Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cliff Divers and Rabbit Hoppers

By Jillian Maas Backman

I want to dedicate this entry to my good internal emotional friend,   Fear.  One of the most mis-understood emotions and yet, has the greatest potential to be our working warrior beside all of us in a time of need.  
So much is written about this illusive emotional condition.  Just the word alone conjures up a negative reaction and sends people into a tailspin.  Why?  Along the way, we have received implied mixed messages, finger pointing towards FEAR as the “evil one” from our emotional piggy bank from which to draw from.  Origins deriving from such statements, as “We must conquer our fears!”  “That fear is going to kill you!”  “FEAR is the root to all evil!”  This kind of verbiage sets up a battlefield inside your conscious mind.  Think about it this way, whenever someone goes into battle there will always be a winner and loser.  When we apply this same kind of tactical representation towards fear, it is no longer an ally.  It becomes an adversary to suppress.  Nothing good comes from this kind of thinking in your head.  We end up segregating pieces of ourselves and assign judgment.  A power struggle ensues between good and evil.   

We have humiliated ourselves into thinking it is cowardly if we admit experiencing some form of fear.  Somehow, we are less emotionally healthy if we have bouts of fearful momental breakdowns.  What a set up that is, in so many sad sad ways.  Fear is a human emotional conditions we should honor and respect on different levels.  It is not meant to be a comfortable state of being, by any means what so ever.  

NEVERTHELESS, it can be an immutable force behind your intentions! 
Every human emotion was given to us for a higher purpose of some kind.  I believe we are trying to think our way through changing the human archetype we were heavenly blessed with from inception.  Impossible and a waste of human time.  My ability to feel fear is necessary for my survival in certain situations.  It is how you act upon those internal markings is a gift not a punishment.

Let us take the fear out of “being in fear.”
First, there is lots of wiggle room between using fear as a catalyst for expansion and creating a fear addiction.  As always, I am addressing a healthy dose of “fearness” herein.  This is not intended for those of you that feel you may have crossed into the danger zone of a “fear addiction.”  As with all addictive behavior, intervention prevention by trained professional is always advised. 

Please do not abandon your sense of fearing.
Fear, as with all other human emotions, will be present forever.  It is our natural sense indicator of change in the rawest form possible, an involuntary boundary sensor.  The minute you find yourself outside your comfort zone, that fear brain sensor will be busy transmitting all forms of warning signs.  Why in the world would you want to intellectually spend time fighting against this loving emotional companion is beyond me.  For goodness sake, walk with it. 

Years ago, I too was immobilized with my own fears.  My perceived options were either ignore the presence of it and force my way through or accept defeat and surrender.  Both seem ludicrate at the time.  Neither option was going to get me to my desired destination of transformation.  I trusted myself enough to know that fear was not my enemy.  I  was being guided to delve deeper for illumination on the gift of heavenly fear.  The answer was not about the elimination of it, more on how to manage my way through the consistency of fear.  How do you deal with the innate presence of emotional fear?

Which one are you;   Cliff Diver or a Rabbit Hopper:
Before I share the details, let me preface this by stating:  No one category is better than the other.  Each one has inherited advantages and disadvantages.  I use these labels as a fun way of stepping out from the wake of fear, observing how you personally deal with conflict resolutions, and possible modifications.

Cliff Diver:  Peaks of Fearlessness followed by Peaks of Fear
Now cliff divers are the ones that do exactly what the label sounds like.  Not literally, of course.  When they decide to make changes, they usually go big.  Not in the sense of crazy big, more like something out of the ordinary.  The opposite, they sit back, internally analyze, wait for the right moment to jump, and then jump long!  All the while, vacillating between moments of fear-ness and fearless-ness.  This reminds me of that old cartoon, Wily E Coyote and the Road Runner.  The coyote would chase the roadrunner off the end of a cliff.  His first reaction on his face described it all.  “Oh crap, what did I just do?”  Eyes wide as silver dollars, realizing his forthcoming quandary, flapped   his arms as fast as he could in the attempt to soften the blow with his eventual landing.  He always seemed   to survive another day of relentless chasing the Roadrunner.    

-Fear instantly subsides.  There is immediate spontaneous resolve to the inaction of fear. 
-Go with the flow kind of people, flexible
-More times than not, this decision defines completion.
-  Meaning, you have completed a cycle in your life that has been festering for a long time and your inability for movement has stalled.  Your last bit of built up fears pushed you forward to a decisive action and possibly propel you to new territory of exploration.
- Feel your way through fears.  No intrinsic internal need to identify and label each fear individually. 
-Able to handle both conscious and unconscious pretara of “perceived fears” simultaneously.
-Insights always come from a multitude life lessons.   
-Be aware of compulsive fearless moments.  It is an incredible motivator but may also create lingering repercussions.
-Be conscious that you are a cliff diver.  The natural order of human fear will settle in again, but the configuration will definitely be different from before.  You will eventually decide to jump off the cliff of fearlessness once again and the cycle will repeat.  What measure have you set in place to reconfigure a new way of handling fears when it comes around again?  A good solution would be to adapt the ways of a “rabbit hopper…”  Therefore, when you decide to “jump” again the aftermath may have a softer landing.

Rabbit Hoppers:  Equal amount of fear and fearlessness
Bless them, for many do not understand their unseemly unassuming ways.  We are promoters of cliff divers in this country.  “Go Big or Go Home.”  Come on really?  Not every big way is the best way.  There are times when slow and steady is the best method to resolutions of all kinds.  I again reference a childhood story, “The Tortoise and the Hare.”  Even though the hare is portrayed in this parable as the one who lost in the end maybe both were correct. 

-Break down fears into workable “chucks of insights.”
-Deal with fear as it comes along.  They live by the rule, literally, one-step at a time.  In this case, one hop at a time. 
- Extremely methodical in handling all aspects of fear- based experiences.  Goals firmly placed in front of them.  Set in their immediate intentions.
-Can only deal with single fear issues one at a time.  Multi-tasking lessons are not an option. 
-Keep internal fear/fearlessness in balance.
  -Assume fearlessness as being out of control.
-Tendency to avoid situations of complete fearlessness and spontaneous decision.
-Inflexible.  Rarely deviate from the pre-set course of action.
- There will be times of urgency to make a fast decision.  Fear is an incredible activator for quick movements.  Many times rabbit hoppers avoid this kind of situations at all cost.  That itself can create potential  danger.  You must adapt and take the “cliff diver” approach and jump in.

In order for rabbit hoppers to continue to move forward, they must always keep a balanced perspective on both fear and fearlessness.  That is a tall order, for the demure rabbit.  Fear has a tendency to silently take over the rabbit hoppers momentum.
I presented this fun fear quiz to demonstrate how each one of us handle and manage the stress of fear.  Both represent the beautiful ways in which we assimilate our fears, transpose them into lessons, and share our well -traveled  wisdom with others.   

In gracious love, Jillian Maas Backman

Jillian Maas Backman is an Intuitive Life, Author (Beyond the Pews, spring 2011), and Award winning Radio Host.  She can be heard on her weekly Sunday morning program entitled:  “It’s For You” on-air 9-10am(CST)  Lake 961 fm,   Lake Geneva, WI, North Shore Chicago, Ill or by listening on-line world wide  at   

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