Facing your Fears...

Hey Yogi’s

 

As I was meditating on life, love, and the state of the world; I was trying to figure out how I’m going to transfer the teacher in me that comes out in class, onto this new platform.  Then it came to me in a pair of lost keys. We all lose things from time to time no matter how organized we think we are. So it’s Halloween morning and my kids are furious that they have to go to school on a holiday. I try to explain to them that it’s not like Christmas, or Thanksgiving, but there is no getting through to these two. So they proceed to drag their heels like you wouldn’t believe, as I look at the clock and realize we are going to be late! Things are moving simultaneously fast and slow as I finally find my sons necktie, because he insisted on not using the clip on with his costume. I know it sounds like he’s dressing up like a little gentleman for his school parade, but the little stinker has a super scary skull mask to go with his little man suite. But this is a topic for another blog as we just come in “who we are”…

We still have no keys, and the clock is ticking away so it’s officially time to walk. As I drag my eight year old down the street he complains about the unfairness of school on Halloween. I’m thinking about some unfairness in my mind but I decide to practice Khechari Mudra instead. This begins to center me, and I stop feeling so reactive as I take in my surroundings. Something about today is different to me than yesterday, so I mention to my kids what a spooky morning it is. We all pause and take stalk of how this day is presenting itself to us. It’s not cold, but It’s not warm either, and the wind can’t decide if it wants to bluster or lightly tickle us. There are definitely tricks in the air, and the clouds have an under glow to them. As I look at the spindly branches of the almost naked trees it seems like the remaining leaves are hanging on for dear life. And of course my keys missing are the proof that this specious day riddled with superstitions are exactly what I’ll blame our tardiness on when I go into the school office to excuse my kids. In fact Halloween or All Saint’s Day begins the annual Catholic feast, and remembrance of the dead. This dates back as far as the eighth century when Pope Gregory III designated November 1 to honor the saints, and martyrs. Our modern traditions have embraced these element with costumes and treats.  My children and I have our own tradition where we take a lantern walk down our street on the 1st so we can remember our past loved ones. Your welcome to borrow or elaborate on that however you wish, it’s something that has helped me in my grieving, and maybe it will help you too.

This isn’t about death though it’s seemed that way so far, this is about how we live. I want to look at something that I think is the equivalent of not not living, and it’s name is FEAR… Fear of the unknown, of upsetting someone, of speaking your mind. Fear of sharing your writing, and letting go of what doesn’t work; of being yourself, of getting a job or finding love. Fear around who’s going to be the next president is a big one right now, or when something bad will happen next... Really all you have to do is turn on the news and this is what meets your beautiful spirit to remind you to be afraid. These are just some concepts I think we can all relate to, and maybe have grappled with in our past, or are currently working through. Fear can be chronic, but it can also be a choice; often an uninformed one because we are unaware of the outcome. We as people are anxious to know our outcome, and that prevents us from a present moment experience. Not living in the moment amplifies our fears taking us to the future or past. This cycle can be overwhelming and even debilitating for some.

So this is where yoga comes in, being able to slow it down so you can see the angles of what this thing that we fear is really about. Is it a past impression?  Or is it a projection? Or is your fear really based in mortality? If you have a disease this would certainly be a plausible fear as you make peace with your life, and find the beauty and grace to totally surrender.  When I was a new mom we had a saying we threw around the playground, it was called “Life or Limb”. So we would let the kids play with their edges and each other, and we would direct as needed. Only when someone was really going to get hurt would we step in. It was hard to watch my child teeter, but you have to learn how to fall if you are going to live, and I can't live if I’m always fearful that my kids or myself are going to fall. So I would kick in a little samavritti and even out my breath, so my inhale matched my exhale 1:1. This allowed me to watch, but know when to sit back. The Yogis believe that Prana brings you into the present moment, which is important because you also need to know when to hold your kid tight so they don’t run out in front of a car. I want this to not just be a story for you about my kids, and my own struggles; but a way that we can all look at how we're not living our fullest potential, and what limiting thoughts, feeling and emotions are fueling this behavior…

So I have some questions to bring to the practice this week; How can we be informed by our life? This might be the quality of your health, happiness/interest, work, and family/love.  How can we let go of these fears that may surround these critical pieces to our happiness? As you ask yourself these deep questions and honor the people who we have loved; let’s meditate on how we can let go of fear, and give thanks for the life we have. Let’s make the necessary adjustments to be fully present. Life is a practice, so get on your mat, or your computer, or whatever it is that you’ve been fearful of. Take a chance, practice awareness, and suss out the true source of what’s holding you back from living fully and passionately. It may be a little scary, but what’s even scarier to me is waiting another five or ten years not being happy. So please think of that when you sit with your fears on your mat, and know that although you may fall a few times, it’s worth it to find your true balance. And if you need a little help, just borrow some courage from your Halloween alter ego, and let’s face those fears and move into the life we're meant to live. Oh and if you see a tiny skeleton in a suit, he’s with me!

 

Blessings on the adventure of facing your fears…

Emily