Happy Independence Day!

Patriotism is a funny thing. Both of my grandfathers are veterans of foreign war, as are many other family members & close friends. For the great sacrifices that have been made—& are currently being made—I am deeply grateful. I am by nature a peace-loving person, but the politics of war are more complicated than that.…

Review: Muhammad by Deepak Chopra

Recently, I was asked to review Deepak Chopra’s latest book, Muhammad—A Story of the Last Prophet. For a long time, I have been interested to learn more about Muhammad and the Islamic religion and so, I was very excited to oblige. This book is different than much of Deepak’s popular “self-help” work. Muhammad is a…

How to Overcome Fear & Stop Resisting

“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness.” —Eckhart Tolle

Stop resisting the will of the Universe. I’ve said this to myself thousands of times. It is perhaps one of the most powerful tools that has led me to peace of mind.

In the past four years, I overcame depression, anxiety, and I lost sixty pounds. When you overcome a lifetime of anxiety & depression, a lot of things change. For one thing, you begin to enjoy life. Simple things that you hadn’t noticed before fill your heart with joy—Spring, a cold glass of water on a hot day, a good workout, a kind word, a smile. When you are overcome by the effects of anxiety & depression, you do not have time to notice these simple pleasures. (They are often overshadowed by the negative, irrational thoughts swarming inside of your head.)

Happiness begets happiness, as I like to say. However, even in my increased state of happiness, I knew that something still wasn’t right. It took me awhile to realize what it was. Only after months of careful self-observation did I realize what was happening.

A hard day at work = I was disgusted, angry, plagued by head aches.
A frustrating experience at a car dealership = I was furious.
An upcoming flight and travel arrangements = I was anxious, worried, sick to my stomach.

I was continually allowing my mind to make me angry, sick, sad, frustrated, etc. Yet, after each of these experiences I learned some valuable lesson or something really important & meaningful happened as a result.

Hard days at work always lead me to clarity about how myself and my team could be more efficient.
The frustrating experience at the car dealership actually prevented me from making a terrible mistake and purchasing the wrong car.
Recent travel and trips have brought me incredible successes in my personal & professional life.

Upon observing all of this, it hit me. Even when things seemed terrible, even when I was really upset, eventually the pain of the situation would subside. Moreover, I would come out on the other side wiser, stronger, and grateful. Every thing that happened (happens) to me is a direct result of the will of the Universe (you can call that God, fate, destiny, or any other name you’d like to give it, no matter). Yes, every thing that happens is a direct result of the will of the Universe and an opportunity to learn and grow. In order to live true happiness, I had to stop resisting the will of the Universe. Once I did this, my life changed in incredible (and previously unimaginable) ways. When I stop resisting and simply “go with the flow” I find that I am constantly filled with a deep calmness in my soul. I do not worry or suffer. I simply exist and let all scenarios play themselves out. I understand that even pain is necessary and that ultimately it will carry me to a place of light & peace.

Fear is Unnecessary

At the root of every single feeling of discomfort, lies one emotion: fear. Fear is the emotion responsible for all forms of suffering. Sadness, anxiety, worry, rage, hatred, envy, and all other forms of suffering are rooted in fear. However, once you stop resisting the will of the Universe, you will understand that fear and suffering are actually not necessary at all.

The vast majority of fear and suffering is a result of living in an unreal world and/or allowing negative, irrational thoughts to control our minds. The unreal world is the world of sky rise buildings, electricity, paper money, McDonald’s, television, marketing, vanity surgery, reality TV, etc. The real world is the world of trees, dirt, sun, stars, wind, rain, whole foods, self-love, generosity, family, love, etc. Can you see the difference? Once you remove yourself from the suffocating chains of the unreal world, and begin living in the real world, you will find that most of the fears that you experience are completely unnecessary. The vast majority of anxieties that we suffer from are made-up.

– fear of judgment
– fear of failure
– fear of humiliation
– fear of public speaking
– fear of making a mistake
– fear of travel
– fear of forgetting something
– fear of being alone and so on

Once you realize that these fears are made-up in the unreal world, they can hold no power over you. All of the above are irrational anxieties. None of those things would actually put your life in danger or expose you to any harm. The only place that they can affect you is in your head. But you must remember that you have control over what goes on in your head! You can use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to end the suffering.

Eventually, you will realize that true fear might have a place in your life, but that is only when you are truly in danger. Perhaps while being chased by a bear or masked murderer, while falling from a cliff, etc. Yes, in those instances, your fear is justified and it can help you by creating adrenaline, increased strength, quicker reflexes and cognitive ability. But other than those “real” true fear situations, there is really no need for fear and certainly no need for emotional suffering.

Live Without Resistance or Fear

Once you learn to stop resisting the will of the Universe and to live without fear, you will experience an entirely new & improved sort of living. You will find that all of the things that you once desired, but were afraid to seek, are actually within your reach. For example, I was emotionally crippled by irrational anxiety for the first half of my life. This made it impossible for me to speak in front of people. I could not ask a question in a class of twenty, let alone get up in front of a group of people to speak. My anxiety over public speaking was so great, that it crippled me. I once experienced a debilitating panic attack at a dinner party of five family friends! But… that is ancient history.

Now, my former self is hardly recognizable. I have spoken in front of groups of sixty people or more with grace and confidence. I know that my fear is irrational & unnecessary, so I overcome it. Sure, my heart rate may increase, I might sweat a bit—but I do not let it stop me! I remind myself that that the fear is not real and I move forward to success.

You are entirely capable of achieving the same same sort of success in your own life—personal & professional. Whatever your fear is, you can overcome it.

“You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done. It is what you haven’t done that will torment you.” —Wayne Dyer

To allow fear to rule your life, is not to live at all. So stop resisting the will of the Universe and stop allowing fear to rule your life. Begin living, truly living, right now. There is nothing in your way. What is your greatest fear? Can you believe that it is unnecessary? What would you do if you had no fear in your heart at all? How different could your life be?

The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them!

I am now offering personalized coaching sessions to individuals suffering from anxiety &/or depression. If you are interested in scheduling a session or would like to learn more, please contact me at denabotbyl[@]gmail[.]com for details and rates. Include CBT Session in the subject line.