If you’ve been a long time reader of Raindrops of Sapphire (thank you if you have!), you might remember an interview I did with the hugely intelligent and wonderful, Lindsey McKeon, back in 2015 about her experiences in life, being comfortable with who she is, health and more. If you missed it, you can check it out here. I’m lucky enough to have kept in touch with Lindsey since we first met a couple of years ago and consider her a beautiful friend, one who has helped me in so many ways, so I’m honoured to be sharing this new blog post with you.
So, what’s it about? Lindsey and Chris Evans have been friends since they were 16 and have the same spiritual connection and view of the world, which is something they have journeyed on independently, but together at the same time. If you haven’t seen her previous video with Chris, you can check that out here as it’s very in depth and inspirational. But for this blog post, they’re touching on a different subject – fear.
Do you let your past dictate your future? Who we are when we’re growing up often defines who we become for the rest of our lives. We are shaped by our individual insecurities and our desperate need to fit in. Allowing our fear to run us, most of us get stuck in this cycle for the entirety of our lives.
To cover this subject in more depth, Lindsey and Chris sat down together to discuss it in a series of YouTube videos which will be released over the coming weeks. This is part 1 below which touches on learning to be the observer of your mind – the watcher – instead of fighting it and being consumed by the negativity. You can watch it just below and you can also read mine and Lindsey’s conversation just underneath about both of our own experiences with negativity, fear, and being consumed by it as we age. I hope you enjoy it! You can also check out Lindsey’s blog ‘Evolve by Lindsey’ here.
Lorna – I know it’s a hard question and one that many people strive to obtain, but do you have any tips that have helped you (and Chris) learn to become the watcher? To separate the fear based voice and not react to it?
Lindsey – We’ve both done a lot of studying – books, meditation, teachers, retreats, etc. It is a practice. Just like going to the gym or changing your diet, it takes commitment.
Firstly, you must become aware that there is a voice talking inside your head (I know that can sound scary but we all know it to a certain degree). Once you see that there is a voice narrating your life then you realize there is the voice (and another voice that will answer back to that voice and have an entire conversation- all inside of you-yikes!) and there is the one watching the voice. You want to be the watcher, the observer. It is greater than the ego identity.
It’s definitely true that there’s a whole mixture of voices in your head, and having a conversation with yourself internally in a matter of seconds is quite daunting if you think about it. So essentially, if you can become aware of that internal conversation going on, and just observe what’s happening rather than get involved in the debate, that’s one way of evolving and not being consumed by fear. It definitely makes sense. And like you said, it definitely takes practice as I know it’s not easy at all.
As an example, I’ve struggled with fear and anxiety all my life. There have been points where I couldn’t leave the house, I would have panic attacks, my OCD would be really bad etc and it was all rooted in fear and the ‘what if?’ mentality that you believe is actually real. The things you end up listening to in your brain make absolutely no sense, yet you listen anyway because of the control that fear has over you. What do you think makes our brains wired this way to listen to this voice rather than the positive ones?
I’ve struggled with anxiety, and depression in the past as well. It’s one of the hardest things to deal with because the fear keeps dragging you down with it. The only thing that alleviates the fear is walking through it and disproving it, but that’s the last thing you want to do. Fear wants you to run.
To me, it’s the greatest gift, fear – it’s my body’s own navigational tool showing me there’s something I’m unwilling to look at that I need to deal with. And in order to grow I must walk through that fear and see what is on the other side.
Now, to answer your question… I think our mind is a powerful tool – we are the only living thing that can ask ourselves a question and come up with an answer. It’s necessary in recognizing our own consciousness. However, we have gotten out of control and our minds now run us.
We are run by our fears, for many reasons… Because we live in a civilized world where we must adopt the ideas the culture has in order to fit in – this conditioning begins as soon as we are born and then really solidifies once we go to school. So we then find ourselves reacting out of what will make us fit in, or be received well, instead of what our purest desire is. And the marketing industry knows this, and creates ads and commercials and billboards, all based off that very same concept. All day we are bombarded with fitting into society.
Imagine if we lived in a society that was based off of our own uniqueness and asked us everyday instead what brought us the most joy…? If only we all lived in a tribe that worshiped that concept, life would be so much easier!
That makes sense. I used to find that whenever I am positive, I didn’t believe myself. I’m learning day by day to focus on the positive thoughts and change the way my mind behaves, but due to the programming, it can be hard and it feels like the false voice or the untrustworthy voice (the bad you sitting on the shoulder) is the genuine voice, as we’re so accustomed to the negative.
It’s true there is social pressure and fear from such a young age. Now I’m older, I don’t understand why people always need to conform and be just like everyone else. There’s something like 30 trillion cells in the human body and they turnover every 30-40 days, which to me means that no two people are exactly the same at all. So surely we should be embracing our uniqueness and differences, not hiding them through fear and being ridiculed for it…
As someone who has been through so much negativity in the spotlight in Hollywood and around so much fake-ness, how have you managed to see the differences in how you think and feel in such a clear way?
I’ve spent so much time on this – on myself, trial and error, searching to and fro. My younger years were spent feeling different and trying to fit in, to no avail. Then I got into drugs and alcohol to numb the part of me that didn’t feel connected but didn’t know what else to do. Then I spent many years on spiritual sabbatical looking deep within. To finally come to a place where I don’t feel I need to search anymore. I don’t feel I need to run I am finally comfortable with who I am – the flaws, the imperfections – I am who I am in this life and I have embraced it in a whole new way. The need to fit in is sloughing off and I’m able to do what I need, when I need, for myself. I’m really good at listening to myself these days – not my ego mind but the pure place that is always there, waiting for me to acknowledge it.
I’m so happy for you and proud of you, Lindsey. Being able to achieve that and obtain such contentment and happiness with yourself and who you are is a goal that so many try to achieve. Being perceptive and aware of how the mind works (like Chris said) and not being consumed by it really needs to be something that everyone takes on board and thinks about, in order to be in a more powerful and in control place.
It’s something I’ve been learning for years and working on too. I like who I am as a person and I pretty much never feel jealousy as I’m content with myself, but sometimes I do feel that negative voice creeping in in other ways. It can be relentless and make no sense, but I think as you said, it’s something that needs to be worked on continuously to further our journey with many struggles along the way.
Let me be very clear, it’s still a process. I don’t think there is ever any end, that one day we’ll just wake up feeling perfect and complete. It’s an up-and-down roller coaster because we are spiritual beings living with minds, those two things will always be at odds. It’s our job to constantly remember which one is more true and holds more validity to us – the thing that has been here forever and will be here when we die, or our brain? As long as we are human I believe we will always be a work in progress. Coming to terms with that is what brings peace.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts with myself and my readers. I’m excited for the next chapter! Lorna xx.