Stop, Drop, and Roll in Your Mind: How to Handle Fear in these Tumultuous Times excerpt from The Demon Slayer’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to Mastering Your Inner World Book 1, Chapter 3: The Raven

“Don’t worry: It’s just your imagination

Demons can capitalize the most on your creative process as it is closest to their dimension. They capitalize by amplifying your fear and negative thinking and sometimes by embellishing it to the point that your fears seem to manifest. There are specific demons for whom this is the only activity in which they engage. This is the reason it is paramount to understand and know your strengths and vulnerabilities and to be clear on the path of the creative process. It is no wonder artists throughout history have personified the Devil and demon battle with their art. Those wily bastards desperately don’t want you to think clearly, express your truth, or feel love in any way…if they can help it.

I have always had an active imagination. Anything I have ever done, I spent hours on it in my mind first. It would appear that my personality dictates that I am impetuous and impulsive, but in fact I am not. The countless hours of daydreaming are now called visioning as I am a mature professional. But really, it’s just daydreaming, sorting out every detail of an action and its consequences, or every word in a conversation, in order to fully recognize my full meaning and intention so as to own every ripple I make.

Daydreaming has even been the way I stay prepared for the world that I live in, picturing myself cleaning my house, dancing without care, and even warding off evil with complete and unequivocal success. It has also been the way I am able to tolerate witnessing for someone some of the most unimaginable sufferings that this world has to offer. My inner crime fighter is a combination of Storm, Wonder Woman, and Bruce Lee. I always loved the way Wonder Woman stopped a speeding bullet, or Storm changed the entire environment with a little focus and arm swinging. Somehow I have always seen that as possible.

Obviously, imagining having a better life is not necessarily a new theme, but a recent trip and fall triggered a reflection on how many times my meanderings of the mind have prepared me to be safe, sane, courageous, physically adept, and joyful in the physical world.

Stop, drop, and roll in my mind

The other day, as I walked down the street to meet a friend at the local café, I tripped. Plunging forward, somehow I caught myself and kept walking. The trip made me realize that I forgot something at home, so I turned back. I tripped again in the exact same spot. This time I was going down. In that split second of falling I thought to myself, I will not be hurt by this. My shoulder automatically turned in and I tucked and rolled. If there had been a little more momentum, then I would have landed on my feet again.

There I lay in the middle of the sidewalk in a little ball, without even a scratch, laughing. I easily got up, and surprisingly nothing was hurt. As I walked to the café, my heart swelled with joy.

You see, I spend a lot of time wondering what I would do if I had to get out of the way of a speeding car, escape from a burning building, or fend off an attacker. So, I often visualize the dive and roll, or the roundhouse kick to the jaw. I imagine that my legs are strong and my form is impeccable. Of course, I don’t spend all day on these things, but several times a day I catch myself in little, thirty-second snippets questioning what I would do if this or that happened. I always visualize the answer, and that day I had proof that it is not time wasted.

Hip-hop in my mind

I love to dance. I went to NYC and dancing was to be a part of my repertoire. I quickly learned that I was more of a choreographer than a dancer, and I definitely was not an athlete. I held so much emotion in my gut, and those feelings always found a way to come pouring out. That’s workable for yoga class, but definitely not for ballet or even jazz.

The thing that I got from dance was learning to move with the flow of the universe, bending, weaving, and being a conduit for the universal life force. Thinking in this way brought to me an ultra-awareness of the subtle influx of change and how to move with it instead of against it; how to move towards the steps I could do, and do them well, always seeing myself becoming good at the things I wasn’t good at just yet.

Hip-hop dance was just blooming at the time, and I was awful at it. You really need great balance to be good at hip-hop, and imbalance is my specialty. However, in my mind, I am amazing. I can even do flips; get up with one leg, no hands; and the ol’ slide and spin. I always feel invigorated after a thirty-second hip-hop session in my mind.

I want to throw in here that many of us spend hours of time per week imagining awful things happening or fearfully visualizing the exact outcome we don’t want. It is a part of our mental nature to replay, over and over in our mind, a distasteful or traumatic experience we had or fear having. Add that to some human’s extraordinary skill at telepathy and you could have a situation in which a tidal wave of unwanted thoughts and then feelings that aren’t yet real—or even yours for that matter—begin to manifest.

The thing that I got from dance was learning to move with the flow of the universe, bending, weaving, and being a conduit for the universal life force.


That brings me to another real-world application. I was at the doctor’s office one morning, and walking out the door just before me was a lady who was clearly on her last appointment before the baby came. Her husband was about twenty feet away talking to reception when I opened the door for her and motioned her to go before me.

She smiled and softly said, “Thank you.”

Something was not right in her voice. Without thinking about it, my body began to drop to one knee about the same time that I realized that she was going to pass out. It was only a few seconds before I had the full weight of her sitting on the impromptu chair I had created with my knee. Her husband noticed at the point her head fell back on my shoulder. She was out.

He and the nurse came running over and we shared an awkward glance, as if to say, Is this your pregnant wife on my lap? She came to. They got her some juice and helped her to a real chair.

The husband said, “Thanks.”

I replied, “No problem,” and walked out the door and moved on with the day. As I laughed to my car, I thought, “I really love hip-hop.”

Bruce lee in my mind

I had a poster of Bruce Lee in my room literally all my childhood. I always felt a special connection to him and to the martial arts. The concept of using an opponent’s energy against her, or summoning and directing universal chi, always resonated with me. However, like I said, I am only an athlete in my mind. So when I took those six months of jujitsu, it was a bit of a struggle. Sparring just for the sake of sparring did not make sense to me. My kung fu was definitely magical like the old Chinese martial arts movies. Flying through the air for a triple running kick—now how could that possibly help me in my future? Well, I found that warding off evil began with making some personal decisions: (1) deciding you’re not going to be a victim; (2) deciding that you will not be around violence or that violence cannot be within or around you; and (3) knowing that the universal life force flows through you and you can align with it.

