Facing Our Fears
Published: 09-04-2012 - Last Edited: 12-08-2021
Taking small steps helps us grow
Taking the practice of yoga step by step will lead to big changes, and allow us to face our fears more easily. In order to fully enjoy life you must renounce your fear and anxiety and I know, having spent a good portion of time being terribly afraid (afraid of not being perfect, afraid of what others might think, afraid of failing, afraid someone I loved would leave me if I didn’t do my life right according to them, afraid of really being happy, afraid of being myself).
Rinpoche talks about how we all have a soft spot and that fear like responses such as worry or resentment occur because we are trying to cover up that soft spot. Most of us tend to hurry past pain but this hurrying causes more tension instead of healing. If we spend more time with what we fear we can look into that pain and release some of the tension. When we practice vinyasa yoga we feel the power of flow using it to face, heal and release fear.
When folks ask me how did I get past a way of fearful living I tell them I practiced a ton of yoga. I came to the mat and faced my fears like going upside down, trying holding a pose into sensation like bending my knee deeper in Warrior or balancing on one leg. The Buddha says, if a person is struck by an arrow and is in a lot of pain there is that but what if a 2nd arrow hit the person in the same spot the pain would be 100 times more intense because he/she was already wounded. If you recognize fear or worry then you can help STOP another arrow of fear or worry hitting you in that same spot.
The time on the mat helps me to prevent the 2nd arrow. I have slowly, small step by small step, grown more confident and now I practice with elegance and openness so as to express my hearts natural joy. You see, when we experience our hearts as more open we eliminate the power fear has over us.
I also repeat this mantra to myself:
I AM FREE
I AM NOT HUMILIATED BY GUILT OR WORRY
So may we use today to notice our lives right now, facing them as they are, learning how to stop avoiding ourselves but instead BEING OURSELVES. This may be the most courageous challenge we can possibly accept. And as Rumi writes, “Today is like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer. Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
I challenge you to think about a situation in your life that you keep saying you are going to face but get so bogged down with the result that you can’t even get started. Then commit to taking one small beginning step in facing this situation. You will see yourself achieve your intention by dedicating yourself to the millimeters of progress.