How Do You Choose Love Over Fear?

Published Article in The Mountain Express Online Version

Published Article in The Mountain Express Online Version

I was recently interviewed for an article in The Mountain Express, an Asheville newspaper. (In The Spirit:  Love Bomb Drops on Asheville)  They asked great questions about how to choose love over fear as well as others.  This is the complete interview.  (Questions by Jordan Foltz)

1) Can you speak to the emotional process that you went through after witnessing the events of 9/11, and how that led you to chiropractic?

I discovered chiropractic for the first time while living in New York.  My chiropractor’s office was across the street from the World Trade Center where I worked.  I used to call them during a stressful time from my office, head down the 74 floors and cross the street to them.  They had become my primary support for taking care of myself, physically and spiritually.  They had a weekly discussion group where we studied the book, The Rays of the Dawn, where I learned about shifting my thinking from fear and worry to faith and love. 

When 9/11 happened it destroyed everything, including that safe haven of an office that had been so important to me.  My chiropractors had clients who gave them a small space to work out of in SOHO, and so I would go up there in the weeks that followed and they adjusted me which helped immensely with shifting me out of the total shock from the event.  I felt immensely supported through the experience which really helped me to make it through the emotional turmoil in a constructive way that powerfully supported me to perceive 9/11 as something that could “break me open” versus totally shut me down.

This became fuel for me to want to be that person for others.  The combination of support to my physical body through supporting my nervous system to be able to regain parasympathetic tone vs. the full on fight or flight sympathetic tone was paramount, as was the emotional context to move through it for personal evolution versus getting stuck in it.  It continues to be an immense motivator for me to want to help others to choose the break open and break through versus the break down and stay down response to traumas of all kinds.

2) Are both fear and love contagious emotions? If one is living in fear, how do they transform their experience into one that generates, and is inspired by, love?

This is a wonderful question, thank you.  Emotions in general are contagious; in fact, I loved the response of both Dean Radin and Marilyn Schlitz when I interviewed them for the film, as they talked about creating an epidemic of love.  The option we have as thinking beings is to be able to become aware enough as to what emotions we are going to choose to respond to life with.  This gives us an inherent capacity to become immune to the epidemic of fear, and intentional about participating in an epidemic of love.

 Choosing to live from love more than from fear is a life long experience.  I frame the experience of 9/11 in the story of the film, yet, the reality is that to choose love is a daily dedication.  Certainly however the choice becomes easier to find the more we practice the loving choice, as the habit of choosing love neurologically programs our entire mind-body.

There are a multitude of paths to finding love out of fear.  The greatest single book I have been influenced by on this topic is the one that my chiropractors exposed me to back in New York, The Rays of the Dawn by Dr. Thurman Fleet.  It is written in the 1930’s and there are some ideas and references that challenge my current sensibilities, yet, the insights that he shares in that book about understanding the intricacies of what love is and is not are quite powerful.  For example, he includes chapters such as courage, hope, and aspiration that are aspects of living love.

Another powerful tool I created actually for myself is a CD set called Breathe Love.  These are positive affirmation tracks that I wrote inspired by the chapters in The Rays of the Dawn.  It is a way to relax and meditate into these positive emotions.  I keep it in my car and on my iPod so that when I feel myself going into a worry or fear state, I can literally press play on love.  I like to use the tracks to elicit the relaxation response that Dr. Herbert Benson has defined and researched for us out of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.  It is yet another tool for getting out of fight or flight mode and into the opposite.  When we’re in that flight or flight mode it is very hard to access the parts of our brain where loving action and clear thinking can come from.  Tools to enter relaxation response are powerful for accessing loving emotional choices.  Chiropractic is another powerful way to access and stabilize this state from a physiological standpoint. 

In addition to these tools I find that movement to my body assists me to move through challenging emotions.  For me it is yoga practice, for others it is running, weight lifting, tai chi, hiking, etc.

I will actually be releasing a program I am developing with deeper inquiry and transformational tools based on extended interview content from the film and practical tools to do to assist in this process.  It’s called the “My Love Bomb Program” and I hope to release it early next year. 

3) “Love” and “Bomb” are an oxymoronic pair to conjoin for the documentary’s title. What do you hope this title and term will communicate?

I have come to love the term Love Bomb for what it communicates.  I love that it actually does make people stop to think.  What is a love bomb?  How can a bomb be loving?

I think of the bomb aspect as something that can break us out of the status quo.  When we break out of status quo we have the opportunity to choose something new.  New experience, new habit, new thinking, new way of being.  The only way to grow is to change, so if we want to grow, then we need to have experiences that disrupt our status quo. 

If we can infuse this break in the status quo of our lives with love, then I premise that it can become a love bomb in our lives that fuels us towards growth type change.

That love bomb can go off inside of us, inspiring us towards transformational growth in our own lives, and then we can share this love with others in order to spark that transformational growth within them.

This also returns back to my passion for assisting people to transition through trauma in a breaking open type of way.  Love is the only fuel that can assist us to move through traumas in a way that can break us open to a greater connection to ourselves, to life itself, and to one another.  Though I would prefer to live in a world where these things do not exist, while they do, I’d rather allow them to happen in a way that leads to greater love and connection versus fuel for further fear and disconnection.

The ideal is that love bombs are something we choose to provide for one another, disrupting the status quo of fear, worry, or apathy with a surprisingly loving experience.  I begin the film with the quote “You never know how far reaching something you may think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow” by the developer of chiropractic, B.J. Palmer.  The vision is that we can hope to make our impact one of love.