Here’s the things about fear and comments like: “Feel the Fear and do it anyway”.
Blanket statements like these really piss me off because they leave no room for reality. They encourage the mentality of being unpresent and not looking within – deeply. They oversimplify the dynamic reality of life.
The reality is is that fear has intelligence in it. There’s wisdom in fear, it brings a humility that seems to have long been lost in our society. Our society demands motivation and empowerment and casts away things like fear, sorrow, and inability. These things are a part of ourselves to be overcome, to force through.
But I call bullpoop, nothing within us is redundant.
There is wisdom in fear, it is not to be overcome but rather understood, looked at, seen and acknowledged.
To make it worse, as many people go seeking for more fulfillment in life, they encounter the well-meaning new age teacher that stands behind blanket comments like this. Not so subtly taking away the very thing most seekers seek. These statements lay a story that says something similar to how pushing your body is the equivalent to strengthening your spirit and being spiritual.
Most likely, The teacher has pushed themselves and look how well it turned out for them – or did it? How do we know what else they pushed aside deep within when they forced ahead with the idea or notion of having to push past fear. Did they dull some part of themselves as a sacrifice to the ‘god’ of motivation? Will it eventually catch up with them, always waiting for the moment to be seen? That niggling sensation that just never quieted down.
When someone offers a blanket statement, the red flags start going off. I get curious… Have they bought into the stories – or are they doing from a depth of understanding that arises from sitting with themselves and consequently the fear they are experiencing? Anyone who has sat deeply with themselves, will cringe at a blanket statement, knowing that this wisdom will be the proverbial double edge-sworded; used as both a weapon of empowerment and ignorance.
This points to the all too obviousness of life. Life isn’t all motivation and inspiration – we have to be willing to be and sit with fear, humility, death, frustration, and anger, and get the insights from those gems too.
The problem with blanket statements like this is that it’s another layer, a screen, a story added onto the top of many many stories, not only with life but within yoga. Yes, there are stories with yoga.
Yoga is a process of settling, of awareness, of quietening so that one can be real in the moment. It’s not touching your toes, or getting the toe over your head in King Dancer pose.
There is no enlightenment button that gets turned on when your forehead hits your knee; headstand only means what you want it to mean, there is no symbologoy other than the story that has been created in the mind – it’s just a headstand.
However, this must not be used as a scapegoat to not rise to meet that which must be met within. For each of us that is different…only you know what needs to met to move through life in peace. Maybe it is a headstand, maybe it’s to feel deeper, maybe it’s to face being still and silent.
So if fear arises – feel deeper – and do what needs to be done to met what needs to be met, see what needs to be seen, speak what needs a voice. Don’t blanket statement the reality of knowing away.
“Do you have the patience to wait
Till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Till the right action arises by itself?” – Lao Tzu
Feel the fear and feel deeper – what is it saying really? Is it highlighting that you truly are interested in this but are hesitant? What is the hesitation? Is it something you can work through? Is it real, or imagined? Does it just need to be seen and acknowledged?
Do you feel the fear and know deep down that this is something that you need to meet head-on? Then do it, but do it from depth of understanding, not a story.
Is it calling you to reclaim a part of yourself that lies adrift, waiting to be part of the whole again. There is wisdom and healing in the darkness, we must embrace and skillfully dance through both. The yin-yang symbol is both light and dark – one the seed and centre of the other. There are unsupportive features in too much light, just as there are unsupportive aspects of too much dark.
OR is the fear of the humbling kind, calling you back to your mortality and requesting more presence? Is it attracting you to something that is more in line with what’s deeper than a blanket statement. Does it require you to get help and support?
Don’t push through the fear – settle into it, understand it better – and make a choice that echoes from the depth of what you want – not what someone at the front of the room tells you to do, or a society that tries to emboss stories in your mind about what success should look like.
Yoga isn’t about motivation, it’s a settling process that leads to being aware. The more one looks, the more there is to see.
If there’s a big energy/emotional response to something (good or bad), then there’s something there to be seen.
There’s intelligence in fear but are we willing to take the space to really see what it means, and have the courage to act from that deep knowing.