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Ep. 51 - Transforming Your Relationship With Fear - An Interview With Tim McDonald

by Hearts Rise Up
August 5th 2021
In this interview, Tim McDonald discusses with Carol his life path and the challenges that have transformed his relationship with fear. Recognizing how it held him back, he talks about how embracing h... More
Thank you for tuning your heart's in for another episode of the Hearts Rise up podcast. I'm carol chapman, your host along with my co host and Siri and Concetta antonelli. We share our own personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guest interviews. We're here to inspire and empower your conscious evolution, help you tap into your inner wisdom and rise to your heart centered higher self Together we can rise to a higher level of consciousness, an elevated state of being and experience more love, joy and freedom. Yeah. Mhm Welcome back to the Hearts Rise Up podcast. Thank you for joining us today. This is going to be a fantastic interview.

My guest today is tim Mcdonald tim is a force of nature who always helps anyone he can, he's generous, kind and compassionate, he's also a brave soul who cares deeply about humanity and builds community everywhere he goes. He is the former director of community at huffingtonpost, founder of my community manager and director of Communications for social media club, Chicago tim works with organizations and individuals who are stuck and he gets the monster truck. He helps people connect with their voice and stories. He's also a speaker and facilitates workshops, recognizing how fear held him back. He has changed his relationship with fear and has used it to get unstuck and leave a toxic job and a 17 year marriage moved to a new city, meet his life partner and currently looks at having stage for metastasized colon cancer as a gift tim.

Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me, carol. I'm excited to be here and dive into whatever questions you have for me, you are such an amazing individual. You've had so many things that you have gone through since overcoming fear or at least dealing with fear wrestling with it. And it seems like, you know, even when the chips are so down for you, you just rally and you just keep going, you just embrace life. So as you know, this podcast is all about showcasing wisdom that we have gained through life's journey and the things that we go through the twists and turns and you know, the challenges and all the things that we are faced with and so many of us deal with fear and it holds us back from realizing our potential, going after our dreams and aspirations and even exploring our gifts in the world. So maybe we can find a jumping in point here around fear and when you were faced with that, how did you deal with it?

Was it instantaneously or was it a process of incremental steps? Oh no, there's there's been so many steps and there still is when it comes to how you deal with fear. But I think the biggest realization for me with fear was that, you know, you hear everybody talk about overcoming fear conquering fear, removing fear and to me that's not healthy because I want my fear to be around because without my fear, I would step into an oncoming train, I would, you know, I could jump out of an airplane without a parachute, you know, I mean all these things, so fear actually can be healthy for us and I want that rational fear as I call it to be there for me when I need it to keep me healthy. But the bigger part I think about what I talk about fear is what most of us experience, which is the irrational fear and that is the fear of not being good enough, not having enough, you know, thinking that you don't have the right experience or that you're not worthy of something and those are the voices in our heads that tell us all these things.

The thing about it is, is our irrational fear does a very good job at pretending it's rational fear. Yes, that's the ego kind of working its way to protect us in any way possible with fear. Trying to make irrational fears seem rational seems crazy, doesn't it? You know, it's it's amazing because you know, there's been so many times, but I think the first realization I had of this was when I was in my first marriage, my parents had gotten divorced when I was a teenager and I just made a commitment from that point on that when I made the vows so that do us part that I was going to stick to, that there was going to be nothing that broke that trust and that bond of my word with those sacred vows. As a result, I was driving myself into a place of depression. I was putting on a very good show for everybody else outside and trying to hide the problems that were going on with my ex and you know, it was all these things, but I knew in the back of my head that I could not leave because I had made that commitment.

And it wasn't until I think I realized that, well, I was the one who made the commitment. I was the one who made that decision. I was also the one who could change my mind and I could change my decision and I could actually make a healthier choice for me at that point, which was instead of driving myself into a deeper darker place is I could just which I knew I didn't want to do, I knew that was very unhealthy for me, but what it was was the day that I decided that enough was enough. And I said I was leaving, I had no idea what to expect, but that night, the next day, and ever since then I've just felt this huge lifting off my back of this heavyweight that was on me, I've seen this, this light, these all these opportunities that were out in front of me and it all came from that one decision that even though I had made a commitment that I was the one who made it so I could unmake it and change it. That one moment in my life, I think really propelled me on the path to seeing that in different situations, you know, from that point forward about how I could change my outlook, how I could reframe my thinking about things to really understand what was healthy for me and then make decisions that would allow me to move in that direction.