One Sunday evening around dusk, as I was walking down an old cobblestone street on the Lower East Side of NYC, I saw these two gentlemen walking on the other side of the street; they were eyeing me and I knew they weren’t gentlemen at all. Even though it was still early, the street was vacant and quiet. I needed to cross to their side of the street to get to the train, so just as they passed, I crossed diagonally to end up behind them on the same sidewalk.

Just as I stepped into the street, so did they. They were causing me to directly confront them. Knowing that the meeting was inevitable, I said, in my mind, I will not have this. Whatever this is, I will not have it. Just as we crossed paths in the center of the street, the taller gentleman began to take something from the inside of his jacket. He raised his arm up above his head. With a clinched fist, the back of his hand was about to come down on me.

I raised two fingers to him, and said, “Uh uh,” as I shook my head.

He and his friend were so befuddled by this that he mimicked me, in a fairly high tone for a man, saying, “Uh uh,” and sort of waived his hands in confusion.

I just kept going and did not look back. When I got to the next block I broke down in tears and cried and laughed all the way home. As it turns out, the two-fingered hand position I gave him happened to be called the prana mudra, a yoga hand position that strengthens life force. It certainly did that night.

Day dreaming: more than it’s cracked up to be

Watching the evening news can be tumultuous, for some. Just getting through the day without worry in this sometimes desperate place that we all share is a feat. So I recommend that once a day in your quiet time, you answer one version of the question, “What would I do if…?” And since it is your vision, it can only end well for everyone. You never know when it will come in handy.”

Suffer if You’d Like and be Thankful

The holiday season can be such a mixed bag for some. The expectations that maybe we place on others of doing what we want or acting a certain way and letting those things determine how we feel or what we do. If this is you, this year I’d like to offer you a new option: hold your heart and openly embrace your suffering. As an empath, I have suffered a lot, for myself and others, for people that I know and for people a world away, and most of all for the ancestors who have created the world I live in.

Yes, all the immigrants who came to this country seeking freedom or inevitably learning it. Some learning freedom through their enslavement and some learning freedom by taking freedom from others. Make no mistake about it, over time, from my prospective being a; religiously righteous, entitled, hateful (the illusion of being superior), and ignorant human creates as much suffering for those who express those qualities as it does for those who are their victims.

So if you’re the one that struggles on a holiday to find peace amongst the rediculousness, when you contemplate the conflict of this holiday and it’s origins or reflect upon the current state of politics or what your world is coming to. If the suffering begins to descend down upon you, remember this: your creator gives you suffering so that your heart may open, millions of your ancestors did not have the privilege of suffering openly, and suffering openly and an open heart generate love and tolerance.

Be grateful for the suffering when it comes your way. It is a gift that your heart needs to expand fully into the strength and protection of love. Very possibly you are the voice for an unexpressed ancestor and you are being given the privilege of opening your heart through their pain. Tears don’t make you weak they strengthen your vision to acknowledge the creator’s most awesome possibility for you and those you know if you will embrace it.

This Thanksgiving be grateful for your suffering and the suffering of others, it means hearts are opening everywhere.

Don’t Mourn for Me: Be Happy


Every day at some point I think about dying. Not just death and dying or other people’s death and dying. I think of how I will die, or when I will die. This is not a conversation I am having because I am getting older. No, it’s a conversation that I’ve had with myself since at least the teen years.

I tend to take quiet comfort in it. I meander on all the interesting ways there are to die.

I crossed paths with a man once whose brother died by falling doublewide trailer. Yes, his brother got up one day and decided to fix something underneath his trailer home that had needed fixing for some time. The trailer was propped up on cinder blocks and just fell. At least that’s how the legend goes.

Wow, I thought, now that’s an interesting story to leave behind.

It leaves the people that you love with a fascinating story and a chuckle at the absurdity without all that pesky fear. The likelihood that you could die of falling doublewide trailer is probably a million to one and every time you thought about it, you’d chuckle and think of Ole Uncle Charlie up in heaven because the doublewide fell on him. You might very well see him smiling and tinkering with things like he always loved to do.

No, so many of us are left with the fear that comes with say: cancer or gun violence. Those of us left behind a loved one that died of some ridiculous disease or random act of violence must confront at some point the possibility that it could happen to us as well.

Not that it will, but the fear that is left behind demands the confrontation.

An unspoken part of mourning is the catharsis of our own mortality, or the possibility of losing those we still have left. Nobody really speaks about the sometimes debilitating anticipation of losing the next loved one that comes with trying to process the grief of loss.

For years after my father’s death I imagined where I’d be when I got the call about the loss of my mother. Who’d be there with me, or would I be alone? Luckily it wasn’t for another three decades and I was as well prepared as I could’ve been.

As a child, this was one of the ways I processed my grief. Thinking it through completely and resolving the end by witnessing in my mind, my safety and wellbeing.

Knowing that whenever and wherever it happened that I would be safe and well taken care of.

As it turned out, I was at the sushi bar with a friend not far from my mother’s home. We had just finished dinner. On the short ride back we laughed a little that the most dreaded moment of my life was here. And,indeed, I was safe and well taken care of.

Somewhere along that path, I began to think about my own death and dying. Where I’d be and when. Then I began to think of how I’d like to die. Disease, murder, suicide, and overdose were so trendy.

And then it occurred to me. Do people die of happiness? Well, that’s how I’d like to go.

I’d like to be so @#%! happy I could just die.

So, now every time I think of death, I am reminded of all the things that bring me happiness.

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