Some antidotes to fear:
- big picture understanding
- bringing calm to panic through breath, other ways of controlling physiologic response
- intermittent exposure to source of fear, whether internal or external, to develop coping mechanisms
Here is some calm appreciation of life I’ve collected over the past 24 hours.
My home office boomed loud like a semi-truck hit it during a 3.5 earthquake for a few seconds in the past hour. (Anyone can go to the USGS Did You Feel It? to report a quake). This one apparently was based in Kitsap County which has experienced 40 low-level quakes over the past week. Something many people may not be aware of is that the largest collection of deployable nuclear weapons in the US is also in Kitsap County. Does not seem a good mix if you ask me, though no one asked me.
All my life, my worst fear was earthquakes. I used to have nightmares about their destructive power, repetitively saw myself in survival mode digging out of rubble (past life beliefs are tempting), and thinking about them was the best way for me to bring on a panic attack. Earthquakes are essentially the perfect symbol of capital U Uncertainty of being born onto the ever-shifting planet called Earth in this thing called Life.
I understand now that it is Uncertainty and not quakes that was my biggest fear. So I did a lot of work inside myself on living with Uncertainty.
Just like a phobia or aversion to anything, when one repetitively experiences what one fears most, the fear lessens. I did experience countless tremors during my few months in Japan where quakes form a backdrop of daily life, as well as a sizable one in Seattle area in 2001 when I was holding my then infant child who giggled for the first time ever as I dove with her for cover under a dining table during prolonged shaking.
The more I’ve worked with my fear, the more my awareness resides inside a cosmic perspective and the less fear I have. It is progress that I did not panic when I thought a semi hit my house today.
And as someone who values scientific research, I am fascinated by how our understanding of the movement of Earth as an entire entity has expanded exponentially with GPS. One scientist stated in a recent webinar that by using vertical GPS, earth’s entire surface has recently been observed to move up and down an entire foot each 24 hours. (Possibly he was referencing the research in the video below).