Facing Fear

Be Well Be Happy

Fear, realize it’s there and how it makes you feel, but acknowledge that one day you will look back on how silly it all is. Everyone has some kind of fear in their life. Being truthful and honest with your emotions is the best medicine to calm your fears and anxieties. There is a place and time for everything. All you have to do is recognize and respect how you feel. No judgments, no hang-ups, no embarrassment, just own it and become the witness of it all.

The only thing I fear is injury or loss of my loved ones. But I accept that one day they may not be here and often I pray I go first. That is the easy way out for sure. I believe there is something so much greater than what exists in this life but I don’t know anything for certain. So I make the decision to believe. Believe that fear exists for everyone in one form or another. The greatest gift you can give to yourself is to let go of these thoughts or preconceived notions that something bad is going to happen.

One of the greatest benefits of teaching yoga or taking a class is that you stay on your mat with your breath and movements without ever thinking about things that give you anxiety or fears. It is a special time with yourself, your positive intention and your higher source. It is as if the higher source takes over the space and allows you to connect to something special within. You begin to let go of life and all the struggles that come with it. There are many moments of peace along with the struggles of staying on your mat in the pose. There are times that you are tested on the mat, but if you stay focused with your breath and the asana (pose), you will release the struggles that you deal with on and off the mat. But you must sit with discomfort and learn to witness it as it passes by you.

I have learned to overcome fear in my life by leaning into it. Not running away or ignoring the issues but facing them head on. I know fear can be caused by crazy thoughts that may never even happen. I would like to offer the following for those of you who struggle with fear and anxiety.

Take a really deep breath in through the nose and open your mouth to let out the air.  Breathe like this for three breaths. Then close your mouth and breathe in through your nose and exhale out. As you breathe in, count to four, pause then exhale out to the count of four, pause and inhale to four, pause, exhale four, pause and continue breathing like this for two to five minutes. Add a finger mudra, connecting your thumb and ring finger to touch, Prithivi Mudra. This mudra helps to alleviate physical weakness and enhance stability and balance. It helps to overcome fear. Practice breathing in for the count of four, pausing, exhaling out for four, pausing and using this mudra to overcome fear and anxiety. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not, how shall I correct it? Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better? Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless. Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia? Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning.” ~ Mary Oliver

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