Without fear; brave.


"Have a vision not clouded by fear." - Cherokee Proverb


Most of us live our lives and make our choices based on fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of abandonment. Fear of intimacy. Fear of loss. Fear of judgment. Fear of failure. Fear of ________.

Michael de Montaigne once wrote, "A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears."

The Stepping Stones are about change and personal growth. "The key to change," said Rosanne Cash, "is to let go of fear." That's not to say we can't be afraid when we change, a little bit of fear, just as with public speaking, can be healthy when we are focused on positive outcomes. When we were children and looked in the closet at night to make sure there were no monsters we were afraid, but we faced it, we looked at it, and eventually overcame it.

"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death." - Betty Bender

So get up off the bed. Take the blankets if it makes you feel safe, but walk across the room. Turn the lights on if you need to. As Dorothy Thompson said, "Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light."

Find your light switches within the other Stepping Stones and turn them on.

Once you do that you've reached a state of consciousness where you can accept fear as a part of life but not an obstacle. "I'm not afraid of storms," wrote Louisa May Alcott, "for I'm learning how to sail my ship."

Facing fear is a spiritual exercise in conscious choice that teaches and strengthens us.

When I have fears I say the following mantra to myself. It's taken from Frank Herbert's Dune and is perhaps the best source of strength I've known for facing those things that most frighten me:

"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 its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."