Your Fear Flavor

Do you experience a lot of drama in your life? Fear likely has something to do with that. From Justin Epstein’s talk: Love Casts Out Fear: “Your Fear Flavor”.


Recognize your fear flavor, ladies and gentlemen. What are we talking about here? We’re talking about: fear is expressed in our bodies. Fear gets expressed in our bodies in unique ways. Everybody has ways of reacting to fear that we’ve learned growing up.

Someone who grew up in a family where the father would come home frustrated and angry learned how to adapt to that. Maybe one would get real still and quiet and hope that anger would land on somebody else in the family. Another might sort of become a little more aggressive and distract daddy a little bit, so he or she can make an exit safely. And we carry that into our relationships. We carry those reactions, those habitual reactions into our relationships with ourselves and with others.

And I would say that probably translates into our relationships at work. It translates into our relationships with other countries and in many ways, if we look and notice. It affects our breathing. Our breathing changes and our movements change. And we, because we are greater than our feelings and our body—because we are awareness…you live in your body but you are not your body, you are not your mind…

I love what Swami Satchidananda used to sing, a chant: “I am not my body. I am not my mind. Immortal self I am.” “I am not my body. I am not my mind. Immortal self I am.” So, we have the ability to use that awareness to shift things within ourselves, to acknowledge patterns that are there and then to shift them.

It has been said that fear is excitement without the breath. Yes, breathe when you feel fear, breathe…I’d like you for a moment to think of something that scares you and notice what happens to your body. It tenses up? What else happens? You stop breathing, stop thinking. It is interesting because remember, you are going into a primitive part of your brain. You are disconnecting yourself from the higher, thinking center, yes.

Now, there are four ways, pointed out by the authors Gay and Katie Hendricks on how we react physically through fear. And you can do a combination of them but typically we tend to gravitate toward one or the other. Are you ready to see if any of these might pertain to you? I am.

Here is one: Fear Fight: Some people become aggressive when they are afraid. You know, put your head out and grip your fists together. “Yeah? Yeah? Oh yeah? See?” But that’s not really anger. It’s fear. It’s a way of dealing with fear, trying to get control, becoming defensive. You see when we get into fear; we see the other as the enemy, even if they are in the same bed (laughter) or in the same house.

Fear Flee: This is when the person wants to run. Maybe their shoulder will turn toward the door. Their foot will start moving toward the door, or they will be in their body but their consciousness will begin to leave. They might say things like: “Aha, aha…” but they are not

listening. They have fled. They left the building. They are not there. That’s fleeing. Is anybody here a fleer? The breath starts to deflate like a pinhole in a balloon. And in extreme states, they will leave the room. “I’m out of here!” That’s the Fear Flee.

Then, there is the Fear Freeze: Make yourself real tense now and hold your breath, like a popsicle…that’s the Fear Freeze. They become tight. They hold their breath. Have you ever walked into a house, an empty house, and you hear a noise? What happens? You freeze, freeze and hold your breath. Often fear freezers pair with fear fighters. Can you image that pairing? It is like a hawk mating with a mouse. You know, a mouse is going to get real still when the hawk is not happy.

And then, lastly, there is Fear Faint: This is where the life energy drains out of the body through the feet and they experience a brain fog. They can’t think very well. In the face of anger, they become kind of dumb…confused, and can’t respond properly.

So, what do you tend to go toward…which one…do you recognize any? Fear Fight, Fear Flee, Fear Freeze or Fear Faint; what do you tend to do? On a count of three I want you to whisper it out, ok? On a count of three you are going to whisper out which one you tend to be:

One…two… three… I’m Fear…. One… two… three…Fear…Ok, I heard a few different ones going on here. Alright, good…good, becoming self aware, noticing what your fear flavor tends to be… Why is that important? Because once you know, then you can shift it…