Are you Caught in the Chinese-Finger-Puzzle of Fear?

When we’re feeling fearful we often pull away. We struggle. We stay trapped. Caught in fear. Discover mind-body connection exercises to slow down and find release.

When was the last time you played?

I mean really played. Like a game of tag or checkers? Or, when was the last time you “played” a trick on someone?

Mark Nepo, in his Book of Awakening, recounted the following story by philosopher Michael Zimmerman.


A young boy in grade school was quietly sitting at his desk. Someone passed him a paper tube described as “Chinese Handcuffs”. Curious to see how this strange thing worked, the boy put his index fingers in each end of the tube. Then he attempted to pull them out.


But his fingers were caught in this small paper ‘thing’. He was trapped. He began to feel panic and pull harder. He HAD to get his fingers free. The more he pulled, the tighter the tube squeezed.


Suddenly, it occurred to him to try the opposite. As he relaxed his fingers, the small casing slackened until he could work his fingers free.


How often in our state of fear do we pull away and pull harder? We struggle. We try to find the next thing to soothe us. Something to distract us.

Instead of slowing down or even pausing – we push ahead. And then find ourselves stuck. Caught in our fear.

What is the source of your fear in this moment?

Is it the thought that you will forget your person? His smile? Her smell?

Is it the thought that you are alone and have no idea how to navigate life without them?

Are you afraid of the anger, sadness, despair or rage of your grief?

I invite you to Pause

Sit or stand quietly. Listen to your body.

Is your heart racing?

Is your belly growling?

Is a shoulder aching with pain?

Is your knee cold?

Does one hip feel empty, hollow?

Then do this…

  • Rub your hands together.
  • Then shake them out.
  • Now with your eyes cast down or closed place one hand on that place in your body.
  • With curiosity notice how you are making contact.
  • Is your hand resting lightly or pressing heavily?
  • Can you even feel your hand?
  • Is there a temperature, a color, a sound, or an image coming to mind as you touch this place?
  • Stay curious.
  • Accept whatever is or is not there.

Key point: Awareness is the first step in transformation. Moving from the isolation of grief to the safety of connection.

Body-mind process

If you tried this exercise, you’ve just experienced the body-mind process. You’ve moved from your unconscious mind to your conscious mind.

You’ve just taken time to slow down and relax into your fear. You’re no longer trapped in your fear.

In future blogs, we’ll dive deeper into the power of the unconscious mind. We’ll uncover how it reveals protection, connection, correction, and new directions. Your unconscious mind will help you move from the isolating pain of grief to a state of feeling better, even happy.

See this article for a 6-minute self-care routine

Until next time…

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,

Georgena

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