Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but
for the heart to conquer it.
— Rabindranath Tagore, Collected Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore

And if you allow it, fear that is, will swallow you up whole and spit you out.  It may sound a bit dramatic, but when you have experienced that paralyzing feeling of this all too familiar emotion, you are either one who is ruled by it or one who has some what conquered it.  Not sure that it is ever conquered, yet the dance of facing it becomes something not to be FEARED.  

As a child I was fearless; I am a leo after all.  I'm not sure when fear started to creep into my life, but when it did, let's just say it was drowning me.  There were several moments of trauma that delved deep into my body finding comfort there and not wanting to let go.  I understand now that we are these energetic bodies who can hold onto traumatic events leaving us with not just mental symptoms, but also physical symptoms too. I've had it all.  

Through yoga I was taught to face them, set them free, and allow the healing to happen.  I know I've spoken about this on the blog before, but recently I've noticed that all too familiar feeling of fear and I think it was only out of habit that it rose up for me.  That's the thing with anxiety and fear you will have these triggers that will challenge you even when you know that you are healed and past it.  It's almost like I doubt how far I've come and give that feeling of fear power by entertaining the thought that maybe this is still a huge part of me.  I notice it and knowing what I know now, I allow it to rise up in me, this time not allowing it to consume me, but allowing it to be set free.  Setting it free by tears, movement, breath, and acknowledgment of its power, but not allowing it to control me.  We can not live a life without this powerful feeling; one that may help us in situations of danger, but we can become friends with it.  

So the next time fear takes hold of you, notice where it is coming from.  Maybe you have things that have happened in your life that were very painful and they have planted seeds of fear in you... pause; now is the time to work on you and let those things GO.   The first step in healing is honoring what caused such pain and the second step is feeling that pain for all its worth to finally L-E-T  I-T  G-O.  Maybe this is talk therapy or maybe this is yoga for you; for me it was both.  Actually for me it was many more things.  Self-awareness is a beautiful thing.  I'm not saying this is an easy journey at all, but one that is well worth it.  

The picture above of me in dancer pose is a pose that embodies for me - living with a courageous open heart - ready to take on fear as a friend and not as a foe.  Step into warrior pose and feel its effects...it's pretty powerful too.  You are worth leading a life not pulled down by fear, but a life lived with courage.  

Warrior I Pose

Warrior I Pose

Face Your Fears
As a metaphor for living, yoga can help us see how unnecessary tension within our actions shifts us off-center. To maintain Warrior Pose, we often harden our eyes, hold our breath, or shrug our shoulders. Try Virabhadrasana II again on the left side, setting up your foundation from your center. Slowly raise your arms up to shoulder height, keeping your shoulder blades pressing into and down your back. Now, turn your gaze (drishti) to the middle finger of your left hand.

Like a Zen archer spotting a bull’s-eye, who practices just holding a bow for two years before ever releasing an arrow, find balance within your focus by becoming inwardly detached.

Let the backs of your eyes look inside while you stay totally present. Feel the power of your energy radiating freely from your center. Find the balance between working to your full potential and completely relaxing, mirroring the effortless stillness of an eagle hovering over a current of wind.

As you explore this dance between being active and receptive, you can contemplate Krishna’s paradoxical teaching, “One who can see action within inaction and inaction within action is the wisest among all beings.”

As you look out from this still point and open your inner ears, you may hear your internal warrior teacher giving you insights to bring you into balance not only in this moment, but in your life as a whole. Like Arjuna as Krishna whispered over his shoulder, you may be given confidence to face your fears, courage to move forward, compassion to embrace another, and wisdom to surrender to the one who holds the reins.
— Yoga Journal

Jennifer HagermanComment