Here’s perhaps the most important question

Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes.

Like everyone with a U.S. address, I get lots of fundraising appeals. Usually, I can support the intention of the work wanting backing, but it’s rare I resonate with the energy behind it.

Look, I’m all for fair elections, clean air etc. etc., but I’m so not down with warnings that the crazies will ruin the world unless you send cash now!!!

That’s fear mongering and I won’t fund it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m immune from putting fear into the world myself.

Keep thy heart with all diligence,
for out of it spring the issues of life


My brand of spreading fear is less overt than dire calls for money, which isn’t to say it’s better. In fact, I could argue it’s worse because it can be harder to detect. By me.

Case in point:

I have a friend I helped out a lot. I didn’t pretend I was saintly or anything, but it did take time for me to see my “help” wasn’t from kindness but fear: fear that my friend needed saving. My eyes were opened when I reaped what I’d sown by becoming the “beneficiary” of the kind of “help” I’d been giving.

Being on the receiving end, it was clear my “helper” was intervening from fear I was screwing up, which, luckily for my friend, helped me stop my own fear-fueled behavior.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross was a psychiatrist who originated the five stages of grief. She said:

There are only two emotions: love and fear. … They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.

If that sounds airy-fairy, consider the mayhem being caused by fearful politicians.

Or to put a hopeful spin on that, I’ll paraphrase Abraham-Hicks:

One person under the influence of Source Energy—God / Love—is more powerful than legions gripped by fear. So perhaps the most important question is…

What influence are you under?

Are you acting out of love or fear?

Are you thinking you’re being kind—to your friend, child, the environment or whatever you’re trying to save—when deep down you’re feeling scared?

That’s not a jab at environmentalists or folks (like me and you) who seek to serve others.

It’s a call to check in sometimes on what’s driving you, which you’ll know by how you feel.

Physically, fear is exhausting while love is energizing.

Emotionally, here’s what Kübler-Ross had to say:

All positive [good-feeling] emotions come from love, all negative [bad-feeling] emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy.

From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.

Recently, I was helping someone with a project. I started from a place of love but crept into fear: My initial excitement morphed into a feeling of needing to get the work right.

Need, should, must, have to are words that flow from fear. When they exit your mouth or cross your mind, pause, and make a miracle: “A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love,” A Course in Miracles teaches, which also instructs that…

Miracles are natural. When they don’t occur something has gone wrong.

What’s gone wrong is we’re falling under the influence of fear, which is like paddling a boat against the tide. Our task is turning the boat around—by thinking more and more loving thoughts, or ones that feel better and better—and letting the stream of love flowing through life take us on a miraculous ride.

If my stories are seeming familiar, it’s because I essentially say the same thing in different ways:

Our consciousness—way of thinking—creates physical reality.

Understand that we’re all contributing to the pot of thoughts creating our world. If you don’t like what you see, don’t pay too much attention: You risk getting dragged into fear.

Like the Bible says, be in the world but not of it.

To change the world, clarify your heart’s desires, go with the flow & leave miracles in your wake.


One person under the influence of love is more powerful than legions gripped by fear.

What influence are you mostly under?

Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for kind people, products and businesses in food, fashion & more. Subscribe to her newsletter here.