Fears are powerful, particularly because they are unreasonable and often rooted in superstitions. Indeed, many penetrate well beyond the parameters of our reasoning mind, gaining a foothold deep in our unconscious, where they morph into irrational beliefs. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t harbor at least one superstition, even if it’s the habit of knocking on wood for luck or protection from “evil.”

I’ve tried to get people to suspend their superstitious “good luck” habits for the duration of a workshop, just as an exercise in being reasonable, without much success. “What do you think will happen to you if you remove your good-luck charm?” I asked one woman. She laughed and said, “I don’t know, but I sure don’t want to find out.” Is that faith or fear? I don’t believe that it’s disrespectful to challenge such thinking.

Superstitions demand challenging, because they are ruthless in your unconscious, like dark spells that hold you prisoner to irrational fears. Many of the people in my workshops ask not to participate in the exercise, although they laugh about wanting to be excused. The fact is, however, that they cannot get free of the hold of the unreasonable side of their reasoning mind, which has them completely convinced that the forces in this universe are commanded by knocking on a piece of wood or hanging talismans around their necks (wearing garlic “necklaces” in medieval times to ward off vampires comes to mind).

Here’s the bottom line: Fear patterns block healing, especially fears that are based on nonsense, superstitions, and irrationality. You are always receiving guidance on how to proceed with your healing, and just as often you may repress that guidance by claiming you are afraid to act on it.

Use these contemplative exercises to help release your fears and superstitions and listen to your inner guidance:

  • Identify three superstitions that have authority over you. By superstitions, I mean wearing talismans for safety or knocking on wood for protection. Reflect upon what your superstitions are and write down, actually name, what the force is you are attempting to protect yourself from. Is it evil? The devil? Negativity is not a “thing” as such; the source of negativity is your real object of fear, so what is that object?
  • Do you believe in evil? Is that a real presence for you? Do you avoid talking about evil?
  • Do you consider your fears to be reasonable or unreasonable ones?

Excerpted from Defy Gravity by Caroline Myss. Copyright © 2009 (Hay House).

Caroline Myss has been in the field of energy medicine and human consciousness for 20 years. She specializes in assisting people in understanding the emotional, psychological, and physical reasons why their bodies have developed an illness.