Conquering fear

Conquering fear

If you would have told me 25 years ago, I would be teaching yoga and running a business, I would have flat out laughed in your face, for the sheer impossibility of that happening.  I honestly don’t know, if (like Forest Gump said) we are all floating around, and what is good for us, comes to us, or if God is directing our play, happening things in our lives.  I might guess it’s a little of both, because God always gives us free will to pick and choose the events in our lives.  Reflecting back on my life, each series of events has brought me to face my hidden fears.  Fears, I had no idea I was hiding.

During my yoga teacher training, I realized that I was going to have to get in front of a class, and teach them yoga.  This is something I had never done, public speaking, and when that time came, I was shaky, with sweaty palms, and I’m sure nerves on fire.  Somehow I got through it, and passed.  This story I tell my current teacher trainees, and one asked me, “how long did it take before that went away?”  I reflected and said, “Oh, a couple of years”!  Yes, you might be surprised, that these little butterfly feelings come on strong, especially when I’m in front of a new group.  Teaching yoga is not something that comes natural to me, but I’ve had to work at.

The same is true with aerial practice.  The first time I got into the hammock, I promptly somersaulted out of it.  This is not something I care to repeat, because it hurt.  At once, I realized that this little piece of fabric could be my friend, or worst enemy.  Much like Yoga practice, the hammock reveals the deepest pain, and your worst weakness, all at once.  It promptly strips down all barriers, and presents them to release.  Like yoga, it wants you to be strong and flexible.  Now I can go and help others, and it is a wonderful thing, something I had never dreamed of doing, helping others release their fears.   One brave soul came up to me, and wanted to try aerial.  Already a current member, she was worried about the rocking and swinging sensation the hammock might do, as she gets motion sickness easily.  We took it easy, with lots of praise, and words of encouragement; she has finished her 4th class, and is feeling so comfortable.  Last class, I taught her star (see picture), and the look on her face is something I will never forget, for it is what drives me forward.  So proud of herself, and she should be, because facing your fears, and then CHOOSING to do something to get rid of them, is a beautiful thing.

Why do I think this is wonderful;  Facing your fears?  Facing my fears has developed courage, compassion, wisdom and resiliency.  After I have pushed myself to face my fears, I realize that they do not define me, but simply show themselves and allow me to rise up in strength, knowing I have the tools to conquer this situation.  In our mind, sometimes our fears blow up and we believe they are worst than they really are.  Facing my fears helps me to stand  taller, and move about in this life with grace, for I know how hard it is to face them.  It defines my teaching, because I know how hard it is to show up for yourself and even take a yoga, aerial class, or anything new.  Go ahead, push yourself, you’ll be glad you did!

See you on the mat,

Paula

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