“What we’re talking about is getting to know fear, becoming familiar with fear, looking it right in the eye – not as a way to solve problems, but as a complete undoing of old ways of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and thinking. The truth is that when we really begin to do this, we’re going to be continually humbled.” -Pema Chodron
What are you afraid of? Have you given this thought lately in your life, or is it a place that you try to avoid because looking at your fears causes more fear? Perhaps the first step in becoming more familiar with fear is to acknowledge fear when it comes up, or to acknowledge the fears you might already have.
I didn’t realize I have so many fears. This week has been very humbling for me. Who knew fear could be so humbling, as Pema Chodron states. And, I’m talking about the feeling of humbled in terms of it causing One to see life as awe inspiring and incredible, miraculous because you are in it; and not in the way that humble might be experienced as causing a feeling of being less than, or small, not worthy. *Side note: The definition of the verb ‘to be humbled’ is, according to the internet, “lower in dignity or importance.” But, this is what I am talking to…the fact that you ARE important, but that you are also not the only one who has fears. Perhaps this definition of humble will help, “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.” Getting the ego out, and letting life in, even fear.
That pose up there, that one you see me in, some of you have seen it before on Instagram and Facebook. I made a post about it. It’s the pose that inspired a moment in this past Saturdays class that lead to this little story:
“I cried in front of my “students” this morning. And that is exactly why I teach. Not to cry, necessarily, but to share. They are my friends, not just students. We share in this practice together, on and off the mat. Don’t worry, I will still guide and support in safety, and impart the knowledge I have learned, but the bigger idea is that we are living life together!
They were practicing this pose you see me in with Quinn, parivrtta hasta padangusthasana, revolving head-to-big-toe pose. We were on the second side. Some people stumbled, and I saw that cause others to loose their balance as well.
And then, it hit me as I witnessed this happening….
“Perhaps fear is the distraction that’s keeping us from our purpose!”
(Just as a neighbor stumbling in the pose might distract us, and then we fall off our balance.]
As I spoke those words and realized them, a HUGE welling up inside of my body came because that is exactly the place I am living in my life right now. It’s only my own fears holding me back from acting in bigger ways towards my purpose.
So, yes, the welling up was so strong, the realization hit so impact-fully, and quickly, that inevitably a release happened. And I’m glad it did. I am happy I cried in front of everyone for a moment. Because in that moment it was ALL LOVE! We were all one! Even those sweet people who were new to my teaching style. 😜 We go deep, and we try not to be afraid.”
At face value, what you read here might not seem so “big”. I’m sure you’ve heard, “don’t let your fear stop you”, or some sort of form of that thought. However, when your in the practice of yoga with others, and when the energy in the room is connected, and something you’ve heard before comes up in a different way, and actually lands for the first time… It’s powerful. It is Source itself working thru us all. It is community, it is witnessing, it is sharing, and it IS humbling. Humbling for me because I was so inspired by my students practices. Humbling because their practicing is what brought about transformation. Humbling because it speaks to EXACTLY where I am in my own life right now! Maybe you too?!
And for fear to be seen as a distraction makes it begin to feel annoying. Why not leave the fear out, and get on with living your best life!?
I think that’s what Gandhi was getting at when he said, “Live life as if you were going to die tomorrow, learn as if you will live forever.”. Maybe he is saying, do more of what you love! Thanks, Emily for our chat after class! 😉 Otherwise, we would be on the next flight to Bali! LOL!
Create the “complete undoing”! I love this! Of course I do, read this post around mind set: http://shawnashakti.com/its-all-in-your-head-or-is-it/ . I could add to that list of ways to change your mindset, the act of becoming familiar with fear. And, with this undoing of old ways of thinking, seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearing, let there not be sadness over your perception of wasted time being stuck in life because of fear. Re-frame that mindset to being grateful for all the events and choices that have brought you to this moment. And, from here forward, a new way of being is alive in you. There was not a problem to be solved, nothing needed to be fixed, it was just looking fear in the eye , getting familiar with it, even befriending it, and the undoing happens. Namaste.