So if you didn’t know, I’m a big Star Trek fan. And my favorite flavor is The Next Generation with Patrick Stewart in the role of Captain John Luc Picard which is why, of course, I’m loving the new Star Trek: Picard.
It’s a great story, both broadening the known Star Trek universe and endearing us to the story of Picard and his motley crew aboard yet another starship. This most recent episode was called “Broken Pieces” and it explored the ways in which most of the primary players have been ‘broken’ by their experiences throughout life.
Picard is talking with Rios, a broken former Star Trek officer, after a particularly revealing scene. Picard says, “We have powerful tools. Openness, optimism and the spirit of curiosity. All they have is secrecy and fear, and fear is the great destroyer.”
Fear Is The Great Destroyer
Earlier today I took a friend to the hospital for an outpatient procedure. We were there maybe two hours. She was nervous and her blood pressure was up. At first I reassured her; I’d had the very same procedure a couple of years ago and knew it wasn’t a big deal.
But then I sunk in deeper to myself and remembered my meditation training. I remembered how to literally be that quiet calm in the center of a raging hurricane.
I invited my friend to remember things she loves like the purr of cats and the unconditional love of dogs. She loves the warmth of sunshine and the sound of rustling leaves on a long walk in a nearby park. She loves a hug from beloved family members. I also had her shrug her shoulders as hard as she could and then release with a big sigh. I encouraged her to breathe in deeply, hold it, then release.
These happy memories helped my friend relax and let go of the fear of this minor procedure. I also encouraged her to limit exposure to the news – so much is bad and scary and designed to make us be more fearful. These very simple things allowed my friend to relax into the unknown of the procedure.
Fear Is The Mind Killer
Picard’s words also reminded me of the Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune series of books:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Got it? Fear is the mind-killer. Fear gets in there and keeps going. Fear is as much a virus as anything – once you’ve got it, it’s hard to get rid of it, and there’s no anti-biotic you can take, no recommended regimen to prevent fear.
Fear is buying all the toilet paper so that there is none for others. Fear is having enough stocked to survive a zombie apocalypse. Fear is listening to the news 24/7 so you don’t miss any important updates. Anybody who’s been following Q or who has tried alternative health methods knows that mainstream media is feeding us lies every day. Those lies breed fear.
Caution is different than fear. Being cautious – buying more than what you normally would buy, but enough to stock your pantry – that makes sense. Being cautious and proactive, fine.
But the crazy panic buying we’re seeing now is part of that fight or flight instinct that (in meditation) we work against. Or rather, you work to recognize when you are running from panic, to pause and reflect very quickly whether this particular thing is a true threat.
To rid yourself of fear, you must work at it, every day and throughout the day. This is not fifteen minutes in the morning and done thing. And one of your best weapons against fear is meditation.
WWG1WGA and Weitko
Bernhard Guenther wrote a long post about fear and shared an excerpt from that post on his Facebook page recently. He and his wife visited the grocery store for their normal weekly shopping.
The energy was eerie. The fear frequency and animalistic survival instinct palpable, the energy of greed and pure selfishness of people hoarding as much as they could into their carts was intense.
With empathic abilities, I feel energy and definitely feel the ‘fear frequency and animal instinct.’ For example, the ‘gauntlet’ of holidays from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s Eve always feels heavy and oppressive to me. I’m delighted when it’s all over.
(I’m not happy it’s January and freezing cold, mind you. More specifically, January always feels lighter and brighter to me. January is a breath of fresh air, a relief after the obligatory merrymaking the four holidays cause.)
But this energy of fear that Guenther wrote about is something altogether different. He uses a Native American term “Weitko” – the virus of selfishness. It’s heavy and oppressive like the feeling of my holiday gauntlet, but there’s more to it. It’s constricting. It’s squeezing. It makes everyone suspicious of everyone else. It’s the opposite of the WWG1WGA philosophy that Q espouses.
WWG1WGA stands for “Where we go one, we go all,” ie, we’re in this together and have to work together and serve each other. Buying all the things doesn’t help your fellow humans, it only helps you.
After I took my friend to the hospital, I went to Target. Later in the day, I went to my local big-box grocery store, Meijer. Both stores felt off-kilter.
Walking into Meijer around 7 pm I heard an employee reassure a man that no, the store had no plans to close; the man had heard rumors that everything was going to shut down, including Meijer.
There was no toilet paper. The TP shelves had signs “Due to the high demand for this product, please limit yourself to five packages.” Canned foods and frozen foods were quite empty; I couldn’t find any frozen kale, so I got fresh and will freeze. I did get a few cans of cannelloni beans because a) I like them and b) there were no chickpeas left.
I bought what I would normally buy if I was filling up my pantry, and a little bit extra. I think I might step up my plans to permaculture the yard, maybe plant more perennial vegetables that can be eaten instead of more pretty flowers that cannot.
But I’m not panicking and neither should you.
Be The Calm
During World War II the British propaganda machine produced a poster intended to help people stay calm. There were millions printed, but it wasn’t widely displayed at the time and faded into obscurity. Then in 2000 a bookstore ‘rediscovered’ the poster and now it’s famous.
Your job now is to Keep Calm and Carry On. Be the calm in the middle of this – and any – hurricane. Hold fast. Do not give in to these fearful thoughts.
Meditation helps, although at first, your brain is a runaway train. Err, most of the time it’s a runaway train. Eventually, it calms down…and then it runs again.
Don’t want to bother learning meditation? Focus on your favorite activities. It’s pretty easy to socially distance if you’re hiking in the woods, far away from this crazy world. Do art. Read. Go out and work in your yard, in your garage. Work on a project you’ve wanted to but never got around to.
Messy Nessy Chic has a creative list of things you can “do to not bang your head against the wall’ while stuck at home indefinitely. If only I had more magazines and so on to collage my bathroom wall…
Listen to some binaural beats. The creator of the video below explains that binaural beats are at 528 Hz which is also known as the miracle tone, or the love tone. It allows for positive transformation, as well as DNA Healing and repair.”
I just think they feel good.
And definitely turn off the news. Perhaps listen to the news twice a day. Turn off the 24/7 feed and treat the news like it’s poison.
For me, not posting on a regular basis is more because I’m not moved to post something. I really tried hard to post once a week, but my heart’s not in it. Now when my heart is in it, a post like this rolls out of me with little or no editing.
I finally faced every fear I’ve had about self-publishing and am working towards publishing a collection of poetry. These are things I’ve written over the years, and they’ll be all together in one volume. Looks like it will be ready for the whole world sometime in April. One of these days I’ll change the website around so it’s a little more writer and a little less life coach.
And if you’re hungry for a little poetry now, check out this or this.