I’ve had a lifelong fear of flying. It’s never prevented me from going anywhere but I am not saying I haven’t grabbed (or rather dug my nails) into the passengers arm next to me (okay usually Lance, sometimes Roxanna) during some scary turbulence. I sat next to a pilot on one of my flights back from Puerto Rico (poor him, yay for me) and quizzed him on everything from wind sheer to lightening to what the heck happened on that Air France flight from Brazil (I am like Rain Man with plane accidents). Then I asked him about his diet (as he pulled out  a baggie full of candy) and I told him he ate like crap. I think it was an enlightening experience for both of us….if I do say so myself.

But what it really got me to thinking about (something I have pondered a lot this year) is fear. I have spent a lot of energy of being afraid of flying and yet I’ve flown 100’s of flights and I’m still here. It’s the things that I never feared that have happened. I certainly wasn’t fearing a brain tumor. And since Lance was diagnosed I have had fewer fears than I have had in my life. I realized what a waste of energy those fears have been. Lots of expended energy and not a whole lot of return. I have really tried over this past year and a half to have trust in our process but be grateful for each day, knowing that fear is a head thing and that if I lead from my heart that the fear diminishes. I am not saying I am some master at this. I’M NOT. I just practice this daily because well, frankly I have to.

In fact these past couple months fear came up in a big way again. And I just wanted to yell “Go away! You are not helping the situation!” But then it was still there. And at times it’s been overwhelming, even paralyzing. Lately though, I’ve felt this feeling of moving beyond it again and I wanted to share what has been helping. One has been my continued meditation practice (ah yes, any chance I get I will encourage you to meditate…the cure for almost everything).

I would wake up with that dreaded feeling and drag myself out of bed and sit my tush on my cushion and slowly it would melt away. And meditating always helps me be present and then I realize when I’m in the moment, I am not afraid. So why waste my energy on fear? The pilot brought up a good point that fearful flyers are always anticipating for the big moment when the plane looses control. Ahh, that would be me!! But that’s not being in the moment now is it? I loved that pilot so much, that I gave him a list of books, movies, and food suggestions to help him change his and his family’s diet. 🙂

So recently I feel calm, knowing that we (Lance and I) have today and that’s all any of us know. It gives me a reprieve and makes me grateful for this day.

Doing my best to fear less,

Just a cute little picture of my family being in the moment...


24 thoughts on “Fear

  1. Thanks for this Nancy. Those “Holly-Hunter” morning moments (See “Broadcast News”) can be paralyzing. I havent tried meditation yet for this, but I will now. Great pic too.

      • Nance – she’s an actor and in the movie Broadcast News she wakes up and cries every morning in an anxiety attack – then she gets it out of her system. Actually a pretty good reference you culturally deprived eschewer of media. LOVE YOU and you are so RIGHT – fear is not being present. The present moment is all any one of us has. This very moment is perfect and enough. xo

        • Thanks for making me laugh Roxanna.I am completely media deprived and proud of it :). At least I didn’t mention your comment on that scary plane ride!!

  2. Sontasha—a new word I heard at Larissa’s (I think the new Matt at CAC–yay!) yoga class yesterday. I don’t want to insult in case you are dah, I know that word….. I of course never heard the word and have an incredibly difficult time living the meaning—contentment. Living in the present moment…. you and your family are one of the biggest inspirations for me, despite your challenges (we all have them, right?) For me, you are living Sontasha, and I envy that.
    btw, my fears are snakes and water accidents….

    • Thanks Joy. Your comments bring tears to my eyes. I hope to see you in Larissa’s class soon. She’s awesome.

  3. Nancy,
    your insight on fear is invaluable!
    Fear can stop you cold and keep you from the un known and the un known is often GREAT and when its not great you at least learn..
    what you usually learn is not to fear…
    I started a corefit training class with a personal trainer last week and I had so much fear two days before I met my trainer, fear that I would get hurt fear that I could not do anything he asked fear that I would hate it I was so afraid it was stupid and then I went and he could not have been nicer and I had more fun and i was sore but not too sore and you know what I did it loved it and can’t wait to do it again.. facing your fears is such an accomplishments so thanks thanks thanks for sharing ..your family is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    xo S

  4. Dear Nancy,
    Thank you for sharing with beautiful detail your experiences at the Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico. You inspire me to elevate my cancer fighting kitchen to new heights. I am very curious to know how the cleansing bowl of sprouts was made to taste appetizing…It wouldn’t be appropriate to reveal what Will said when I shared the photo of that soup with him. Team Gentry continues to be a true source of inspiration on how to live each day to its fullest. You remain in our daily prayers. Love and Hugs to each of you.