And at the same time, it was helping me understand that I can deal with my own internal fears, irrational fears about what would happen. I mean, my biggest fear back then was that I was going to be a failure because I didn't live up to my commitment and I realized that I actually became more successful because I did give up on my commitment, right? And I think that's a little bit of a misnomer for a lot of people, because we've been taught two, if we make commitments, we've got to follow through. If we make a promise, we've got to follow through. But sometimes we don't know when we're making the commitment or promise what we're really getting into. And sometimes even over time we change or the situation changes and maybe things unfold a little bit more for ourselves than we realize this isn't true for us. This isn't being true to me. What do you say about that? Or think about that? Or let's build off of that. Yeah, I totally agree that this is one of the things I've realized, it's it's the same thing when we talk about a time commitment on a project we're working on, right?

And when we tell others, it's like, oh, I'll have this to you Tuesday. Well, who came up with that? I did. You know, do they really need it on Tuesday or do they need it a week or a month from Tuesday? Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. So it's all these things that, you know, we just come up with something because we've been programmed most of us through our entire lives to always have the answers for what's going to happen today. What I've come to realize is none of us know what's going to happen tomorrow, the next day, a year from now, 10 years from now, we just don't know. So when we give ourselves permission to understand that when we make decisions, we're making them with the best information we have in the moment doesn't mean that we can't change those decisions an hour later, a day later, a month later or 10 years later, we're capable of doing that because we're the ones who had the power to make that choice in the first place. We have the power to be able to understand that we can change it moving forward. When we have a new set of information, a new set of facts that we can look at it. It's like you said, it could be just that we've changed, it could be that the environment that we're in has changed.

It could be that we live in a different place, work for a different company, you know, have a different partner and if I stopped learning, I feel like I'm going to stop living, I don't know about you, but I definitely want to have the right to be able to change my mind as I grow and as I learn Because that's going to make me a healthier person moving forward. If I was the same way I was 20 years ago, I would be, I probably wouldn't even be sitting here talking to you today to be very honest, it's been close to that and I know that if I would have stayed on that path, I would not be sitting here and having a conversation with you today, right? And I think that it's important to note too that we're all free and sovereign beings and we need to honor that. But oftentimes there are so many things that get in the way, you know, societal norms, just pressure from friends, parents, peers and just basic conditioning over the years that we kind of lose sight of that, that we are free to choose and that we need to be discerning as to what is right for us and a lot of times when things aren't right for us, we feel in our bodies and that's what brings on stress and causes pain and anxiety and a lot of different things and people and it's important to what's important to you.

Let's fast forward a little bit. And what transpired once you made that shift in perspective and move forward. Yeah. You know, for me, it was really an understanding that I didn't have all the answers. So I would give myself permission to make mistakes and to be wrong about things as long as I was able to learn from those situations that included me taking a job that I thought was going to be a fantastic opportunity. And it it was for the first six months and then the next six months kind of morphed into something that was a little uncomfortable that I didn't really enjoy. And the last six months was something that I just, I knew that it was toxic on me. I had people telling me what I could write about what I could talk about when I went out and give talks. It was killing who I was and who I had become. I remember when we had the conversation that I knew that I wasn't attached to the paycheck, I was attached to my health when I saw that I knew that, you know, when they weren't happy with my performance and I wasn't happy with what they were providing me, that we could just agree to part ways and go in our own different directions.

Most people would say they're not willing to do that unless if they have something lined up and to me my health was more important than having another paycheck coming in. I just had to trust in myself that I would be able to do something else to make enough money to be able to live the lifestyle that we've grown accustomed to living without a paycheck or that one would come to me in the future, That situation I think was one of the next biggest ones and then, you know, I mean, obviously the biggest, you know, I know earlier on you said that, you know, it's just just something that happened or has it evolved over time. I can tell you that it happens in much smaller situations all the time, but I'm giving you some of the bigger ones that I think most people look at as major milestones in their life, you know, a divorce, a separation from a job, and obviously when you have a health issue, like when you're told you have cancer, to me, what it's helped me do is understand that I just need to become aware of the moment I'm in awareness is more than just, okay, I'm sitting in this office or this space.

