The Union Path

Unlocking Mindfulness: Overcoming Fear, Embracing Change, and Discovering Self

Wrestling with worry is as old as human history itself - the Bhagavad Gita and the Sermon on the Mount can attest to that. Yet, this struggle seems to be our faithful companion, often pulling us out of our present moments, sowing seeds of fear, doubt, and insecurity. Join us as we unravel the futility of obsessive worrying, its impact on our lives, and how it could be a deterrent to our mindfulness. We'll talk about how worry, though considered useful in moderation, can spiral out of control, inflicting unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Ever felt overwhelmed by change? We're here to tell you that it's perfectly okay. As we delve deeper into this episode, we'll discuss the beauty and challenge of embracing change and how doing so could potentially strengthen our core selves. You'll learn how cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves can help reduce anxiety and worry, leading to an improved quality of life. We'll also introduce you to your 'escape route' - a secret pathway to your most authentic self, a sanctuary where you can seek refuge from superficial worries and negative emotions. So, buckle up and join us on this enlightening journey of self-discovery and peace.


(00:20) Living in the Present, Futility of Worry
(15:59) Embracing Change in Life
(20:59) Discovering Our Fundamental Self

---Chapter Summaries---

(00:20) Living in the Present, Futility of Worry

I explore the idea of worry and how this advice to not worry has been around for thousands of years. I look at the Bhagavad Gita and the Sermon on the Mount as examples of how this advice has been around for a long time. I discuss how worry can make our life worse and how it can take away from our presence and mindfulness. I also talk about how worry can be useful, but when utilized too much, it can reinforce our fear, doubt, and insecurity. I explore the idea of using control to try to manage outcomes and how this can lead to a manic and stressful life.

(15:59) Embracing Change in Life

Discuss the beauty and challenge of change and how to create a relationship with a deeper part of ourselves that isn't affected by worry, fear, and insecurity. Look at how we can use this relationship to reduce our anxiety and worry, and even if our meditation practice changes every day, it can still be a worthwhile use of our time. Examine how we can use this relationship to improve our lives and feel better.

(20:59) Discovering Our Fundamental Self

We all have an escape route, a way out of fear, worry, insecurity, and doubt. This connection to our fundamental selves is our most real part. We can use this connection to make our lives better and move past our superficial worries and emotions.

Full episode transcript available at:

All episodes are given freely. If you feel inspired to give, please visit: 

If you have a question, you can contact me at:

Take care and all the best.

What is The Union Path?

Mindful monologues to awaken your consciousness and nourish your soul.

In this introspective podcast, I aim offer you heartfelt rumination to inspire your own growth and self-discovery.

Are you seeking deeper meaning, truth, purpose or peace in your life? Join me as I unfold observations and awareness along the spiritual path - what I have learned, struggled with, found insight into.

Let these moving soliloquies gently prompt self-inquiry as you contemplate the deeper questions we all face: why do you suffer? How can you cultivate more inner calm and wisdom?

There is no dogma here, only my pondering as I illuminate and ponder our shared experiences living.

My hope is that by modeling raw exploration rooted in courageously questioning “why?”, these thoughtful meanderings awaken self-understanding and nourish your soul.

Consider these unconventional audio journal entries as a way to inspire and awaken your own internal wise teacher, taking your hand to guide you in looking within your own mysterious inner landscape in a new way. Feel less alone. Find inspiration to expand your self-awareness and consciousness with me each week.

The Union Path Podcast

"Good and Difficult Advice: Don’t Worry"


I like to start this one out with a reading. First we have the Bhagavad Gita of where Krishna is talking to Arjuna. Krishna says you have the right to work, but for work's sake only, you have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working. Never give way to laziness either.

Perform every action, with your heart fixed on the Supreme Lord. Renounce attachment to the fruits. Be even-tempered in success and failure, for it is in this evenness of temper which is meant by yoga. Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahma. They who work selfishly for results are miserable.

And now for the next reading, this is from the Sermon on the Mount. Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life, more than food in the body, more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon and all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes, the grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, you, of little faith? So do not worry saying what shall we eat or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear, for the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them, but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself each day as enough trouble of its own.

