August came in a flurry and I am still trying to catch my breath. It seems to me the older I become; the faster time flies. I used to be afraid of getting older. I used to be scared of a lot of things. But now I realize that fear is a limiting emotion and getting older is a privilege. Fear is a genuine emotion. Fear can be crippling. Fear sometimes keeps us safe and other times keeps us small. My goal in life is not to lead a mediocre life but to stand fully and bravely in the truth. Because I so love this world, I want us all to be conscious, to be bold and to live in truth. The first step, and most difficult, is to move boldly forward to meet your fears. Our courage lies just beneath our fear, and to step boldly forward is how we feel and develop our courage.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
I consider myself an accidental activist. I am very determined in my fight for justice, truth and humanity. I have used my yoga platform to shine a light on injustice, inequality, social and psychological warfare on our bodies and the highjacking of yoga as a function of beauty as opposed to a tool for consciousness, truth, connection and enlightenment. Showing up in this life can be scary, so we play small. We try not to take up too much space or inconvenience anyone, so we don’t grow. We don’t learn that fear can be a tool for learning how to be brave. Standing up and out can be exhilarating if you get out of your comfort zone. Acknowledge your fear, realize that your imagination is greater than what you are afraid of. The worst case scenario never happens, keeping that in mind helps us step up to our fear. Tell yourself that you can overcome it.
Examining Our Fears Lead To Courage
I like to poke the bear, question society and demand accountability. Taking on the large companies of the industrial wellness complex can be scary. In today’s world, everyone has a voice, and people can be quite angry and just plain mean when they are called in to examine their contributions to the harmful behaviour of mainstream yoga publications and the diet/wellness industry. Asking people to consider who they are can be scary. Even scarier is self-study; examining who we are (svadhyaya). Stop and think for a moment: where do our beliefs come from and why do we believe them? And what if we aren’t who we think are? Contemplating all these thoughts can make us fearful, defeated, angry, and sad, but ultimately, this type of self-study leads to conscious awareness and self-reliance. Courage lies just beyond our fear. It is time to stop being afraid to figure out who you are and who you want to be.
How to Overcome Your Fears.
The more I practice yoga, the more I am aware of my place in the world. I have learned what and where my power lies and how to be courageous enough to use it. Coming to my mat, connecting with the strength of my body, finding my edge helps me feel powerful. To me power equals courage. So, when I take on a yoga pose that seems scary (like a complicated arm balance), I tell myself I will not let the pose of fear aka fear asana take over. I will feel and acknowledge the fear. I understand that without it I won’t know bravery. I will take a deep breath, slow down, use tools or props, ask for help and take my time. I think those are great lessons for life. It okay to feel your fear but don’t let it stop your courage.