Just changing one letter transforms “scared” into “sacred”. It’s a true spiritual teaching embedded in a language that usually comes up short when expressing spiritual nuance.
We’ve forgotten, even lost, the sense of the sacred in our lives while being fearful and anxious seems more commonplace than ever. As our language so cleverly reveals by making a slight shift in our perspective we can shift from “scared” to “sacred”.
If you’ve had a taste of the sacred, the sense of awe that humans are capable of, then you’ve experienced the absence of fear. You’ve experienced the light of heaven on earth, in your own body and mind. Mystics write holy prose and poetry to try to describe the freedom from suffering that accompanies the experience of the sacred. How can we not pursue the sacred once we have had just one experience that raises us beyond fear and suffering?
The sacred can be the antidote to being scared. Entering into the sacred awakens a sense of trust in our hearts and ultimately a trust in the unfolding of events in our lives. Living in the sacred illuminates a path that is powered from within, from a greater source. Instead of giving away our power to our fears and anxieties the sacred helps us claim our power and take our lives back from scary oblivion.
I learned long ago that worry, anxiety, and fear don’t change any outcomes. In fact they may make things worse! For example our bodies succumb to more illnesses when we are stressed and worried. Others feel our fears and catch it like a virus until everyone is infected with a bleak outlook. Confusion breads annoyance and irritation creating bad feelings and misdirected efforts.
How do we turn Scared into Sacred?
It’s simple but also tricky. The issue is just how invisible these heavy emotions truly are. We live and breathe fear as if it were our normal natural state. We’re scared so much of the time that it’s now the new normal. Just like the polluted air we breathe, we don’t see it but it’s everywhere! It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be free of fear; to not be scared that the next bad thing is just around the corner.
Pervasive fear is undetectable by the mind because the mind is immersed in it. We just accept the tension and press on. When I’m in session with clients who have not relaxed in a very long time they are amazed at what it feels like when their muscles unwind and their emotions lighten up. The relief of relaxation is intoxicating because it can lead to an experience of the sacred. In the deepest relaxed state our true being is free to emerge because we are no longer too scared to see the light.
The Body Speaks Truth
We have a reference point that we can use to detect whether we are in “scared mode” or “sacred mode”. Our nervous systems can tell the difference between being “scared” and being “sacred”. We can’t fool our muscles. They know flight/fight on an intimate level and twist and tighten in response. But when we enter the realm of the sacred our body relaxes and releases, we breathe, sigh, cry and laugh as we open to states of bliss that have long been forgotten. We can fool our minds into believing we are fine but our bodies tell us the truth.
So our first step to turning scared into sacred is to listen to our body, to let the body tell us what mode we are in instead of our mind. If our muscles are tight we are trending towards being scared and anxious. If they are loose and relaxed we are trending towards the sacred.
Grant yourself a few quiet moments to contemplate what a life with less tension, fear and anxiety might be like. Spend some time learning to listen to your body. Listening to your body will lead you to your heart. The heart is the center of the body, every cell in your body returns to the heart for renewal and direction. In its infinite and natural wisdom the heart knows how to direct the living essence of the body that keeps us alive. Your heart is also the center of your spiritual consciousness. When allowed to, your consciousness will return to the heart for renewal and wise guidance, just like your cells do.
This is the path of embodied wisdom, the path that is open to all people in all walks of life. You don’t have to retire to a monastery or ashram, your body is your temple and your greatest teacher. It will teach you how to shift from scared to sacred as long as you give it a chance.
Guided Meditation: Embodied Wisdom Part 1: Body Breathing
Try the guided audio meditation Embodied Wisdom: Body Breathing, a practice that introduces the experience of “letting go” and “allowing”.