I was shopping and snacking my way through Costco and sampled a new product - craisins – dried cranberries infused with pomegranate juice. My daughter, Alicia and two granddaughters Rosannah, age 4 and three-year-old Briannah were visiting from Arizona, so I knew a mega bag of the tasty treats would be a good choice for our hikes and other assorted adventures.
However, after the second sampling of the fruity snack the girls refused to eat them.
“I don’t like them,” said Briannah.
“Why?” I queried.
“They got eyes,” she responded as she turned up her nose in disgust.
Not only would she not partake of the craisins, she convinced her sister that eating them would amount to cannibalism of some pinkish animal grown at Ocean Spray.
I didn’t think too much about it and offered them raisins instead. However, I found the little morsels delicious and convenient, so I grabbed a handful and popped them into my mouth.
“No. Don’t eat those grandma,” Briannah moaned in disdain. “They got eyes.”
My words fell on deaf and defiant ears. Neither Briannah or her sister wanted anything to do with ANYONE eating craisins in their presence. I looked at the bag to see where they got the idea that craisins had eyes.
I took out another handful and spread them out in my palm.
“Show grandma where the eyes are,” I asked holding one up. Both girls looked over the wrinkled morsels and found them eyeless. They each ate one, but refused more. I knew they were unconvinced.
This may sound like a silly story of unreasonable fears, but the fact of the matter is all of us have some fears and most of them are not rooted in reality. I have a sister who refuses to touch the cotton wadded inside of aspirin bottles and a friend who is afraid of dryer lint.
Some fears make sense. We should avoid touching poisonous snakes, jumping off roof tops and running into traffic.
However, if your anxiety is preventing you from living a life of joy and fulfillment, perhaps it’s time to question your self-inflicted dread and see if it’s time for a new outlook. The bottom line is unwarranted fears leave you feeling hopeless and enervated and embracing your passions is a vitality booster.
Here are a few tips on how to reduce your fear and energize your life.
•Avoid working in a career where money is your only goal. If you are stuck in a job that brings no joy and drains you of your energy, find something more nourishing to your soul. Chances are you are feeling stuck, not because you have to be, but because you have decided you have to be.
•Be mindful of the energy exchange you experience with others. Remember that you cannot change others, you can only change yourself.
•Be open to the possibilities in life. Just because things have been difficult in the past does not mean they have to continue to be that way. Your determination and strong intent will move you in the direction you set forth.
•Find things that energize you and avoid those that constrict the energy in your heart, soul and mind. Pay attention to how you feel energetically.
•You are not your bank account, your car, or even your body. When you die, none of these transient things will go with you. Learn to love yourself. Know that you are divine and have unique gifts that only you can contribute to the world.
EMBRACE THE MAGIC WITHIN
•Take time to pray or meditate. If this is uncomfortable, try five minutes of quiet reflection. No one expects you to become a monk. Start with five minutes of prayer, meditation or reflection each day and slowly increase the process over time.
•Look within and establish a pathway to your higher self. This journey may manifest differently depending on your religious or spiritual beliefs, but as long as you are open to making the connection, it can be achieved.
•The interaction between you and your higher self is often subtle, such as a quiet internal voice, flashes of insight, intuition or reoccurring images.
•Find your passion in life, develop it and share it with the world.
•The positive energy you create from your expressions of love, gratitude and kindness will reverberate throughout the universe in the same way that a small pebble thrown into the middle of a still pond can send ripples across the water.
Alicia, Rosannah and Briannah have returned home. They had a great visit. We hiked in the mountains, played in the ocean, saw a beautiful waterfall and picked berries and made a pie from our fruity bounty. I hope it is a vacation they will remember the rest of their lives. And with a little luck and education, the eyeless bag of craisins that is sitting in my pantry will be a fear they soon forget.