Tag Archives: self

Fear(less.)

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fear is one of the strongest forces that holds us back from doing something. that is fascinating, when you think about it, because fear is a learned behavior. when we are born, we have no sense of fear. babies have no idea that they aren’t invincible. to be fair, i doubt i realized that i was invincible until i was well into my teens. when we are young, we believe that we can do anything. jump off a moving swing and hit the ground without injury? absolutely. jump into ten feet of water without knowing how to swim? sure thing. ask any child what they want to be when they grow up, and you’ll receive countless answers of fame, fortune, and power. besides my cousin, Luke, no one says that they want to be a garbage man when they grow up(and that is a damn fine profession for those who go that direction, but he is a project manager at a medical center, and probably much more content). no, instead we get the replies: a princess! a baseball player! a movie star! a doctor! it is wonderful because there is absolutely no fear of failing, of injury, of not being good enough. you just are, and when you’re five, just being is good enough. so when exactly do we develop this fear of not succeeding, of not being good enough, of not being brave enough, of making a decision and being wrong.

is it our family? those people who have such plans for all of the wonderful things you will do. family always wants the best for you, right? i don’t doubt that this statement is based on truth, but the issue i have with it is, how does anyone but you know what’s best for you? no one else has ever lived your life. that sounds sort of snarky, i suppose, but it truly isn’t. you are indeed the very first person to ever live your life. it would be impossible for anyone else to know what will work best for you. honestly, you don’t know yet either, but unless you jump in, you’re certainly never going to find out.

is it society? those people who don’t know you at all but have seemed to set guidelines for which all lives should be lived? we are quick to judge those who don’t follow the “rules” of what is acceptable. we move relentlessly toward achievement, productivity and goal attainment. our lives are measured in terms of success and achievement and we lose perspective on what it may mean to actually live.  we are different, and it would be impossible for everyone to live the same, yet the same goals and expectations are thrown upon everyone-and we’ve grown to call it “the norm”. as in, normal. normal? the very definition of normal is “average, common, regular.” average, common, and regular? is that really what we are striving for? how is it that so many people can be satisfied with being common and average? i can’t speak for anyone else, but personally, i need to reach much more satisfying heights. there is no part of my being which feels the overwhelming urge to be regular.

whichever combination of these things it may be, there is no doubt that we have acquired a tremendous fear of actually living our lives. everyone who has ever succeeded at anything, has overcome that fear and pushed through to achieve what they genuinely want. does it matter if no one else believes in you? not if YOU believe in you. does it matter if no one has ever done it before? not if YOU are willing to give it a shot. we need to acknowledge that we may not succeed, but refuse to give that thought any power. when you sincerely believe that you can do something, you will never fail. you may not succeed in the way that you originally planned, you may have tremendous setbacks, you may want to quit-but if you just keep pushing through, undoubtedly things will fall into place. there is nothing to fear if you have faith in you. as long as we live in fear, we will be less than we deserve to be. no one is meant to be average, common, and regular. embrace whatever your fearless, unconventional, extraordinary heart desires.

be-fearless

 

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no-maste

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yoga. it’s a practice rich in self-enlightenment, meditation, spiritual teachings, and becoming one. namaste. when walking into the room, you are hit with warm quiet air. sometimes the earthy, slightly sweet, i-just-walked-into-a-moist-dark-basement smell of patchouli swirls through the room. half a dozen to 3 dozen(did you splurge for a morning class or join the community $6 a head class?) half-dressed people, all in the latest yoga fashion, quietly stretching on their mats. each trying to stretch further and making it look completely flawless. simple, easy, flowing postures, that surely took much practice. unrolling your yoga mat in just the right spot(for me-far from the mirror, in a dark corner near the exit), carefully unfolding your towel and sitting down legs stretched out in front of you. you lean down into it and realize its slightly more difficult than everyone else is making it look. your slightly too large chest is preventing you from leaning all the way into your “my natural metabolism and love of french fries makes me a little squishy and not so flat” stomach. that’s okay, you’ve got this. you like exercise and you like feeling a good sort of burn. focus on the toes…reach…reach…whew, success. now hold it. ahhh, don’t let go! your boobs are squished so much its a little uncomfortable…just a second longer..shit, okay, now it straight up hurts. i can, i can, i can’t…so, leaning back. okay, wow. that was tough. but, you succeeded. yay! score. excellent. you look around the room and realize that the instructor has just walked into the room. looks like that will be all the stretching you can get in beforehand. that’s alright, you’ve got this….

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…and if you would stop the constant chatter in your head, you DO “got this”. that’s where i get caught up. for me, the yoga studio is one of the most uncomfortable places i can possibly be. the judgement, the higher-than-thou attitude, the false sense of perfection. unfortunately, when entering the studio being what many would consider to be slightly less than perfect, you are often met with stares of seasoned yogis, seeming to ask you why you think you deserve to be in their presence. namaste is the phrase in which most people associate with yoga. namaste has a deep and spiritual significance. it recognizes the belief that the life force, the divinity, the Self or the God in me is the same in all. acknowledging this oneness, we honor the god in the person we meet. unfortunately, many practitioners have no real knowledge of the true meaning of the word they so often utter. namaste. one. we are all one. there is no room for judgement. namaste isn’t separation. its isn’t not good enough. there isn’t any “no” or “not”. yoga is a practice in self. self-development, self-fulfillment, self-realization, self-esteem, self-adjustment, and most importantly, self-LOVE. when i walk into the studio, i immediately lose my self-confidence. yes, its true that yoga folks can be some of the nastiest, judgmental people i have ever met(i also know some beyond wonderful practitioners), but it is also true that i do not need to pay attention to their judgement. there is no size, physical, or emotional requirement to practice yoga. some extra(or a lot extra) pounds, an injured knee, a cynical mindset, or lack of self-esteem, does not prevent you from becoming your best self while becoming a flexible, enlightened yogi. enlightenment. its what yoga is about. pay attention to self, and only self…you got this.