“I thought this might be a good practice for a Daily Stillness activity: Listing our fears keeps them from being a surprise – we can get comfortable around them.”



Today your job is to start making your very own fear list to befriend. This may take more than today…that is okay. One day your fears may turn into a beautiful poem. Like this one that Celia submitted for inspiration with this Daily Stillness. Enjoy and start writing!


Fears—The Short List

I am afraid of being late.

Also, I have the normal fears of car crashes, war, climate change, genetically modified food, of cancer, aids, and poverty, sickness, old age, death, and public speaking,

not necessarily in that order.

I am afraid of losing my keys,

losing my mind,

losing my hair and discovering it growing in new and unusual places.

I am afraid of doing the wrong thing and saying something stupid.

I am afraid you won’t agree with me—I’m too pushy or too weak,

and nowhere near smart enough.

I am afraid I’ll be noticed, or worse, I’ll be invisible.

I am afraid of being bitten by a tick, a pit-bull, a snake

or a monkey with an incurable virus.

Aren’t you?

But mostly I’m afraid you won’t like me…or, maybe you’ll like me too much

and send me four emails everyday, which you will expect me to answer—thoughtfully.

I am afraid that everyone I love will die soon and painfully

While those I find difficult will enjoy unprecedented longevity.

I fear my children will become depressed, drug addicted or

….. (insert political party you do not belong to here.)

I am afraid of high cholesterol and getting fat and that I may die

from an overdose of Jarlsberg.

I have the feeling that somewhere in the Universe I’ve left a stove on with a pot of beans

and very little water in it.

Maybe you won’t like my cooking?

Did I leave anything out?

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” The Dharma teacher in the kitchen asked.

Well, today my answer is this:

I would make myself so still. I wouldn’t move until I could hear the sound of water turning to blood in my veins and back again to water.

Only then would I put on my son’s old blue bathrobe and parade into the back yard.

I’d lie in the grass, eating chocolate and cheese and wait for the clouds to come by.

“Hey,” I’d wave to each one.

“Do you know me? I know you. We are made of the same stuff you and I.

I know, because I can hear you singing, unafraid, just beneath my skin.”

Celia Landman, May 2014

Tweet your response to @livedtime and be sure to include the hashtag #tds3080

This Daily Stillness has been recycled from previously published ones:

#tds623 Your fear list (Mar 14, 2017)
#tds757 Your fear list (Jul 26, 2017)
#tds1612 Your fear list (Nov 28, 2019)
#tds2803 Your fear list (Mar 1, 2023)

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