when life throws you lemons, grab some vodka and make limoncello.
quite honestly, this is still something i am learning to do! progress, not perfection….
fearlessness isn’t the goal - in fact, i think it’s impossible. it’s a matter (for me, anyway) of finding healthier ways to deal with fear. my avoidance of fear has led me to some awful places. fear is necessary to keep balance. but when fear paralyzes us or destroys our lives or potential, then the balance is lost. living “in” my fear, giving my fear compassion and love, is enabling me to move forward and take giant leaps and have faith in life itself. ~k
life lesson number 35: “find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.” ~chuck palahniuk
fear. it’s in all of us. a monster gnawing away at our insides, preventing us from moving, from breathing, from discovering our true potential.
my fear-monster exists in two forms: i can’t and i’m not good enough. the i can’t stems from my childhood, from several surgeries and a heart that was strong yet broken, powerful yet defective. the i’m not good enough, well, i suppose that also stems from my childhood. always feeling like i am less-than, or not normal, or defective just like the beating muscle in my chest.
i’ve wandered this earth in search of a purpose. in search of answers as to why i’m here and what’s the point and what’s it all for. and along the way, i’ve stumbled and fallen down and lashed out at people without really knowing why i was lashing out. but now i know. the answer is fear. my avoidance of my fears, which were building inside me despite my ignoring them. the fear unleashes itself anyway. it always does.
fear drives us. we either run from it and live our lives running, or we fight it. i’ve done both, and neither has worked particularly well for me. but i recently discovered a third option: to live in the fear. find a home in my fear. find a place for myself inside my fear. find a cozy little corner with warm light and a soft blanket and a comfy couch in which i could sit inside of my fear and really get to know it, really work my way around it and understand it and *gasp* send it some love and light.
during a recent yoga teacher training weekend i conquered my fear of inversions. i went upside down in headstands and handstands. the upside-down-ness scared the shit out of me, because what if my eyes popped out of my skull or what if i became dizzy and passed out? what if all the blood rushed from my defective heart and into my brain? what if i had a stroke or a heart attack or both? what if i fell and snapped my neck?
in every attempt to do inverted poses in the past, my fear overruled my desire. my i can’t or i’m not good enough overruled my i can and i am certainly worthy. but this particular weekend, thanks to some soul-sister support, i conquered my fear. i went upside down. and i loved it. but it was more than just getting into a headstand without my heart exploding. it was the realization that living in my fear, becoming buddies with it and sending it some love and light, enabled me to take another step in overcoming it. the headstand was simply a physical form of many i can’ts in my life. i discovered that i can. so it translates to other areas. it recycles again and again until all those i can’ts are obliterated.
this shift prompted me to settle in even further with my fear. the i’m not good enough has kept me from reaching out to people from my past, people still near and dear to my heart, with whom i’ve had troubled times or falling outs or whatever other drama that may have existed at the time. so once again, i looked my fear in the eye, took her in my arms, and told her that i love her. that i understand her purpose in my life. and together, my fear and i took the leap.
nothing is actually so scary as what your mind makes it out to be. once you get to know your fear(s), really feel your way around them, amazing things begin to happen. you find out that you are limitless in your capacity for loving and giving and receiving. you find out that anything is possible. you find out that living in the fear, facing it, doing it, is not nearly as bad as imagining all the horrible things that little fear-monster can throw at you. so send your fear some love. send it some light. send it some compassion. tell that fear-monster that you understand and you want to be his or her friend. you’d be surprised at just how quickly the monster that’s been preventing you from doing turns into the angel that enables you to DO.