Um hearing these words, it's like truly understanding the meaning of, not the whole meaning, but your meaning in that moment in time of what all this means. You need to become very aware of that. You know, the next thing you need to do is you need to accept what that is Because what happens is so many of us with the first time they hear something like you have cancer is they want to say why me? They want to say how did this happen? All those things are a rejection of the fact that you actually have this. And so you need to accept what you have in that moment in time. You don't have to be happy with it. But you need to accept it. So you can't judge it. You just need to accept. Mm hmm. And then the final thing that you know, I look at in what I do is okay now that I've become aware of it, now that I've accepted it. What kind of adjustment can I make internally, You know mentally in my head about how I approach this moving forward. And for me that became knowing that I didn't want to say why me. But instead I turned that into why not me.

What opportunity is this presenting to me right now? And within several weeks I was willing enough to share my story with the public and let everybody know what I was going through and what I was diagnosed with, How I was handling it. What information, what help I needed today. It helps me understand that I am an advocate for Becoming aware of what are the signs for having cancer because I didn't have a family history of colon cancer. I'm the first one in my family that had colon cancer. And so, and I was just turned, you know, I was 52 when I was diagnosed, so I was just over the age where they would say you should start getting screened for it, but Now they just lowered that age to 45. So, can you imagine if I would've gotten screened at 45, I might not even have to be talking about this is this is my opportunity. It's why not? What that does, is it moves you from a problem solving thing, like the Why me? You're trying to solve a problem to the why not Me, which creates opportunities that are abundant for you. So, it's really been advocating for awareness, advocating for testing, being a support network for people that are learning about it, helping them overcome the mental challenges and how we think about and how we reframe how we think about having cancer.

To me, it's this beautiful thing that never would have happened if I wasn't told those three words, right, And you're exploring new things within yourself that you would not probably have noticed or seen or even explored. And so it's blossoming into a new set of tools and skills that you can share with others and what a gift that is. Oh, yeah, and one of the biggest ones, and I talked about this to anybody that wants to listen is I've been brought up and conditioned through, you know, my upbringing in through school and through the jobs I've had that you should respect authority. And yes, doctors go through a massive amount of training before they can become a doctor, but that doesn't mean that every doctor knows everything I have learned to advocate for myself after educating myself through this whole process. So, like, my oncologist, I think is a great oncologist. I've had three different oncologists and I think he's a great oncologist.

He knows how to treat my cancer with chemotherapy and other methods, but he's not a surgeon when I hear him tell me I'm not a candidate for liver surgery. I don't take that as gospel. I take that as his opinion. And I advocate for myself and I educate myself who are the top liver surgeons that deal with cancer as livers out there in the US. And then I get in touch with them and I find them and I make appointments with them and I tell them my situation. And they're like, well, no, that doesn't automatically disqualify you. But we need your records, we need to, you know, look everything over. We need to talk to you about it. And so that's the process I'm going through now is really learning this whole process of educating and advocating for yourself and now I think about this up only in the medical field, right? But now imagine using this skill that I've learned in life, and it's so it's such a gift to be able to understand that and to embrace that. And to hopefully be able to share that with others, to let them know that there's there's hope out there just because an expert tells you something doesn't mean that that's your story.

You have your own story. That's right. And that could be a book in the making. But I was going to say that we really are are our own best advocate and manager of our health. We have to listen to ourselves. And although the medical professionals have been been trained a certain way, that the human body, I mean, it's it's so vast and every individual is different and every situation is different. You know, doctors don't know everything. And so that is why it's important for each of us to be discerning and to educate ourselves and to take it upon ourselves to not acquiesce and outsource our decisions to others, but take control, take the right action, the right decisions for ourselves. Oh, yeah, it's so true. My wife was sitting in one of my appointments and my platelet count has been low because of the chemo, it's one of the side effects. And they learned in my last ct scan that it's because I have an enlarged spleen.

And he just said it matter of fact, that's what it is, and that's how it's going to be. And my wife said, you don't need your spleen, do you? And he goes, well, no. And then he came back and he goes, you know, I can refer you to talk to one of the radiologists here who does procedures on this clean. They have a way that they can go in and kill off most of the spleen. So it doesn't take in your platelets and not release them. There are some side effects to it. But if you want to consult, we can have you set it up with him. And if my wife never asked that question, we would have been sitting here with a late low platelet count, meaning I would have had to pause my chemo at times if I wasn't at the certain level. And I would have been not eligible for almost any clinical study because my platelets were so low. And so it was all because my wife asked that question during one of our office visits that I have a new opportunities in front of me not to say that we're going to take any one of those. But it opens up a whole new set of opportunities for us now. It sure does. And she's not a doctor.

