A Note From Lissa About The Fear Cure
What inspired me to write The Fear Cure? After writing Mind Over Medicine, I had a post-publishing epiphany. I realized that it’s all well and good to teach the 6 Steps to Healing Yourself, to invite people to do the deep transformational work that makes the body ripe for miracles and facilitates “spontaneous” remissions. But even if people are intuitive enough to tune into what their bodies need in order to heal, and even if they’re wise enough to write The Prescription for themselves, way too often, fear gets in the way. You may know what needs to change in your life, but if you’re not courageous enough to act upon your inner guidance, you’re likely to stay sick—and stuck.
That’s when I realized (with a gulp) that I needed to write a book about fear and courage.
A lot of people think of fear as a painful, disruptive emotion, and they may be aware of how fear is holding them back in their personal or professional lives. But few people—including physicians—are aware that fear predisposes you to illness and interrupts the healing process. In The Fear Cure, I share scientific data proving that fear and disease are linked and that fear can out-picture as heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain syndromes, and even the common cold.
But fear doesn’t just make you sick. It limits your ability to fully step into your soul’s purpose in what poet Mary Oliver calls “this one wild and precious life.” Perhaps even more importantly, it keeps us stuck in a cultural world view that will destroy our planet—and us along with it—if we don’t WAKE UP.
In The Fear Cure, I share what I call the “Four Fearful Assumptions,” beliefs we have adopted that contribute to our fear-mongering culture and lead us to make choices based on a scarcity mentality, and these choices not only sabotage your efforts to be happy, healthy, and thriving; these choices harm us all.
The Four Fearful Assumptions Are:
- Uncertainty is unsafe.
- I can’t handle losing what I cherish.
- It’s a hostile universe.
- I’m all alone.
But what if we apply Byron Katie’s “The Work” to turn these beliefs around? What if instead, we adopt a brave new set of beliefs.
The Four Courage-Cultivating Truths:
- Uncertainty is the gateway to possibility.
- Loss is natural and can lead to growth.
- It’s a purposeful universe.
- We are all One.
Wouldn’t we be naturally less afraid if we believed the second set of beliefs? Think about something you know you need or want to do, but fear is holding you back. Now imagine how you would feel if you knew that if you leaped into uncertainty, miracles more magical than anything you can even anticipate might happen! Imagine that if things didn’t turn out how you hoped and you lost something you cherished as a result of this leap of faith, you knew with certainty that your soul was growing as a side effect of the loss, that you were becoming more aligned with your natural divinity as a result of the loss. Imagine if you had absolute faith that it’s a purposeful, even friendly universe. My new favorite word is “pronoia,” the opposite of “paranoia,” the belief that everything in the universe is conspiring to support you. What if you had a raging case of pronoia? And what if you knew that no matter what happens in the uncertain future, you are not alone because we are all interconnected in this web of love, that you are not separate from other people or from all sentient beings, from all of Mother Nature herself?
How to Cultivate Courage
The book includes a number of Courage-Cultivating Exercises meant to help you shift from fear to courage, including:
- How to learn what your fears can teach you
- A meditation intended to help you stay focused on the present moment
- How to tell the difference between the frightened voice of your “Small Self” and the brave, wise voice of your “Inner Pilot Light”
- A map to help you know where you are on your journey from fear to freedom, as well as tips to help you in the stage you’re in
- Tools to help you “bench press” your uncertainty muscles
- A powerful practice meant to comfort your “Small Self” so your Inner Pilot Light can take the lead in your life and drive your decisions
- An exercise to move you beyond your victim story into a state of gratitude for the lessons loss can teach you
- Tips to help you gather evidence that it’s not a hostile universe; it’s a purposeful universe conspiring to support you
- A Tibetan practice meant to turbo boost your compassion
- An exercise to help enlighten you through every way you judge other people
- Detailed instructions on how to navigate “The 6 Steps to Cultivating Courage”
- How to illuminate the fear-inducing patterns you may have inherited from your ancestors
- Practical advice on how to shift from pessimism to optimism
- A priceless tool to help you question your fearful thoughts to discern whether they’re “true fears” or “false fears”
- How to stop caring what “everybody” thinks
- Instructions on how to find a courage-cultivating mentor
- Tips for strengthening your intuition and hearing the voice of your Inner Pilot Light more clearly
- Diagnostic tools for making your own Fear Diagnosis
- Lissa’s recommendations for 30 books that will make you less afraid
- How to write your own “Prescription for Courage”
- A 9 step practice to help you offer your problems and desires to the Divine, and how to interpret the spiritual guidance that arises when you do
- 13 tips for shifting beliefs
- 7 steps to creating your soul community
- Lissa’s personal Prescription for Courage (in case it inspires yours)
Wouldn’t You Feel Braver?
The Universe gave me an adorable cosmic wink this summer, when two weeks after completing The Fear Cure, I went to Peru, where I stayed in a village with the Q’ero people and realized they already believe the second set of beliefs. They don’t ascribe to the first set of beliefs at all. Imagine if we could all be more like the Q’ero?
Imagine if everyone—our politicians, our bankers, the oil companies, our doctors, our lawyers, our teachers, all the parents of the world, and YOU—actually believed that we don’t need to avoid uncertainty and loss, that everything that happens, even the painful things, happens with purpose, and that we are all interconnected through a web of love, that we are not separate from each other, that each act of violence against humanity and nature violates ourselves.
This book is filled with stories and, when available, scientific evidence, supporting these Four Courage-Cultivating Truths. It’s also peppered with what I called “Courage-Cultivating Exercises,” which are workshop-like activities you can do at home to cement these new beliefs and shift your world view permanently. My intention (which I surrender in its entirety to Divine Will with no attachment) is that this book might be a handbook for those committed to the evolution of consciousness, such that we might not so much cure fear as let fear cure us. In doing so, I hope we launch a revolution of love so powerful that we become unstoppable in our yearning to reconnect with each other and with Mother Earth.
As Anaïs Nin said, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” It’s time for us to evolve as a species and blossom. This is cosmic, dear ones. Let’s do this together.