Today I had it in my head that I would write about how excited I am to begin the in-depth intensive training that starts this evening. It has been a long time coming and the day has finally arrived. And yes, I am very excited about it. There is a beautiful group of women, whom some I know quite well while others I’ve not yet had the opportunity to work with, registered and ready to go. But the truth is that my stomach is flip-flopping and my breakfast is rolling around nauseatingly. I’m filled with uncertainty and doubting the content of the material I have worked so hard to prepare. And, I have a headache.
As it turns out, I’m equally excited and afraid.
I’m afraid of failing. I’m scared I’ll be a disappointment, that expectations won’t be met, and that I won’t have the answers to the questions that are surely to arise from the group. I could sit back and hold all of this in however the intention behind these posts, and my work as a whole, is to be as honest and authentic as I am ready to. Therefore, I share because I am human and fear is a legitimate ‘thing’ that we all experience.
Fear is as natural as the sunrise. It’s an instinct that we all have rooted to our basic survival needs. Will I have enough to eat? Will I have a safe place to live? Will I be alone, or will I have anyone to share it all with?
Yogically speaking, fear is described as a klesha, and a klesha is a Sanskrit word that characterizes something that causes hurt. When fear is in the form of a mental affliction, such as my own today, and not an immediate life-threat, it brings with it an unnecessary state of suffering, which can lead to long-term conditioning. So, I’m trying to rearrange my thoughts and think through this situation and my emotional debacle in this way:
Fear is like a cloud that hides the sun. Even though I know the sun is up, sometimes clouds shroud it causing a darkened, diluted, or and depending on how thick that cloud is, a lustreless sunlight. But the intensity and brightness of the sun itself hasn’t changed at all – I’m just not able to see it in all its brilliance from where I am standing.
What can I do about it? Well I could move to another location but depending on the size of the cloud, that could take a long time, resources and effort. Or, I could stand there in the shadow knowing that the cloud will eventually pass, and that I in time, with patience, trust, and humble determination to stick to it, I will eventually experience the sun in its full radiance from where I am. This, I’m learning, is the truth of the practice of tapas, one of the five Niyamas in the 8-fold path of yoga. Tapas is to keep showing up, fear and all, and to eventually burn off the clouds that shroud the light of what actually is.
With respect to the level of self-doubt that is with me today, I am trying to remind myself that I can only share and teach from the place that I current stand and comprehend. Time will change that. So too with continued study and growth. All of which I am committed to do.
How about you – how do you notice fear showing up and how are you learning to lighten it?