Look at that. It's not that put the doctors down, but I mean really we have to listen to ourselves and and also be aware of those that are around us that really want to help us and have some some good ideas. And I wanted to ask you about how I know you've had such a passion for community and building community, how is community help to during this time, I don't think I ever truly understood the impact that a community can have until I went through this. I mean I've run the community at Huffington Post, you know, did it when I was at social media club Chicago where we had over 150 attendees every month for her events. And it was just this gift that when you when you live a life of giving, which I think is what community is about. It's about giving to your community. You know when you live a life of giving it's very difficult for you to ask for something but when you do you will start to understand how much the community wants to give back to you.

It's been very empowering, it's been very touching. I mean I can tell you that I'm not a very religious person, but I do believe that we're all connected in a greater form than any of us can understand today and all the people that pray for me or think about me. I know that that is part of what's helping me heal. I have had people well I had a person set up a go fund me for me to help with medical expenses and then I have had people that don't even know me that just have heard other people talk about me donate to that go fund me. I've had a friend who is a photographer that doesn't have a lot of money, but for a month sold his photography and all the the net proceeds went into my Go fund me. And so it's just been amazing to see, you know, and it's been people helping me find better insurance. It's been people helping me with different alternative methods of treatments. I'm a firm believer that we need to personally believe in what we're doing in order for it to have a chance to work.

If we're not 100% believing in it, it's probably not going to work. I always say this, I'm not like and if we look at, you know, modern medicine and holistic medicine, I'm probably leaning more towards holistic medicine and modern medicine. But when it comes to cancer and the research that's been done, especially in the last 10 years, I lean more towards the modern medicine. Now, if modern medicine doesn't do the trick for me, I'm going to be fully open to look at the, at the holistic ways, right? And I'm kind of merging some of those and meshing some of those. But it's it's just like the outpouring of information of people that were giving me these ideas helping me educate me on the different options that were out there. That has been such a gift. But I think the biggest gift is one of these things that's intangible. And I always describe it, that most people never get to hear it because the only time people say what they say is when they go to their funeral and I've got to hear those words while I'm still alive. And that to me is the greatest gift I think I've gotten from this whole process.

I know it's amazing how people can just rally behind someone or something and not even know, you know, the individual or the circumstance. And I love the fact that you were weighing the pros and cons of modern medicine versus holistic medicine. And I suspect that you even though that you were looking at all the facts, but maybe at the end of the day, you still had to make a gut decision or a decision that was based on listening to your, your inner voice and being in touch with what really felt right for you at this point in time. Is that true? Oh, yeah, very much so. And you know, I think for me, I mean I have a very close relationship with my wife, we're best friends as well as being partners, you know, in marriage. But the one thing that I understand is she's a lot different than me. She's going to be going through this just as much as I am, even though she doesn't have cancer and she is much more on the modern medicine spectrum than I am on the holistic side of things.

So it was a very personal decision for me. But it was one that took her into account as well. And I knew that if I just went in that other direction without fully believing it myself and having her be the doubting one that was caretaking for me, it wasn't gonna work. And so the healthy choice for me at this point, particular time was to follow that modern medicine path. But I've always told her all along, I'm not going to exhaust all my resources until I try everything. I mean, that's just how I'm looking at. This is this is an opportunity for for me to find what's gonna work for me. Here's my starting point. And you know, now I'm coming up to another chance in next month where I'm gonna have other opportunities that present themselves. And I'm sure in six more months I'll probably have different opportunities that present themselves. And as long as I stay open to those, I'm always going to make the choice that feels the healthiest for me, individually and collectively with my wife at that moment in time, I wanted to go back over the three things that you had talked about when you first found out that you had cancer.

