Sky News ^ | 6/18/10 | Staff
A British woman who went to a Thai nature resort to conquer her fear of monkeys has been savaged by a pack of macaques.
Dee Darwell, 56, lost consciousness after the monkeys surrounded her and sank their teeth into her arms and body. Many of the primates remained hanging from her limbs as she lay collapsed with blood spurting from a "deep, deep hole" in her arm.
She was eventually rescued by Thai boatmen and was taken to Bangkok Phuket Hospital. The horrific attack happened on Monkey Island near to the popular holiday island of Phuket in southern Thailand.
“I thought I was heading for safety under this rock in the shade, only to cool down,” Mrs. Darwell, from Peterborough, said. “I laid the towel down and there were no monkeys in sight. “The next thing I noticed, this monkey walked up next to me and I thought, oh dear, and I began to stand up to move away. Then, the monkey took my wrist and pounced on my right arm, sinking his teeth in and hung off it. He wouldn't let go; he was locked on. I was absolutely petrified.”
Thai fishermen ran to the rescue after spotting more monkeys joining the assault and began prying them off. Mrs. Darwell said she had agreed to go on the Siam Sea Canoe tour with a friend to confront her fear of monkeys.
Her phobia had been triggered by her father bringing up a chimpanzee which she described as “positively evil.” She said: “I thought, this is it, I'm going to die, I'm going to be savaged by these monkeys - then I went into shock.”
Here's something that helped me understand the nature of fearlessness. There is a fearless state that is simple joy-the joy of love, the relaxation that is fearlessness.
To understand it better, let's look at the concept of darkness. Darkness isn't anything. Darkness is merely the absence of light, and when I bring light into the room there is no more darkness.
I didn't have to overcome the darkness, I didn't have to remove the darkness. Darkness is nothing at all. It's the absence of light.
Well, fear is the same thing. Fear is the absence of love. So I don't have to overcome the fear, battle the fear, be brave, and feel the fear and do it anyway. If enough love comes in, there is no more fear. Fear wasn't anything to begin with but the absence of love.
It's interesting that most people that I talk to or coach or work with or associate with have confusion about the word "fearless." They think fearless means "brave" or "courageous" or "bold" or something like that; but it's really important to see that it's nothing like that.
In fact it's not even similar to that.
Being fearless is absolute, relaxed, inner peace, relaxation, connection to the universe, happiness, deep happiness---not surface pleasure. And there's no thought of fear. There's no feeling of fear whatsoever. There's no idea of fear.
The feeling is like "why would I be afraid of that?" That's a fearless state.
There's so many things we do throughout the day in a fearless way that we don't even notice the fearlessness, but anything we feel real love about---when we are really loving a person, or we're really loving an event or something---playing a song on the piano, or jogging, or running, or playing volleyball, or something we're really loving that we do.
A lot of us have aspects of work that we just love and so we're caught up in the present moment flow of it and there's no fear at that time until we starting thinking of the future or other things.
So that's the fearless state we are talking about and there's a reason that we formed a club called Club Fearless. We didn't call it Club Brave. We didn't call it Club Courage or Club Bold-we called it Club Fearless because there's a huge difference between fearless and brave.
Now when I am being brave, when I am using courage, there's profound fear inside of me while I am doing that.
So there's a battle going on inside of me.
I'm afraid to do this, but I'm doing it anyway.
I'm afraid of monkeys, but I'm going to go be with them anyway. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
I remember when I first started giving speeches years and years ago. I had a huge fear of public speaking. I had a huge fear up in front of an audience. I mean it was my lifelong fear. I had it all of my life and I would get in front of an audience and it would feel like an elephant was standing on my chest and something was constricting my throat. My knees were weak. I couldn't get my breath. Total fear--and I pushed on and I was brave anyway and I walked out and there were a hundred people waiting for me to talk.
My voice was shaky, my hands were shaking and my knees were weak and I spoke anyway. Now that's courage-that's being brave-that's being bold and that's forging ahead in the face of fear. That's being afraid and doing it anyway. So that's one thing, completely different than being fearless.
So now, these days I talk to groups. I talked to a group the other night where there were three hundred people in the audience. I remember walking up on the stage and I felt nothing but love, I felt nothing but excitement and I was fearless. I wasn't afraid because that had left me. That left me years ago. And so there is a possibility in everything in being fearless. If there were no possibility, there would be no Club Fearless, I would not have written a book called Fearless, I would not get people's hopes up. I would not get my own hopes up.
But in the past few years I have been able to see there really is something called Fearless and it really is different than being brave.
There was a way, through the right coaching, that could have released my fear of speaking without my going through all that.