What I think is interesting about these two specific readings, or these two specific very long quotes, is that they come from pretty radically different sources but they really, at least to me anyway are saying the same thing or at least pointing in the same direction this idea of worry and specifically this idea of the futility of worry or at the very least the unhelpfulness of worry. I think that's a really interesting idea, and I also think that's interesting that these ideas have been around for millennia. These ideas aren't new. These ideas of don't worry given as advice is not new advice, yet it's as applicable today as it was then, as it was thousands of years ago. I think that too is really interesting, that it just seems to be a feature of the human animal to worry. It's just what we do. It's what we've always done and probably to some extent will be what we always do. But there's also always been this advice to not worry.

Because, even though it seems to be a little bit more subtext in the Bhagavad Gita quote, I believe the point is the same.

Because if we start worrying about outcomes, if we start getting fixated to the results of what we do, we not only worry, we not only let fear penetrate our doing, but we actually lose sight of what we're doing. Because it's so easy to get fixated, especially to get overly fixated on outcomes, on results, on what we'll get from our doing, and completely lose focus and completely lose sight on what we're actually doing. And in this extent we end up time traveling of living in the future, living in the fruits of what we accomplished before. Often we've even started doing what we believe would lead to the fruits that we so seek. These are where ideas of greed come in, or ideas of self-centeredness come in, of thinking is what we do? Thinking of our behavior, our action, our contribution is simply a means to an end. It's simply a way to get whatever we're trying to get and oftentimes a way to control and force those particular outcomes, as a way to get life, give us what we want, instead of thinking about what contribution we're making to life as a whole.

And again I don't mean to moralize about this or demonize about this. I just think it's an interesting human trait and also I think it's really interesting that the advice has been around for thousands of years that it's important, perhaps necessary on some level, to live a good life, to transcend these traits, because also present in these sorts of books and teachings is the idea that when we're overly attached to outcome, that makes our life worse and we're squandering an opportunity for what we actually want. At the very least, we're squandering an opportunity for presence and mindfulness to actually inhabit, to be present in our own life, to be here now, to be actively and fully doing whatever we're doing, instead of mostly being actively engaged in thinking about what we're going to get, what we're going to receive from all this doing, because we can even see this in our culture now of how manic things can get a lot of times, how stressful things can get a lot of times.

And one of the default responses we can of course have when things get stressful or complicated is to institute more control, is to try to wrestle away the behavior of our life from the outcomes we don't want towards the outcomes we do. And so when I read passages like this, I don't take it as an all or nothing thing Like. Obviously worry has a purpose and has a point, it even has a usefulness. But obviously that usefulness erodes very quickly when it's utilized too much, when it's made too much of a focus, when all we do is go through our life in worry, because ultimately this worry is triggering and reinforcing and keeping alive our fear, our doubt, our insecurity that a lot of times our worry can reinforce these aspects of ourselves. That's keeping us locked in, these aspects of ourselves that we're never really able to transcend, to get past, to evolve and grow beyond our own fear, our own doubt, our own insecurity. Because we're entertaining our fear and doubt and insecurity with all of this worry, we're keeping it going, we're keeping it active and thus we can never really gain separation from it. We can never really take a break from these feelings because they're always constant, they're always spinning, that our mind is grabbed onto these ideas and ruminates and just won't let go and keeps going over and going over and going over, until it seems either we stop just out of fatigue or we decide to stop. We decide to believe something different, or at least try to believe something different. We decide to try to be confident, we decide to try to be secure, we decide to try to let go of our fear, because a life based on these things isn't terribly enjoyable, isn't terribly rewarding. There's a corrosive effect to worry and insecurity and fear, and that it seems like these are states of being that obviously do have a purpose and thus do have a value, but aren't meant to be dwelled in over the long term.

It's kind of like the idea that people talk about that one of the most unhealthy aspects of our current society, with its emphasis on productivity, with its emphasis on performance and all the stress that that creates, is it puts us into a low level, latent fight or flight response all the time, which pushes us into a chronic stressed state, or where the argument is made, at least from an evolutionary perspective, that these stressed responses are meant to be short term. I'm going to get us out of a sticky situation when we encounter it, but what happens when our entire life is a sticky situation? We're never really given that break, we're never really given that separation, we can never really step away and live without our fear, live without our insecurity, live without our anxiety, because these things are seem to just be constantly running. They're the din of the machinery in the background that can never be switched off. And so it's interesting to think about this advice to not worry. Think about it. This advice has been around for a long time and it keeps getting repeated because it's just as useful and practical and applicable today as it was thousands of years ago, and it's still good advice.

