Transcending Fear: The Journey to Freedom and Fulfillment

Transcending Fear: The Journey to Freedom and Fulfillment

by Victoria M. Reynolds

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469776354
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/18/2012
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.33(d)

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Transcending Fear

The Journey to Freedom and Fulfillment
By VICTORIA M. REYNOLDS

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Victoria M. Reynolds
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4697-7635-4


Chapter One

Part 1

Begin With Gratitude

Gratitude is the fundamental principle from which all happiness flows. Being grateful in the present opens a gateway into positive change. Movement toward our desires and inner fulfillment occurs only after acceptance and gratitude for where we are and who we have become as a result of our life experiences. When we accept our circumstances and express gratitude for what we have learned from our experiences, our mind opens up to new possibilities. Being grateful for all that we are, all that we have and all that we have the ability to become liberates us from our controlling and limiting beliefs. Appreciation for our life experiences allows us the freedom to create our future in a more deliberate and meaningful way. Gratitude liberates us from the fear of lack and moves us toward a calming feeling of abundance. Living in gratitude for what we have allows us to attract more of what we want because we are no longer in fear of not having enough. Gratitude is the base from which all new ideas are built, with an understanding that every experience brings us one step closer to becoming the magnificent person we were each born to be.

Redirect Your Focus

My business had closed, and I was financially devastated. There were days that I did not know if or when the money would come to feed my family. I was so disheartened about my life that one exceptionally stressful day I found myself having visions of suicide. Finding the fortitude to visit my physician, I openly discussed my emotional distress. He recommended medication to help with my depression and relieve the anxiety I had been feeling. I had never been one to take medication without thorough consideration of the potential side effects-with heightened risk of suicide being one of the side effects. It seemed pointless to take the medication. But I was desperate. I had two young children who needed me, and I could not abandon them. Standing in line at the pharmacy to fill my prescription, I noticed a pamphlet on the counter regarding depression. I picked it up and began to read about serotonin. I remembered that my physician had explained to me that low levels of that particular hormone caused my depression. I began reading about serotonin, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland. As I read on about the adrenal gland, I discovered that it is also responsible for producing testosterone and adrenaline, two very powerful hormones. The document went on to explain that exercise was the best way to regulate the adrenal gland. I was also aware that vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is a natural anti-depressant. Standing there in the pharmacy, I came to the realization that what I needed more than anything else was exercise and sunshine. That life-altering realization created a resolve within me to make a dramatic change in my daily routine. I made a commitment to myself that I truly believe saved my life. Every morning following that fateful day in the pharmacy, I dragged my exhausted body outside at 6:30 a.m. and gave myself the gift of walking 20 minutes down the streets of my neighborhood. If my baby woke up early, I put him in the stroller, still in his pajamas, and took him with me. I was dedicated to finding myself and regaining my sanity once again.

Around that same time, a friend of mine introduced me to "The Secret," a book and DVD series that became a worldwide phenomenon, changing the way many people think about abundance. The information in that program was no secret to me; I had been aware of the laws of the universe for years, but somewhere along my life journey I had forgotten about them. The knowledge of their existence was an integral part of the healing process I had experienced in my twenties. I was very familiar with the Law of Attraction, which has been written about for thousands of years under various names and depictions. I had read books, articles and stories about the power of positive thinking and understood the value of goal-setting and visualization. I had made vision boards and practiced positive affirmations. But over the years the awareness of the universal laws slipped from my consciousness, and I had been living by default. I had spent the past few years listening to my ego rather than following my own internal truths. My ego and the fear of not having enough had detoured me down a very painful road.

Desiring to reconnect with myself, I began by backtracking twenty years. I was trying to more deeply understand the Law of Attraction and how to make it work for me once again. Experts in the field of attraction and abundance were telling me that I could have anything I wanted, but I did not know where to start. I was feeling so financially impoverished that I was immersed in panic and anxiety. I was aware that I could not attract money into my life while I was feeling destitute, but I did not understand how to conquer the feeling of desperation so that I could attract more abundance. One morning I sat quietly in my bathroom, the only place I had any refuge in my home, and an answer came to me:

You get what you think about. Simply put, if your focus is in one direction, you cannot see the other direction. Many joke about it, but in truth, no one has eyes in the back of their head. Attracting what you want in life is as simple as changing what you think about. Change your focus and change your life. You have been allowing your mind to wander each day in countless hours of negative thinking. You dwell on everything that is wrong with your life and the world around you, assuming it is all out of your control. You think about how terrible life is, how bad the economy is, how your husband doesn't do his share, how your kids are screwed up. You constantly remind yourself how you despised your business partner and your disrespectful employees. You think about what a loser you have always been and that you have never been successful at anything. You whine about the weather, the neighbors, your health, and the news. You complain about your house, your car, your bills.... The list is endless and all-consuming from your point of view and there is no hope for the future. It is impossible to bring anything good into your life with that mindset. In order to attract new circumstances you must first change what you focus your attention on. It may sound impossible, but it is easier than you realize to begin facing a new direction and attract what you really want into your life. Change your focus from negative to positive and your life will begin to shift. When your mindset shifts from negative to positive, you will begin to see the opportunities that will bring you more abundance, because that is the direction you are facing.

