The Dragon Within

What are the first thoughts that come to your mind when waking? I don’t know about you, but for me, giving attention to my state of being upon waking is important to the unfolding of the day. Sometimes I’m in a state of unexplainable joy, sometimes I’m reaching to remember a dream, sometimes my mind is rushing forward into what I have to accomplish, and sometimes, like this morning, I wake up in a state of fear.

Since it’s on my mind today, I’m ready to talk about fear if you are. Here are the questions: 1) how to recognize it within, 2) if you let it have its way where does it take you, and 3) what can you do to transform it.

While taking note of the feelings and thoughts coming through me, the image of a dragon came to mind as an archetype for fear… or… when fear takes control.

Immediately I remembered a song I would play for my youngest sons when it was bedtime. It was a Paul Winter song called “Lay Down Your Burden”. That song has a melody that seems to call from another world. It’s soft and stirring, and the lyrics feature the phrase… the dragon doesn’t live here anymore.

“Lay down your burden,” it says. “Lay it all down. Pass the glass between you… drink it up. Place the light before you…  come through the door. The dragon doesn’t live here anymore.” What a beautiful thought… the dragon doesn’t live here.

But what power does live here? What can I call upon when circumstances get a little dicey?

Then another quote came to me – the litany against fear from the Dune trilogy by Frank Herbert: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Metaphysical teacher Khris Krepcik tells us that all fear originates in a fear of death. Upon turning the inner eye to see fear’s path I could see the truth of it. I didn’t wake up in fear of death, but I did wake up in fear of running out of money which, in the mind of the inner dragon, would certainly lead to death.

If we look at what the mystical dragon does, and superimpose that image over the fear in control of mind, it’s quite revealing: The dragon stores its lair inside a cave in a mountain. It is very secretive and fierce in protecting this treasure. Apparently driven by a survival instinct it emerges from the cave and scans the horizon. Then, fueled by rapacious aggression it begins its flight. Soon it will be pillaging and plundering the wealth of the people, terrorizing and killing innocents.

Obviously I could get into talking about the world we’re living in right now, and the dragon-like control exerted over us, but that’s a story for another day. Today we’re identifying the dragon within – for if we can see glimpses of it within us, and we recognize what that force feels like and the behavior it evokes, we’ll likely have no doubt that fear has taken complete control at the highest levels of power.

So let’s get to the questions. 1) How do you recognize fear within? Answer: The feeling of fear is cold and hard and your energy will be aggressive. You will feel the need to attack the situation and you will rise up from the bed with plans formulating in your mind. Your thoughts will focus upon whomever or whatever you believe is the cause of the fear.

Question: 2) If you let fear have its way, where will it take you? Answer: It will take you to wrongdoing and conflict. It will take you to hiding and isolating a part of yourself, giving you more reason to fear. And like Frank Herbert says, eventually it will take you to total obliteration. Truly… if you wish to live and evolve you will put on the brakes and ask yourself the question, “Where is my power in this moment?” (Here I pause to thank to another teacher, Soren Dreier, for the power question.)

Question: 3) What can you do to transform fear? Answer: You have asked yourself the power question, and now you listen for the answer. The answer does depend upon your consciousness and the work that you have put in to developing self. This morning I traced fear’s path back to where I could remember myself. “My power lies in softness and warmth,” I said, “and in perception.”

It’s a pretty safe bet that I’m not the only person with concerns about money. And frankly, only the blind, deaf and dumb could believe that this collapsing world will hold steady for them and that security exists for their little family unit. Realizing that only change is guaranteed, what kind of action can we take? First of all, know for sure that you are not your job, you are not your role, you are not your profession and you are not incapable of change.

Don’t let fear take over… it has a tremendous failure rate. Try out the opposite move. Go find where you stashed your treasure and offer it. Offer your time, your talent, your experience, your knowledge and wisdom, your tenderness, your understanding. Cultivate the feeling of softness and open your heart – it’ll take you in the direction of safety. Sure, you might get hurt or used now and then but whatever! Do it anyway.

Here’s Momz conclusion: Return to the place where only you remain, after fear has passed. Rest there for a while and listen to your breath and your heart – you’re alive – it’s really beautiful to be here isn’t it? Now get up and create the day.

~ Ida Lawrence

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