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Local author talks at YMCA about how "Fear Falls Away"

By Katelyn Gendron-List, Staff Writer

WESTFIELD Four years ago Jan Frazier did not set out to write a highly acclaimed work of nonfiction illustrating her journey of spiritual liberation. She was simply trying to write through her fear and anxiety of her annual mammogram.

On July 26, Frazier will be giving a reading and discussion of her latest work, "When Fear Falls Away, A Story of Sudden Awakening," at the YMCA of Greater Westfield at 7:30 p.m.

The work is a vivid depiction of how her life-long struggle with fear ended with a life-changing event that she said now allows her to live a life without suffering.

"I had a fear of mammograms because I had a couple of negative biopsies," Frazier said in an interview with Reminder Publications. "The night before I was going to the mammogram in 2003, I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to go through this without the usual anxiety?' And then I felt the fear just go. The next day the mammogram was not big deal."

Frazier went on to state that this is not a how-to book because she does not understand how she achieved this liberation of fear. This is a depiction of an ordinary person trying to understand this dramatic change in life.

"I basically stopped suffering even though my ordinary life continued as it always had," Frazier said.

She stated that while she was not choosing to be fearful of events in her life, the fear is a choice that people make unconsciously.

"I don't want people to think that this is a threat," Frazier said. "If someone had told me that I was choosing to be afraid that would have made me angry. The key idea is that we think what causes fear are the events themselves but what really causes it is the reaction to the events."

In an interview with Reminder Publications, Rosann Scalise, director of program operations at the YMCA of Greater Westfield, stated that she invited Frazier to the YMCA because of her strong message of achieving inner peace regardless of external circumstances.

"I read Frazier's book and I was very impressed with it," Scalise said. "She moved from a place of fear to a place of peace. Ultimately everyone is looking for that in life."

Scalise, who is an avid reader of authors like Frazier and Eckhart Tolle, stated that she reads the works of these authors because she is seeking inner peace and a life without fear.

"I would say that it's an ongoing process for me," Scalise said. "I think that through my reading it's an evolving process and I'm moving in that direction. I don't profess to be there but I have more awareness of my inner state and inner frame of mind, which is the basis for having that sense of peace."

Scalise went on to add that she encourages all members of the community to participate in this event because of its strong message of health and wellness.

"Hopefully it will peak their interest in terms of exploring their own inner environment, and understanding how they might go about finding peace and happiness in their lives regardless of external circumstances," Scalise said.

Frazier also stated that for people reading her book this is only the first step. While others have called her work a powerful invitation into themselves, which is really where the answers can be found.

"We always look outside ourselves for meaning and everyone wants to have a good, fulfilled and happy life, and we look for that in relationships and our jobs," Frazier said. "Really the source is within us and I urge people to know that."

For more information on this event call the YMCA of Greater Westfield at 568-8631.