Instead of resisting the painful reality of that message, I allowed my eyes to open to the real reasons why I felt so lost. I became acutely aware that I had spent the past few years only focusing on everything that was wrong in my life. I had put so much attention on the negative that I could no longer see any positive. It was my focus on the negative that threw me into a deep, dark well of depression. It was from the place of clear understanding as to why I felt so depressed that I was able to begin pulling myself out. I was not depressed because of my circumstances, but because of my focus on them.

Affirm the Positive

Every ounce of my emotional energy had been going into thinking about what I did not have and how life had been unfair; how everything I had worked so hard for had fallen apart. It seemed impossible to even begin to see any positive. I knew I needed to shift my way of thinking in order to have what I wanted but wondered how to do this when I was feeling so desperate. On one of my morning walks several days later, I witnessed a spectacular sunrise. It was more beautiful than anything I had seen in years. The sky was flushed with pink, orange and purple and my eyes were wide open to the beauty of life. As I walked I felt an unexpected sensation of gratitude engulf me. I felt gratitude for the opportunity to observe such a miraculous event and suddenly everything became clear. It was in that moment that I came to understand how to shift my attitude and see how truly simple it could be:

The best place to begin is with the obvious. Begin with gratitude. Be grateful that you woke up and have one more day to make things go your way. Be grateful that you have eyes to see the beauty of nature and ears to hear the song of birds. Be grateful for the air you breathe and the shelter over your head. Be grateful for the clothes on your back and the food you eat. There are others in this world that are not so fortunate. Be grateful for your car, even if it needs some work. Be grateful for your family and friends, even those who are emotionally or physically distant. Be grateful for your health, even if it isn't what it used to be. There is so much to be grateful for if you just stop and think. Regardless of how hopeless your life may seem there is always something to be grateful for. One grateful thought will lead to another and another, until you begin to recognize how truly abundant your life is. Focus on the positive aspects of your life, and you will immediately see a change in your attitude.

Write down everything you are grateful for, and put your list in a place where you will see it every day. Read and affirm your gratitude every time you find your mind wandering into worry. Throughout your day become consciously aware of your thoughts. Learn to control them and bring them back to positive when they begin to stray into negative. Staying positive takes practice. The more you do it the easier it gets.

It was from the acknowledgement of how truly abundant my life was that I was able to let go of the sadness and anxiety that had consumed me. The resistance I felt in my body and my mind began to fade and a gentle feeling of peace replaced the anxiousness in my heart. Seeing life in a positive light allowed more light to enter; the more grateful I became the more I found to be grateful for. From the viewpoint of gratitude my life began to shift from negative to positive.

Smile

"Life is serious business." I remember hearing that as a child and I took it seriously. Even when life was really great I did not allow myself to show it outwardly, at least not often, not realizing that I was selfishly creating a barrier that kept me from enjoying my life as fully as I could. One day during my mid-life turmoil, as I stood in line paying for groceries, a man in line behind me commented about my appearance. "You should try smiling sometime; I bet you have a beautiful smile." His words reminded me that I once was very proud of my smile; I had paid a dentist a lot of money to create it for me. As he walked away, I managed to dig up a smile out of the depths. I forced that smile and felt it lift my spirit, and for a moment the sadness was gone. It was then that I began to understand just how powerful a simple smile could be. Grabbing a notebook out of my purse, I sat on a sidewalk bench as I stepped outside and scribbled the message as it came to me:

The expression you carry on your face is an indicator of how you feel on the inside and vice versa. Smile, even if it hurts. Smile at everyone you meet. How you appear on the outside begins to reflect on the inside. It is impossible to feel anger and worry when you have a smile on your face. As happiness radiates out through your smile, it is reflected back to you in the faces that you see throughout your day. When others respond to your smile, it creates a positive shift within you. When life has you down and you find yourself surrounded by chaos, it may seem impossible to smile and pretend that everything is okay. Everything will be okay and you will survive. Life has a way of working itself out if you stay open. Be particular with whom you share your personal story. Share it only with people who will uplift and support you and help you find your smile. Sharing your story with others who are in a negative space will only drag you down further. If you compete for "who has the worst story," the combined negative energy will counteract all of your efforts to stay grateful and positive. When you smile, you are open and approachable. The people, opportunities and ideas you seek will have an easier time reaching you because your defenses are down. Smile, pretend that everything is okay, focus on the positive aspects, and you will begin to see your life turn around. What you receive is in direct response to how you feel, and how you feel is in direct response to the words you use and how you portray yourself.

With that message came the blaring awareness that I had been sharing my predicaments with the wrong people. I complained about my problems on the playground with people I barely knew. I commiserated with other moms in the Mommy and Me classes. And I gossiped on the street with women in my neighborhood. I was perpetuating my problems by announcing them to the public, all the while thinking I was having "girl bonding time." I had an unconscious fear that if I did not participate in the gossip, I would not have any friends. No one really wanted to hear my problems except to help them feel better about their own struggles. I decided to stop complaining and start listening. I started listening to the voice within that was teaching me how to fix my problems instead of listening to and internalizing everyone else's problems. The once toxic associations drifted away and new friendships emerged that were based in joy. I found my smile. The more I smiled and shared my positive energy, the more people wanted to be around me and share with me. New friends, ideas, people and opportunities began to easily find their way to me and as they did, my smile deepened.

