Escape Planet Fear
With recent dramas in our country, long-standing violence abroad, and tragic rogue shootings commonplace, it’s clear that we have to forge a better way to handle conflict, transform fear and terror, and create harmony in our world.
How to help avert egoic (there’s a clue) gridlock in Washington, and in our towns and countryside?
How to heal the wounds festering beneath the world’s conflicts, and in our families, too?
How to create a society where war becomes as unimaginable…as bullying in our schools?
It is a big challenge, and a source of suffering for billions of people. Perhaps it’s time to build an awareness of certain unconscious patterns that give rise to Planet Fear.
“It is possible to live in a different state of consciousness. A state of consciousness that does not generate unnecessary unhappiness and suffering and anxiety. That is the underlying theme of the movie, that is what it is about,” says Eckhart Tolle.
That’s why Milton’s Secret, the book by Tolle (and new feature film) matters.
This is why we need to find new ways to meet the world, new ways to escape Planet Fear.
In the film, Milton witnesses the world around him. He also self-witnesses his response to that world, which led him to coin the term, Planet Fear.
“I live on Planet Fear, where there are thoughts like storm clouds everywhere I look. Sometimes the worrying gets so intense, it’s like a force field. You can’t move. And sometimes even when you think you’re stuck, you have to figure out a way to take that first step,” says 11-year-old Milton Adams.
Here are three exercises that will help you escape Planet Fear.
Mindful Breathing Technique
The quickest way to unwind from stress is with the breath. You can use this practice to start your day. It’s especially effective when you are feeling unclear or overwhelmed.
- Settle into a comfortable position in your chair, close your eyes, and breathe through your nose.
- Bring your full attention to the experience of the breath entering and then leaving your nose.
- If you become distracted by a thought, gently bring your attention back to the focus on your breath.
- When you are ready, come back to center and slowly open your eyes.
The Space Between Practice
Persistent stress and long work hours can leave us mentally fuzzy, fatigued, and sometimes fragile. This powerful practice is particularly effective for building resilience in chaos.
Get comfortable and close your eyes.
- Step 1: Behind the screen of your closed lids, imagine your heart’s desire. Feel it, sense it, and see it as best you can. It doesn’t have to be a perfect connection. Feeling it is the key.
- Step 2: Move your joyful future over to the right-hand side of the inner screen behind your eyes.
- Step 3: Imagine your most frightening thought. A few examples: “I will get sick and be a burden.” “I will lose my partner.” “I will be living out of a shopping cart under a bridge.” Whatever it is, do not be afraid to see it and feel it.
- Step 4: Move that image and experience to the left-hand side of the screen behind your eyes.
- Step 5: On your inner screen, you now have your heart’s desire on your right side and your worst nightmare on your left side. Imagine yourself stepping into the middle of the two scenarios and experience yourself in the field right between these two potentials. Spend as much time here as you feel comfortable, which can be as brief as two to three minutes.
Come back to center, take a breath, and let it all go.
Facing your darkest fear releases the energy that is bound up in a web of hidden anxieties. You can dissipate its power and be free to put your attention on the present moment.
The Present Is an Inside Job—3 Simple Steps
The one inner resource that may be even quicker than the breath at melting stress and opening to the present is love. Love has the power to put us back in the moment again.
- Close your eyes and picture a beloved person or pet in your life. Or think of a time when you felt great love.
- Take a breath, putting the picture aside.
- Can you still feel the love? Love is an inside gift. You are always only a moment away from remembering the love that up-levels everything.
Experiment with the three exercises, using them in various settings and states of mind, and find out how you can flourish when stress is no longer bullying you.
With film credits that include Milton’s Secret and Oscar winner What Dreams May Come, Barnet Bain is the author of The Book of Doing and Being (Atria, July 2015).
Originally published on Milton’s Secret and republished here with the author’s permission.