I think everyone, or at least most people, would love to find a way to worry less, have less anxiety, have less fear, have less insecurity, have less doubt. These are common wishes, but at least it's been my experience that these wishes can really only be granted by ourselves, that at some point we have to decide to worry less, we have to decide to diminish our own fear, we have to rise above it. We have to step out of these feelings in order to rise above them, because as long as we're engrossed and enthralled by these feelings, we really can't do much about it. It's the same way with any situation. On some level we kind of have to get outside of, or at least be side of any situation to do anything about it.

Then, when we're fully in it, often there's not a lot we can really do.

When we're directly experiencing something, we don't really have the situational or subjective awareness to really know too much about what, to really think about it, what meaning to really pull out of what we're doing.

Oftentimes this is why hindsight can be so useful, but also why we don't really get the learning or the meaning or the knowing of what we've done or why, until after the fact, until we experience it through hindsight. Because when we're going through the situation there's just too much to take in, it's utilizing too many of our resources to simply get through the situation in the first place, and so we don't really have a subjectivity, we don't really have the ability to step aside, to step away from what we're doing, to really garner and absorb its meaning. Same thing can be true in environments. But if we're in a really difficult situation, a difficult relationship, a difficult job or just a really difficult living situation, it's not until we've actually moved away from that situation that we can really fully grasp what we had experienced as a whole, that we can really see it in its fullness, because when we're living it we can really only see, for the most part, the current part or we're reacting to in the moment of what's happening right now.

But if we can get out of that situation, if we can get away from the situation or at least just create a little bit of airspace, a little bit of distance, then we can start to see things as a whole. Then we can really start to see what things actually are in their completeness. We can start to figure out some meaning, we can start to learn, we can start to grow because we can see something as a whole, because we're not locked into that situation, because we're currently experiencing it the same way with fear, insecurity and anxiety. We can do ourselves so many favors by just creating a little bit of gap, a little bit of space where we can set down our anxiety, we can set down our fear, we can set down our worry, we can set down our doubt and just be.

I think this is one of the primary benefits of adopting any sort of mindfulness practice that, if we decide that we want to do a meditation practice, for example, this is one of the most tangible and profound benefits that we experience early on is creating this gap, creating this space where we can step not necessarily outside of ourselves, but just not be so deeply involved and engrossed with ourselves for a minute.

We can adopt that role of the observer and see ourselves a little bit more completely, because we're not so self-involved, we're not so involved with what's happening right now, we're not so lost in our thinking, we're not so lost in our overwhelming feelings, we're not so lost in emotion, we're not so lost in control. Instead, we just focus on our being. We connect with something more fundamental. There's just an inherent relief with this when we get underneath our thinking, underneath our worry, underneath our doubts, underneath our anxiety, and experience something else. The analogy that I think about a lot is like if we're flying somewhere on a plane and it's a stormy, dark, cloudy day and there's this moment on the ascent of the plane often, where we actually break through the clouds and up here it's sunny, up here it seems calm, up here it seems quiet and peaceful. In kind of a funny way.

I can believe we can experience this within ourselves, except instead of ascending to find it, we descend to find it Instead of trying to get above ourselves a lot of ways we're trying to get underneath, trying to escape the superficial, trying to get underneath the material, underneath the world of manifestation, with not only its physicality and its material existence, but also the world of manifestation in terms of thought, in terms of emotion, in terms of anything that's created, and get underneath it to the level of unmanifest, underneath it, to the level of source of our own being, the core of our being of who and?

what we really are below the physical and manifested layer of our own existence, and so kind of like the advice that's been around forever, it seems, and will stay around forever of don't worry is also the advice of well, one of the things we can really do about our worry is to connect with ourselves on a deep level, and oftentimes we do this through some sort of mindfulness practice, because we can absolutely do this without ever meditating a second in our life, without going to a yoga class, without doing any sort of presence or mindfulness practice, and we do experience this.

We get underneath this level of ourselves when we experience something like a flow state, when we experience states in our life where we feel incredibly connected to our own being, when we fall in love, when a child is born, when we have peak experiences in our life or experiences that engage and engross us so much that 100% of our focus is devoted to whatever we're doing. It's the same idea, but it sure is nice to have tools in our life where we can do this intentionally, we can do this on purpose and, yeah, the depths of these experiences will never, really ever be exactly the same.