The first one was become aware of the moment. The moment that you're in everything that we do sets the stage for our future. So it's how we perceive and and how we talk to ourselves. Is that what you really meant? Become aware of the moment? Yeah, I mean it is that and I also think it's this the opportunity to become aware of it almost from a neutral standpoint. When I first started looking at this, I would say people would bring straitjackets for me because I was having an out of body experience where I would actually see myself, my wife and the situation that was going on And I wasn't casting judgment on anything. I was just observing and becoming aware of what was happening. And I think when I do that now I don't necessarily feel myself removing myself from my body, but I still have that sense of a 360° viewpoint that's very neutral. And not coming from a biased judgment that I we usually make about ourselves and so that awareness, I think for me has really evolved over the time to be that out of body to now just tapping almost internally, right away, just where you can see it for what it is and look at it from all different angles because we usually look at almost everything from our perspective.

But when we can look at it from different perspectives and from another person's perspective, all of a sudden we start gaining a deeper understanding of what the situation is and when we become aware of that, that's what I truly mean about awareness. Right, okay. I'm wondering if that neutrality also flows over into the next step of accept what is because it is what it is. Can you speak to that? Oh yeah. Well I definitely think it it definitely emerges right into that one. It's almost the you can't take that step until you have awareness, but you can't go backwards either. You need to start with that awareness to gain the acceptance because that acceptance is so important because if we don't accept it, if we want to go back to the way it used to be, if we want things to change, were already casting judgment on the way that it is, that's the worst thing that we can do because until we learn to accept what's going on with us, what situation we're in, what the moment is presenting to us. We can't objectively learn how we need to make the next step, which is the adjustments that to me is like so important because most people want to skip right through that and think they become aware of the situation.

What do I need to do to change And until you come to a level of comfort of accepting where you're at. I mean to me it was the I know most people say that the the three words you have cancer are like the most impactful words that they've ever heard in their life. And it was pretty impactful for Me too. But I look at it where I didn't live the last 10 years of understanding all this and living my life this way. I would have been stuck in a situation where I would have been questioning why me. I would have been questioning how did this happen. I would have been questioning, okay, what am I gonna change before I accepted the fact that I had this. I mean it was I was so calm to the point that the doctor actually asked if I was okay and wanted to know if I needed to call somebody to come pick me up, you know, because I had walked over and I was like, no, I'm perfectly fine. I mean I just sat there with a smile on my face because I was in perfect acceptance of The fact that I had cancer at that moment where as 10 minutes before five minutes before 30 seconds before I had no idea that this was going to be cancer, right?

And that third step, you know, just making the adjustments and I imagine that was mental adjustments as well as even thinking about environmental and you know, physical adjustments, even nutrition and exercise and things like that. And I think it's really interesting you shifted it from why Me too, why not? Me? I just wanted to dig a little bit deeper to help others. How did that shift things for you? You know, for me? I think that the the three things that I, the words that kind of resonate with me or community compassion and impact. I knew that when I said those three words were able to change those words into why me into why not me. It was allowing me permission to understand How does this tie into my three words? How does this make me who I am? For me, the compassion was for myself, for my wife and for others.

It felt bad for me. I wasn't going to tell them. They shouldn't, it was just having the compassion for them. The community I already knew was there. I just needed to be open enough to share it with them. And the impact was something that I didn't realize until a little bit later. But all of a sudden I started becoming aware of these different groups, these different organizations that I could become part of that not only helped me, but allowed me to make an impact on others with what I've learned in my journey so far. I think with anything in life, right? When we start questioning ourselves why me? Like why did this happen to me? If you can just change that to why not me? And then look at what you're, whether you want to call it your purpose. You know, whether you have your three words, whether you have your one word, what what can I do with this? That helps helps me align with who I am and then see the good and the impact that you can create from that. And I think that's the beauty of the tragedy, right? That's like the and it's what any good story really encompasses is the tragedy.

And and then the beauty, right? That comes from it. If we can mentally prepare ourselves to get a mindset where we can take that from a, you know, this tragedy and and shifting that from not the why me, but to the why not me. And then aligning it with ourselves all of a sudden we start seeing the opportunities and the beauty that's coming from this tragic situation that we're in. That's right. We see that out of every adversity, there's always something positive and opportunities that wouldn't have ordinarily been explored or unearthed, right? Well, I mean, anything that's always happened in my life has not been anything I plan. It's come from usually something that I really was trying to avoid that ended up happening. That presented opportunities that I am so grateful for now, you know, and whether that be, you know, from leaving my marriage to quitting a job, to moving to a new city, to leading my wife to, you know, learning I had cancer.

