(v.) avoid or put off doing something because one is afraid.
I remember taking a yoga class a couple years ago, and the theme was all about being fearless. After the class I remember thinking, can anyone ever be free of fear?
I think back to the times I’ve been most afraid, and each time seems to fit into two different categories:
Fear that lets me know I’m alive
This month in the studio we are focusing on fear. What role does it play in our life?
I recently announced that I am expecting my second child. I’ve spent the last year trying to decide if I wanted to have another sweet babe in my life. Probably longer than a year if I’m being honest with myself. I think I always knew what my heart wanted, but fear kept me back. Fear that I wouldn’t have “enough of me” to go around, fear that I was too busy, fear that I wouldn’t be able to continue to do what I am currently doing in my life.
Then, this summer, I looked at my daughter and thought, it will all work out.
Here’s how I see it:
When we are faced with that crippling fear, we have to meet it with a sense of surrender.
Like the fact that I’m a grown adult that is still totally afraid of the dark (anyone else? I can’t be the only one…!). I was getting in my car last week to go to a 5:45am class, pitch black outside, and I just kept repeating, “nothing is going to hurt me, nothing is going to hurt me,” and I had to believe it! I had to surrender that some things are out of my control and that the unknown will always be scary.
Surrender is the final Niyama that we will talk about. It asks that we give up the need to be in control all the time, that we let fear settle and make a home because it’s not going to go away, and that we believe that there is something bigger.
Now, let’s talk about the second kind of fear. The fear that lets you know that you’re alive.
One time I went skydiving, and I had so many “oh shit!” moments before I jumped out of that plane, but the moment I went for it, I can truly say I knew I was alive. Was I scared? YES. And I knew that it was totally worth it.
I’m grateful to say that I’ve had so many of those out of my comfort zone crazy butterflies in my stomach moments these last couple years. I have learned to trust those butterfly moments because they let me know I’m doing something big. And they’re not going away.
Fear can cripple us or it can propel us.
What are you afraid to do because you might fail (whatever that means?
What are afraid to do because you’re unsure of the outcome?
Think about it for a moment.
Maybe you’ve been reading these newsletters, but have been too afraid to make it to class because you might not know what you’re doing.
Maybe you’ve got an awesome idea, but you’re afraid people will think it’s stupid.
This month, your job is to do something that scares you and brings you to a place where you know without question, you are alive.