    • Lucy…Thank you!! I think a delicious energy soup recipe is going to be posted soon on the blog (maybe only 1 or 2 will try it but at least I can count on you). I really think you and Will should go there!! I mean it! Ann Wigmore believed everything can be cured by her living foods diet and she cured herself from colon cancer at age 50 by eating that way. She lived to be 84. Tell Will that I say he is going to like that soup even if I have to come there to make it for him. And btw, you guys are the ultimate inspiration. Thank you for your prayers. We are so grateful for them. xo Nancy

  5. Thank for the thoughts on Fear Nancy. I have recently undertaken some new approaches to my fear of flying (among other things).. hypnotherapy, EFT and The Sedona Method. One thing I learned right off is that I am NOT afraid. I may feel afraid but I am whole. I am not depressed, excited or happy…I just feel those things, they are not me. I can acknowledge and let go of the emotions I have no need for more easily just by rephrasing.
    Best to you and Lance!

  6. I think this is one of my most favorite blogs! Fear is something we all have. Thank you for your eloquent and always well written blog! I am also thankful for the day, my family and friends. I too will try to fight the fear and live in the moment! Love you Nanc!

  7. Super cute photo!! How do I sign up for the blog…? Looked and couldn’t find. Sorry it didn’t work for you for me to come down to Boulder last month… 🙁 Soon I hope cause I miss you all! This reminds me of the Buddhist teaching about how worrying is really needless suffering because if anything bad DOES happen then you suffer twice… And if it doesn’t you suffer for no reason at all. So like you, I’m trying to worry less and meditation does help!! Even my 5 min sits.

    Thinking of you in NYC and of your tiny and cute apt I stayed on the couch with y’all way back when….. Way pre married people. Ahhh….haven’t we all grown so much since those days.. Sending big hugs!

    • Suz, Thank you! I love that Buddhist teaching so much I wish I had put that in my blog!! and glad you are sitting for 5 mins…that’s awesome.

      To sign up you, right under Lance’s cute face at the top of the page, it says “subscribe to email.” If that doesn’t work, let me know!

      I loved that shitty little apartment. Lance always says I’m weird but it was our little love nest.


  8. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love, love, love your blog. Thank you for getting me present, over and over again.

  9. Hi Nancy- its your mystery friend ( as we have never met). Fear has been a big topic for me as well in my life with my 2 girls. I published a book several years ago for Mother’s Day titled Fearless Nest! Its a series of 22 essays. Mine is “Its all a form of Grace” about the journey with two kinds of fear: one with my terminally ill daughter and one with my wild child daughter. My point here is how amazing it is that what we fear most leads us to the capacity to embrace living fully! Who invented this game anyway??????? Thanks for your sharing and serving all of us who get to participate in your journey. Lots of love, Shana
    p.s. how do I sign up for the blog?

    • I love you my mystery friend. How can I find your book? A lot of people say to me, “i can’t imagine what it’s like to be you.” and losing a child to me is the ultimate painful (and fearful) experience. I am not sure I have worked through that fear although I can say I don’t think about it like i had sometimes in the past (which is a good thing). I would love to hear how you are doing. We were connected through Keith right?

      Oh and to sign up for my blog, at the top of the page under my cute husband’s picture it says “subscribe to email.” If that doesn’t work, let me know. Thank you Shana.
      Love, Nancy

  10. Totally agree that fear– like your plane anxiety– is a waste of time and energy. So nicely written about, Nance. Lucky pilot, I’m sure he’s still telling his friends about the beautiful hippy he sat next to.

  11. Hey sweet Nancy,
    This blog was very meaningful to me. As silly as it sounds considering how amazingly safe and happy that my life has been, I have been subject to huge paralyzing fears throughout it. The fears of being lost, abandoned and the potential deaths of those I love left me unable to travel, untrusting of my friends and unable to face or provide support for those who were dealing with impending or actual loss.
    Tim has been a fantastic mentor for me in dealing with these fears. He taught me that I was never lost, just seeing new parts of where I live in the world. He shares his love for me and others so devoutly that abandonment never enters my mind anymore. Best of all he helped me understand that death is a part of life and just a new way to travel (with no fear of getting lost). You can see how fortunate I have been!
    Your blog and the input of your many friends both here and on Caringbridge have helped to cement those lessons. The meditation techniques, and “here and now awareness” that you’ve taught so gracefully have made a difference in how I view the world and deal with those stubborn fears when they raise their silly heads.
    Thanks for opening this door and giving such a safe warm room to sit comfortably and consider the foolishness of fearfulness.
    Love, Linda

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