claim that love is the reason for their incessant need to override the brain’s volume-control, which drowns out the whispers of the Soul’s deep knowing.
It’s fascinating once you see truly how Fear is always at the core. You see how it got us this far in our survival and how it also could be our downfall. It deserves to be acknowledged and then it needs to be told to have a seat…
There is a healthy relationship Fear can have though; when Fear is balanced with respect, responsibility and personal freedom, there is a certain magic that we encounter within ourselves. It harkens back to that primordial combination that evolved us. We remember it when we really listen to our Soul and allow our brain to recall for us the information we need to know about all that is. The combination of Respect, Responsibility, and Personal Freedom honors life and existence, taking it seriously: The earth, life on earth, earth’s evolution, the cosmos, the promise of humanity as a collaborator, a member of community.
The balance of respect, personal freedom, and responsibility that rests in the Soul’s knowing allows us to respect Fear when we need it to survive, free ourselves from Fear’s incessant grip, and hold it accountable when Fear tries to overthrow this balance.
And then we can listen to our Soul deeply, for it will speak the truth. We must stop and filter through the Soul pathway all that incites Fear in us, be it through the mundane pathway of dribble that makes up life in the information age or the pathway in which we seek information intentionally. The Soul will never lead us astray and in this daily practice of filters and relearning to listen with our soul, we not only heal our traumas in this life and within the DNA we hold of our ancestors, but we can create boundaries that ensure that we are not receiving all the mess that the over-culture, rooted in patriarchy, capitalism, white supremacy, and misogyny have rooted in fear to ensure we are complying with their expectations.
So in the practice of filtering Fear through the quiet intuition of our Soul we are freeing ourselves to be the authentic human beings our Souls embodied in this lifetime to be and that is when everything in our worlds will begin to expand, spiral, and deepen into pure magic, y’all.
Cheers to this labyrinthine journey!