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"Courage is not the absence of fear,
it is the conquest of it."

Brenda Silverhand.

As we prepare to transition from 2007 into a new year of hope, of change and of new opportunities we reflect on "what was" and focus on "what is to be". Perhaps 2007 was a year of phenomenal growth, wonderful adventures and great success; perhaps it was anything but that. No matter what it was for you personally, it has already become the past with all it's lessons and activity and we move on to a new beginning and new possibilities to make life better than it was.

For the positive thinker, 2008 is the year when we will build on what we have learned and proceed toward the unknown with great interest and excitement. We know that anything is possible and if life hands us lemons we will become exceedingly successful with a new lemonade business. For those who are bound by fear-based thoughts, it will be just another year of defeat, of loss and of missed opportunities.

We live in a "Universe of Fear" where we are presented with global, local and personal negativity. We fear terrorism, loss of freedom, global warming and negative results from years of living in ignorance. We fear illness so much we have created hundreds of new diseases and thousands of new drugs to combat the new diseases we just created. When is the last time we watched television without drug advertisements that encourage us to "ask our doctor" if we have this disease and can use this powerful new drug? We fear the state of our economy and our governments. What would happen if the United States gets another Republican or a black man or a woman for President? What if they continue the war? What if they don't? What will happen if a minority becomes powerful? What will happen if we continue to allow immigrants to live in our countries without citizenship? Are these the end times that have been prophesied by the Hopi Indians and great prophets? Certainly, one might argue, there is great cause for fear!

This is what we know about fear. "Fear breeds fear". Fear is the foundation for superstition, cruelty, hatred, disease and fatigue. We know that it incapacitates our abilities to live our dreams. We now understand that the opposite of love is not hate as we have always been told but rather fear for fear is the root of hatred. We continually perpetuate fear within ourselves even though 96% of all that we fear never takes place.

The true reason we experience fear is because we do not want to experience pain. Think about that statement for a moment. If we trace back every negative thought or action we have ever had, we will find the foundation for that response was/is fear of pain. The fear of falling (pain), fear of not having enough (pain), fear of cruelty (pain), fear of love (pain) fear of loss (pain), fear of disease (pain), fear of death (pain), fear of the hereafter (pain), fear of the unknown (pain).

"Fear is only as deep as the mind allows." (Japanese Proverb)

Since we know that all fear begins with thought, does it not make sense that we could live a victorious and abundant life if we chose to manage our thoughts and perceptions? Someone once gave the definition of fear in this manner:

F False
E Evidence
A Appearing
R Real

Courage is the mastery of fear. What would happen if for one day, we tracked every thought we had and put those thoughts into one of two categories, negative and positive. And what if we tracked every negative thought and our internal response to it (the power of fear is always felt in our soul, hence, our physical being). What could we learn from our observations? What then, if we tracked all our positive thoughts and our internal responses to them. Would we not intentionally train our minds to think positive thoughts and would not our actions follow our perceptions. If we know that our thoughts attract to us that which we are focused on (Law of Attraction), taking control of the way we process our thoughts which is the birthplace of our actions, we will consciously form the kind of life we want to live. Courage is not the absence of fear.......we have been raised in a fear based society......courage is, rather, the mastery of fear. It is hearing a negative diagnosis and programming our thoughts and actions toward vibrant health. It is believing we have lost all and re-focusing our energy and thoughts on having more than enough. It is knowing in our hearts, that the Universe wants us to have abundance and it is only our negative thoughts that separate us from having a victorious and phenomenal life.

We have heard and know of those who have beat tremendous odds in their lives. If we talk with them we will hear how they managed their thoughts to win despite what else was perceived.

I am reminded of a woman I will call Annie who had survived the 911 bombing on pentagon. Annie was burned over 95% of her body and by anyone's educated guess, would certainly not survive. Exactly one year later, the Washington Post showed pictures of a victorious Annie (with little socks on what once were hands) dancing with a crooked smile on her scarred face with her husband in her hospital room where she had lived the past year. Annie, given to death by those that saw her and knew her, controlled her thoughts to refuse death and to return to her family. She demanded from the Universe more time and quality of life. During 47 operations in one year and continuous therapy to make the most basic movements with her body, Annie chose to experience a phenomenal journey. She saw every surgery as preparation for a healthy and abundant life. She embraced what must be done and enhanced her healing by "knowing" in her heart that even though an unwelcome event had changed her life forever, she would never give up and she was staying to complete her life's work. Annie has been a source of true inspiration for thousands of us who know of her story.

It will take work to transform the negative into positive if we have been living in the negative our entire lives, yet, it is said that, "If we have faith, the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains" (The Christ). True transformation comes from within and begins with our thoughts. If we are tired from fear controlling our lives, is it not time for us to master our thoughts and thereby transform our lives for the better? If we are not controlling our responses to life, who is and with who's permission? No one but you determines the quality of your life.

During this time, famous for making resolutions and promises to ourselves, let us remember that only one commitment is really necessary; I will walk my path this year with positive thoughts and courageous actions thereby mastering fear and all that comes with it. I will not give in to fear which has paralyzed me in the past. It is a new day. A new year.....a time I have been given to transform to a higher level of being.

It is with much love that Ted and I wish you and your families a new year filled with goodness, with love and with positive adventures!

...know that you are never alone and that the Great Mystery walks beside you and is with you on your journey.

Ted and I send our love to you and your families.
Walk in Power! Many blessings,
Brenda



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