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Ask a Luminary

“I have been overwhelmed by FEAR of almost everything my whole life. I have been diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). but it all boils down to fear. I am 47 years old and want to finally live life instead of just safely exist!” ~ Nadine, Mountain View, CO

Dear Nadine,

The problem is that we all resist emotions, even though we have no control over what first shows up in our minds. The Buddha refers to this as having two darts in the body.

The first dart is what shows up without our control. It’s the fears, the moment we stub our toe or any initial response to an external stimulus. The second dart is the reaction we then have to that response.

So when we feel fear, we judge ourselves as weak for being afraid. Or when we stub our toe, we blame ourselves, blame the door, blame something.

To succeed in life, we must get rid of the second dart. Accept the fear, or the first dart, without resisting it. Be with it, understand it. Then direct your mind to the infinite possibilities that live on the other side of it and take one small action in service of that future.

Akshay Nanavati

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I am a Marine Corps Veteran, a speaker, an explorer, an entrepreneur and a success coach. After recovering from a life of drugs in high school, I enlisted in the US Marines despite being told by two separate doctors that I would not be able to survive boot camp because of a debilitating medical condition called Thallasemia.

During my six years in the Marines, I earned a bachelors degree in history and philosophy, a masters degree in journalism from the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and I spent 7 months fighting the war in Iraq as a non-commissioned officer.

In my spare time, I pushed the limits of my fears in the outdoors. I have climbed mountains in the Himalayas, Africa, Bolivia, Alaska and the Cascades. I have been skydiving, scuba diving, caving, rock climbing, ice climbing, ice diving and mountain biking. In May of this year, I spent one month skiing across the second largest icecap in the world in Greenland. In temperatures as low as -40 degrees, I dragged a sled weighing 190 pounds across 350 miles.

Since then I have started two businesses: an adventure company and Human Potential Development LLC, where I help others live every day with passion and purpose through coaching, public speaking and transformational workshops. I am also a trained success coach by the ICF accredited coach training program.

While running my two businesses, I continue to explore the most hostile environments on the planet and share the wisdom I have gained from a life on the edge with others so that they too can cross their icecaps and reach their summits.

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