Express Appreciation

I found myself in a quandary. I knew that in order to receive what I wanted from the universe, I needed to find a way to express my appreciation for what I already had. How to do that was a real issue for me, because the words "prayer" and "God" brought with them negative associations. I am not a praying woman, and having had prayer virtually shoved down my throat as a child created a resistance to my doing it as an adult. I felt not only resistance—I felt anger and resentment at the mere mention of it. But I did understand the value of expressing gratitude to the universe and I wanted to believe in the possibility of a divine source of inspiration and infinite intelligence. I had been told all of my life that I had a soul within me that could ask God for help when I needed it. Still, the idea of having a soul and talking to God meant, in my view, that I had to reduce myself to subscribing to a religion again, and religion of any kind was not for me. It was through my struggle with how to express myself in a way that felt right and true that the answer to my dilemma came to me:

Recognizing that you have a soul has nothing to do with religion. It is simply the awareness that you have an intelligence within you and that you are more than merely a shell of a being. With this intelligence you have access to all of the abundance of the universe. Whether you choose to pray, meditate or self-talk, the process is the same. Begin each day focusing on gratitude. Spend time each morning, before starting your day, focusing on all that you appreciate about yourself and your world. It only takes a few minutes alone in your quiet space to affirm all that is good and right in your life. Express your gratitude in quiet reflection, giving thanks for the abundance in your life. When you begin each day with gratitude and appreciation, it sets the tone for the entire day. In this positive state you are not only able to attract, but also recognize opportunities when they come into your life.

It was in my newfound ability to see abundance that I was finally able to express my appreciation for what I had received in my life. It was from this ability to express my gratefulness openly that I discovered how to use it in connection with the universe. Once I began the daily practice of openly expressing appreciation for abundance, it became more than simply a habit; it became a part of me. I felt an overwhelming abundance of love, a far more valuable commodity than money. I found myself spending each day in a state of inner joy and looking forward to the path ahead of me. There came an inner knowing that, regardless of what happened to me financially, I was still living an abundant life.

Be Prosperity Minded

At the age of twenty-one, I was introduced to a Science of Mind center, and that introduction literally saved my life. Until that introduction my mind was plagued with thoughts of suicide and emotional ruin, unaware that I was intended for the life I dreamt of. It was through the center that I first came to know the concepts of prosperity and abundance. For the first time in my life, I learned that I was created to be prosperous and that belief in scarcity kept me in fear and mere survival. In the center's bookstore I purchased a book, the name of which escapes me, about prosperity versus scarcity paradigms, and I began to understand how my thoughts created my reality. During my self-improvement years, I worked very hard to change my thoughts. I was successful at putting them out of my mind, but I was completely unaware how deeply rooted my limiting beliefs actually were. The scarcity mentality from my childhood was so fully entrenched that I did not recognize it was still a part of me until I began digging deeper within myself during my mid-life transition.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Transcending Fear by VICTORIA M. REYNOLDS Copyright © 2012 by Victoria M. Reynolds. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword....................ix
Preface....................xi
My Journey to Freedom....................xiii
Begin With Gratitude....................1
Redirect Your Focus....................1
Affirm the Positive....................4
Smile....................5
Express Appreciation....................7
Be Prosperity Minded....................8
Enjoy Abundance....................11
Exercising Gratefulness....................12
Practice Forgiveness....................17
Let Go of Blame....................17
Accept Responsibility....................19
Stop Justifying....................21
Apply Self Forgiveness....................22
End the Abuse....................24
Apologize....................26
Forgive Them?....................27
Release Judgment....................28
Exercising Forgiveness....................31
Embrace the Struggles....................33
Appreciate Adversity....................33
Accept Change....................35
Revise Perceptions....................36
Turn Failure into Success....................38
Start Out Right....................39
Take Risks....................41
Exercising Acceptance....................42
Believe in You....................45
Co-Create....................45
Take Control....................48
Choose Wisely....................50
Update Beliefs....................52
Live in the Present....................54
Build Self-Worth....................57
Celebrate Accomplishments....................59
Exercising Confidence....................61
Follow Your Intuition....................65
Value Transitions....................65
Rediscover You....................68
Ignore the Critic....................71
Connect with Authenticity....................73
Acknowledge Your Gifts....................75
Live on Purpose....................78
Stay Focused....................82
Ask For What You Want....................83
Exercising Intuitiveness....................86
Become Self-Centered....................90
Be Yourself....................90
Stop Playing the Martyr....................92
Fill the Void....................95
Make Time for You....................97
Practice Core Strengthening....................99
Accept Your Body....................101
Live in Love....................105
Have Compassion....................108
Nurture Relationships....................110
Allow Intimacy....................113
Claim Self Honor....................116
Exercising Self-Centeredness....................118
Conclusion....................121
One Final Note....................125
About the Author....................127

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