Fearless Living (part 1)

My daughter is in the midst of her own transition and told me about a program that she was very excited about. It is a program developed by one of the coaches on the daytime reality tv show, Starting Over. I decided to get the book, Fearless Living by Rhonda Britten, and just finished reading it this morning. I have, for the most part appreciated the program and the tools of 12 step recovery, doing my own program and as a counselor. I wanted to know where Rhonda was coming from and was totally encouraged with her approach.

The first part of the book develops a foundation for her program. She has, very appropriately, conceptualized two wheels that move us on our journey of life – the wheel of fear and the wheel of freedom. She talks about fear as a natural physical and emotional response to the dangers of life, and then goes on to show how the pain that we have been exposed to triggers the same response. As we live our lives, circumstances can trigger the fear that has been previously registered in our psche, often eliciting a response that leaves us with negative emotions and self-destructive behavior. The self-destructive behavior then triggers the fear and the wheel continues to roll – gaining momentum as it controls every aspect of life.

In contrast, the wheel of freedom starts by connecting to our essential nature – that person deep in our heart that we were meant to be. This connection motivates choices for behavior that gives us a sense of wholeness and generates self- affirmation. The self- affirmation connects us deeper to our essential nature and the wheel of freedom continues.

Rhonda offers plenty of exercises to help a person recognize their wheel of fear and to establish their wheel of freedom. These contrasting wheels are great pictures to help a person through any transition, including the simple ones that come each day. The goal is not to avoid feelings of fear, but rather to identify fear and be able to differentiate between the naturally protective and the destructive varieties. It is to establish tools to move off of the wheel of fear and onto the wheel of freedom, authentically moving through life congruent with the wholeness that is at the heart of who we are.

( to be continued )

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