It's all these things are things that I never planned on, but I'm so grateful that they have happened because of the gifts and the opportunities that they presented to me as a result, right? And it's a great way to challenge yourself to navigate the rough waters of life and to appreciate all the good things as a result of going through those rough waters well. And it's also an opportunity for us to have a healthy conversation with our irrational fear. Mm mm mm mm mm mm. Because our irrational fear brings up all the reasons why you shouldn't do something and and how you're going to get hurt. And if you can go back and remind your fear in a very respectful and playful way, because you want your fear there when you need it, right? Is here's the situations where you reminded me of this before. But look at the result. Look at what ended up happening as a result. I don't know what's going to happen because I'm going to do this, but I'm open to find out. And if you're right, I'll come back and let you know you're right. But until then let's just let's just give me the permission to explore this and see what's possible.

And to me that's been the healthiest thing is how I talk with my fear now has changed so dramatically because of that mindset shift that I've had. And I think that that is just great advice for others to learn from their own fear and how to turn that fear into something more positive in their lives rather than to stop them in their tracks and to prevent them from moving forward. And I know that you're someone who leads from the heart because just everything that we've just, you know, talked about today and just how you kind of listen to your heart and what you need to do. What advice do you have for others to do that? Because that's part of dealing with fear as well. Very much so. But I I think the first piece of advice I have for people is to understand that you're going to get uncomfortable if you go through this process, you know, it is not gonna be easy and it's not simple for me. It's been like I've said almost over 10 years.

I mean if I look back to really when I first started, it was when I left my first wife. So that was 17 years ago. I've been practicing this for 17 years, probably been aware that I've been practicing it for the last 10 years and I still am not perfect at doing it. It's it's a constantly evolving process. So when I give people advice, it's that's the first thing is you need to understand that this is going to be very uncomfortable for you to go through because it's not the way that you were brought up, it's not the way that you've been trained. And so any change provides a little discomfort. I always say if you haven't been to the gym in, you know, years and you go back to the gym the first time and you think you can do everything and then you come home and you feel all your muscles, right? Well it's the same thing when you start like giving yourself this new sense of permission, you're going to feel the pain that you're going through in understanding that you have this power now. So understanding that is number one, but I think number two is, don't look at the top of the mountain, look at the step in front of you when it gets into the adjustment phase of everything that I talk about, it's not making an adjustment that's gonna get us to a final destination.

It's adjustments that's going to change where we're at right at that moment. And so when you look at things don't get discouraged that you had this vision that you're going to take this giant leap to the top of the mountain when in fact you just took one step because that one step is a huge step. It's something that you should celebrate and embrace and learn from. And I think that that's what most people overlook is. They don't see that as an accomplishment where I look at that is a huge accomplishment. It's going to get you to the next step because sometimes what we learned is we don't want to get to the top of the mountain, we want to get to the other side of the mountain Exactly. And I think that there's a lot to be said for even that same approach with life today because you know, we're all dealing with a variety of different fears and significant shifts and changes in the world, what advice do you have for others to move forward and not allow their fear to cripple them to the point that they can and it's not just, you know, a personal situation like what you're dealing with, but just in general dealing with the world, what kind of advice do you have?

Yeah, I think for me it's really about be open to having a conversation with your fear and and not just a conversation to say how are you, but to ask it why it's telling you these things usually what you'll find. I do this by journaling, I do it mentally now, but I used to actually write it out when I first started and I would have a dialogue with my fear and almost like writing a place for it, you know, where fear me fear me and we'd go back and forth and have a conversation, nothing planned, just whatever came out. It was a natural, free flowing conversation, just like I was sitting down and having coffee with somebody. What I started to understand was that there was two things that happened as a result. One is I got a deeper appreciation for what fear was trying to protect me from, that might or not be well founded, but at least I understood where it was coming from. And the second thing is that I didn't put fear in a position where it wouldn't show up when I needed it to. So it was always going to be there for me regardless of if I wanted it or not.

And so, but I think that's important, right? Because I want fear to be there in those rational times, like we talked about earlier and and and so I embrace my fear, I don't want it to leave me and now I just have this very open dialogue with my fear every time it comes up. Um I just asked why are you, you know, do you mind if I ask you a couple questions and it usually gives me permission and I asked the question why are you telling me that I shouldn't do this and we'll remember that, you know, this time you this happened and this time this happened and I can say yes, I remember those things, but I also remember that this happened and this happened and they wouldn't have happened if I didn't take that chance. And and it just, it sounds maybe silly, it sounds a little goofy to some people, but for me it was just so releasing to understand that I had a better appreciation for where fear was coming from and why I didn't need to heed all of its advice, but I need to respect its advice and to that it would always be there for me.

