The simple truths always have the biggest impact on me. When I was reading the latest soul book from Gary Zukav (Soul to Soul), I suddenly came across the following statement: Fear, I challenge you! What a concept! He advises you to look out for any signs of weakness and fear inside you, and when it creeps up, plant your two feet on the ground and shout with conviction: Fear, you have no business beeing here, just go away. Actually, he does admit that you may have to repeat this procedure many times, but he claims it will help you eventually.
There are two things I find fascinating about this strategy. First of all, this practice allows you to experience fear much more consciously. Are you really aware when fear creeps up in you? For me this is key to our spiritual journey: Know Thyself - understand what drives you and why. The more powerful point, of course, is the conjecture that you can just challenge fear and similar ego sentiments: Go behind me ego, I have nothing to do with your battles and fears. Well, we can all try and see if it works.
My experience at the grocery store may have been a step in this direction. I was shopping happily (as happy as one can be with two screaming kids in the background) when I suddenly noticed an attractive woman. At least I felt a flash inside myself; she definitely got my attention. Actually, I think she was there to teach me a lesson, because no matter where we were, she went as well. So I had plenty of time to check out what exactly it was that attracted me. She was about my age and pretty fit. Her face was pleasant, but there was nothing in it that stayed with me. In the end I figured it out (you of course already have), it was her blond hair and well-proportioned body that got my attention. I then remembered a book I read on evolutionary biology. In it our sexual desires are traced to 100 000 years of human evolution. Our hair and eye color, as well as our body proportions played important roles in our evolution and our brains are still wired that way, even though many of these attributes have become meaningless. When I stood at the cash register I mumbled to myself full of conviction: Step behind me cave-man, I have nothing to do with your outdated desires. I sure hope Gary's strategy works.