FEARPROOF Your Relationships
from "Fearproof Your Life"
by Joseph Bailey

Staying grounded in our true Selves keeps us in a state of profound presence and awareness. Being grounded means that we are actually living from the true Self—not just believing that it is a good idea. We are congruent with our Being. We are an embodiment of the truth of who we are. This security in who we are is like a tree whose roots are firmly planted in the ground, able to withstand strong winds of adversity. It keeps us from entering other persons’ “reality” and taking on the resulting feelings of fear and anxiety they are experiencing. Staying grounded in our true Selves prevents us from triggering our own thought system similarities to the other person’s thoughts and commiserating with their predicament. Instead, we relate to their innate Spirit that has the power to transcend the situation and see solutions.

When a child is frightened by the dark, the natural parental response is to reassure the child, hold them with affection, and remain calm while they are upset. Most parents don’t take on their child’s irrational fears. Over time the child will lose his fear of the dark through persistent, calm reassurance from his parents.

This same principle applies to adult situations. For many years I worked with hospitals and clinics to teach health care professionals how to remain calm with patients who were extremely emotional or in life-threatening situations. I taught these professionals how to “be with” the person in pain by listening deeply to them, feeling compassion, and then doing their jobs (mending a wound, performing a surgery, administering medication).

Over the course of time, the level of staff burnout and stress decreased significantly while patient satisfaction reports went up dramatically. Of course, the hospital always intended to be a caring institution, but under extreme stress the staff had lost their bearings (grounding). From that negative state of mind, the staff ignored their patients, became calloused, quit listening, and lost most of their compassion. Because they judged their patients and took their emotional states personally, the staff had no immunity from patients’ negativity. They suffered from what is now a popular term in medical circles—“compassion fatigue.” By empowering themselves through understanding how they and everyone else creates their experience via their thinking, they were able to return to the caring people they had been before they became burned out.

The staff at the hospital I worked with also became immune to other staff members’ negativity. They discovered how not to get caught up in the gossip that was always flying around the conference rooms. By remaining in their true Selves, they were able to listen compassionately to their coworkers. They also knew when to walk away and not participate in the gossip and fearful projections so common in these types of institutions. The entire culture shifted from one of negativity, stress, and anger to one of calm, caring, and compassion.

Like the hospital personnel, we have the ability to be with others who are in a state of fear or other negative emotional states and not catch their “mental flu.” Remaining grounded in our true Selves allows us to listen deeply and feel compassion when we are with others who are in pain without sacrificing our healthy state of balance.

Author's Bio: 

Joe Bailey’s life purpose is to help people find true happiness and peace of mind. Towards this end, he studied psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, eventually becoming a licensed psychologist. For the past thirty years, Joe’s desire to understand the connection between the psychological, physical and spiritual facets of human beings has pulled him into a deeper understanding of the whole person and away from the current fragmented view. His search led to a health-based approach to counseling, prevention programs, workplace wellness and the attainment of a personal life of peace, joy and fulfillment for all people.

In his career, Joe has worked as a marriage and family counselor, university teacher, trainer of therapists, author, and consultant to organizations. He has been a pioneer in his profession, weaving together ideas and insights on psychology and spirituality. In his twenties, he became a trainer of counselors in family therapy and addictions and introduced ideas of primary prevention of addictions to the treatment profession. Over the next twenty years, Joe helped pioneer a revolutionary new psychology, Health Realization, which focused on seeing and actualizing health rather than the current disease model.

Joe brought a psychological/spiritual health model into the work place, especially healthcare. He helps organizations appreciate the importance of the mental well-being of their employees and managers in order to create healthy and productive organizations. This approach was used as a model, by Joe and other faculty members, to create “The Inner Life of Healers” program at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where Joe was an adjunct faculty member.

Joe’s first book, The Serenity Principle (Harper Collins, 1990) has had a significant impact on the treatment of thousands of clients and addiction professionals throughout the world. His best selling book, Slowing Down to the Speed of Life (co-authored with Richard Carlson, Harper San Francisco, 1997) and later The Speed Trap (Harper San Francisco, 1999) were other expressions of his approach in and out of the work place. In these books he communicates the principles of living and realizing inner peace and health and how to transcend a major problem facing our society—the frenetic pace of life and stress. Joe’s fourth book, Slowing Down to the Speed of Love, was an accumulation of his life’s realizations that take the reader in a more spiritual direction than his previous books. It guides readers to practically live their life from their true spiritual core and shows them how this awareness impacts all of their relationships.

Joe’s recently completed book, Fearproof Your Life, to be released in October, 2007 (Conari Press), was written in response to the wave of fear that has swept our culture in this new century. In this book he offers us a way out of a life tainted by fear, insecurity and worry. He shows the reader how to connect to an inner source of security, wisdom and peace of mind, no matter what is happening around them. By living our lives from the source of a fearless state of mind—the true Self, we are able to wisely and creatively respond to the challenges of today’s world. Living our lives collectively from our ego selves and fear has gotten us into the crisis we now find ourselves in the world. A spiritual realization is the only antidote to the stress and fear that have become the norm in our world.

Joe lives and works with his wife, Michael, in St. Paul, Minnesota and is a father and grandfather. He is passionate about being in nature whether fly fishing, kayaking or skiing in the mountains. He combines his passions and his purpose in his fly fishing for the mind retreats. His interest in the mind/body/spirit connection has led him to the study of Russian Kettlebells, Qi Gong and Tai Chi.