That's like one of the biggest things that I always work with people on is if you're first starting on this journey, just see about writing out a dialogue with your fear every time one of those things comes up and see what happens. I love that. I was actually going to ask you what type of inner work or you know spiritual practice or and journaling is is kind of like an inner isn't in our practice. So that is a great suggestion and there's a lot of people out there that do journal. I think that's a really a great piece of advice for whenever fear is surfacing for you start writing about it, explore it and you'll get a little more clarity with it. Are there any other practices that you utilize? Well I'd like to say that I used to call it just right almost mindfulness right? Like to gain that awareness is what I that was when I was at huffpost working with Ariana and she was very into that I don't necessarily call it mindfulness now. But I do think that in order for us to break the cycle that we're in, we need to find something that works for us.

And for me that started by just understanding that I was in that moment and Like taking a deep breath and counting to three And then I would count to five and then I would count to 10 and usually what happened then is my breathing would come a lot more natural, it wouldn't be elevated, It would Present me with the opportunity where I could have that objective 360° view instead of being so emotionally tied to the moment that I knew exactly what I was going to do because here's how I felt. It really. Just in one word, it's subdued all the emotions and made me be more aware of what was happening. I think whether that's counting, whether that's breathing, it's taking that step to when you're in that moment to break that moment by doing something. You know, whether it's counting or breathing that helps you be able to become aware of what's happening, right? And when you become aware of what's happening, it's easier to calm yourself and to center yourself.

Yeah. And if you've got a technique like breathing or I use breathing, but counting, you know, whatever works, even if it's walking, you know, just focusing your attention on something to break the pattern and get you into a place of equilibrium. This has been a great conversation. Is there anything else that you'd like to share with our listeners here before we wrap this up today? Well, I think just the beautiful thing is this is possible for all of us and it's something that you don't need to spend or invest a lot of money in, but you do need to invest a lot of your energy in. Just be ready for it and be forgiving to yourself because it's going to be a journey that you're going to go through if you decide you want to take this stuff. I I love that. But you know what no one said doing the inner work is easy, but the more you do it, I say it gets easier. Well that's I mean that's what I say when I when I heard those three words, it wasn't the fact that I just started doing this a week ago. It's the fact that I had been doing it for the last 17 years that I was able to handle it the way that I handled it in that moment Where I wouldn't have been able to if I was told that 17 years ago, I mean it would have crushed me.

Yeah. Isn't it amazing how over time we have just learned different aspects of ourselves and how to live life more freely and not be so hung up on things that really kind of weigh us down. Well, I just want to say I admire you and I know our listeners admire all the words of wisdom and the things that you've been through and what you've shared here today and I just want to wish you all the best. I'll be tracking your progress and staying in touch and I know you have so much more to share with the world, particularly as you get through this experience. Well, thank you so much and I definitely will share as long as I can. Awesome. Alright, well, thanks for being here today and I want to thank all of our listeners for being with us here today as well. This has been a great session with tim Mcdonald and I just want to say to each of you, take the opportunity to journal about your own fear, give it a try and see what comes up for you, thank you and you all have a wonderful day.

And if you want to check out more about Hart's Rise Up, just go to our website at Hart's Rise up dot com. You can also check out our community on mighty networks and you'll find a link to the community on our website at the top of the menu bar where it says join community. So for now have a blessed heart centered day. Bye for now. Okay, We hope today's show helped to bring a bit more joy and happiness into your heart. We hope it inspired you to unleash your inner power and rise up to your best and loving heart centered, highest self. We'd be grateful if you'd leave us a review on Itunes. Those reviews are important to spreading this valuable message. We'd love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others. Visit Hearts Rise up dot com for heart centered courses, guided meditations and are popular notes from your higher self until next time. Keep rising up and may all that you love thrive

Ep. 51 - Transforming Your Relationship With Fear - An Interview With Tim McDonald
Ep. 51 - Transforming Your Relationship With Fear - An Interview With Tim McDonald
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