Even if we have a meditation practice that we stick to and we do every single day, it'll always be different. There'll always be varying levels of depth to it, always be varying levels of clarity and epiphany to it, there'll be varying levels of relief to it. And that's life. That's the beauty of life. It's rarely exactly the same for very long. Things are dynamic, things are always changing, and that's both the beauty and the benefit of it, but also the challenge, because it's our minds that want things to be the same all the time, especially if we're dealing with something like anxiety and worry. It can seem like surety is what we seek, but it's not so much we need things to either be this or that, we just need things to stay the same. We need to do away with all this change, because too much control is required to exist in this world of change. But if I could just stop things from changing, everything would be great. Obviously, that's not the way life works. So it seems like it would behoove us, like it would really be a benefit, instead of trying to figure out how to fight change, of how do we move with change, and one of the ways we do this is we devise ways to assist ourselves and not worry so much, to not feel like we're one lapse in control, away from everything, falling apart, feel annihilation, and believe in something deeper. Make in contact with the fundamental part of ourselves, below the manifested aspect of ourselves, because it gives us connection to something deeper, something older, something more permanent, and anchor and grant ourselves to that, anchor ourselves to something that exists below worry, below anxiety, below fear, below doubt, and live at least a portion of our existence from this place, live our existence informed by this place, with a relationship with this place. Obviously, we have to go out in the world. We have to do things Hard as we try. We're definitely going to worry about stuff. Again, that's just a feature of the human animal. We're definitely going to be afraid, we're definitely going to have doubt, we're definitely going to be insecure. These aspects are inescapable, but they don't have to dominate our life. They don't have to be the focus of our life, because whatever we're worried about, whatever we're afraid of, whatever we're insecure about, the part of ourselves that exists at the core isn't affected. It isn't vulnerable. Whatever we're worried about poses no threat to ourselves, at our core. That, as long as we're being, as long as we exist, this core of ourselves will also exist, and when our physical bodies no longer exist, that core will continue to exist as well. So what is there to worry about? What is there to be anxious about? What is there to fear? What is there to be insecure about at this level of our being?

And it's been my experience anyway, that the more time I spend being with and really being this aspect of my own being, the more my own insecurity and worry and anxiety just seems to fade away. It doesn't really seem to be so relevant anymore. It doesn't seem to penetrate quite so deeply. It just doesn't seem to really be that important because there's another influence that's acting on me. I'm not so scared in trying to protect myself all the time because I know there's an existence, a being within myself that is beyond protection. In a lot of ways it protects me, not the other way around, and obviously it doesn't take me to say it.

But this advice do not worry is good advice. It's a useful thing to ponder. It's a useful exercise to undertake of how do I reduce the amount of worry in my life. And we can do this by connecting with the aspect of ourselves that is below, that is beneath our own worry, our own fear, our own insecurity, our own doubt, and just by doing this alone we'll feel better. Just by doing this alone we'll shift our perspective. Just by doing this alone we'll change our life. Might not make everything instantly awesome, but at least we'll feel a little better. At least it's a worthwhile use of our time, at the very least to take a little bit of a 20-minute vacation from our own thinking, from our own fears, from our own insecurity, from our own doubt, and that in and of itself is worth it. But if we keep at it, if we keep at building this relationship with this fundamental part of ourselves, spending time with and in this aspect of our own being, our life will be improved, our life will feel better. That's why people do it, and people have been doing it for thousands of years, because it works.

But it takes us to do it, it takes us to decide to do it. It takes us growing a fatigue, a dissatisfaction, a rejection of our own fear, worry, insecurity and doubt, which ultimately leads us back to ourselves. And so you kind of wonder is that the function of all that fear, worry, insecurity and doubt in the first place? Did I have to go through this in order to be led back to myself, led back to my whole self, led back to my fundamental self? It's an interesting thing to ponder. It's an interesting thing to experience. If we haven't experienced this yet, we'll only know if we try, and we can decide to try whenever we want, because, ultimately, no one should live in anxiety, worry, fear, doubt, insecurity over the long term.

That's a miserable experience, but fortunately, all of us, no matter who we are, no matter what, we've done, have an escape route, have a way out, and that way out is to connect with the fundamental part of ourselves, with the deep, most real part of ourselves. Spending time in this place, knowing that this fundamental aspect of ourselves is us, is us at our most basic, is us underneath all of the manifested that we spend so much time worrying about, and let the time and the energy and the effort spent in this presence make our lives better, because we know we're more than just a superficial, we're more than just circumstance, we're more than our thoughts, we're more than our emotions. We're something much more fundamental, something much more real, and we discover this when we intentionally spend time with it and being it.