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How to Keep Your Courage in the Age of Ebola, ISIS and Climate Change

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????People have been asking me how I recommend thinking about the threats of Ebola, ISIS, and climate change. As these threats begin to seem more immediate and personal, we tend to feel more afraid.

Those of us who are used to having a good life can tend to feel ashamed that we’re afraid. This unfortunate combination of feelings makes it difficult to develop a good course of action.

We can feel ashamed of our fear because we know that every day, throughout the world, thousands of people are experiencing horrific suffering — suffering that we very much want to avoid. That’s understandable, to be sure. But to go deeper into worry, shame, or guilt makes our inner state worse, not better. So it’s not an effective strategy.

It’s best to use the awareness of the suffering of others to connect with our gratitude and courage. We often forget, as we engage in the speedy activities of daily life, that we belong to a larger world. Along with everyone else, we are mortal.

We’re completely invested in our many plans for the future, but actually death can come at any moment.  This sobering thought will keep us sane. In this way, we can maintain our courage in the age of Ebola, ISIS, and climate change. Ironically, when we welcome the awareness of our mortality, it causes us to feel more genuine joy in our lives. Just try it.

Rather than feeling guilty or ashamed of feeling fear about contracting Ebola, or being victimized by ISIS or climate change, when we feel a sense of dread, we can shift our focus. We can make it an opportunity to feel grateful for whatever good we have in our lives. We can keep our hearts open, with courage and dignity. We can choose this focus again and again.

We’re all going to die one day in any case, so there’s no need to drive ourselves crazy about it in the meantime.

In my experience the best way to overcome fear is to recognize that fearful thinking is never your friend. Fearful fantasies will never help you make the right choices for your life.

You make the best decisions and have the greatest mental clarity when you’re vividly experiencing a sense of gratitude. Then you’re not ruled by fear. And when you’re not ruled by fear, then even when fear is present in your mind and emotions, your actions are naturally courageous.

Here’s a short clip where I give some suggestions about what to remember when you’re suffering (Feeling afraid is one of the main roots of our suffering):

Sometimes it’s nice to have a little extra help. You might try this audio on Stress Relief, Rejuvenation & Empowerment. It’s one of my most popular recordings. Or this one: Becoming Fearless & Compassionate.

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Soon we’ll be gearing up for the next Finding True Magic Certification Training in Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP. Join us for 6 action-packed weekends in Seattle! Register now for the Winter/Spring training Feb 6 – Mar 29, 2015.

Here’s what Paul Thomas, a student in the recent London training said about Jack’s teaching:

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