Pesky Little Four Letter “F” Word

The last time I blogged the focus was on awareness. My pledge to awareness – to noticing, to staying, and to feeling – has been quite interesting. From this experience, I have taken the following: Once aware, it is impossible to un-know. The phrase, “Ignorance is bliss” has come to mind on more than one occasion. It seems awareness can be a gift as well as a curse.

A common thread which I’ve noticed presenting itself in my life is a pesky little four letter word.  One which I am not proud to admit has somewhat consistently been rearing its head of late. My belief is that all beings have the opportunity to carry out decisions, and ultimately the unfolding of this life, based upon a continuum. On one end of the continuum resides experiences associated with a love based expansive energy. On the other end of the continuum lies a fear based contracted state of existence.

My desire is to conduct my day to day in a manner which is in alignment with honoring the greater good for myself, as well as all those people, places and things with whom I have contact. Through embracing this love based reality, I find I am best suited to radiantly present in the world firmly rooted in who I am, and for what I stand. When I am not honoring this … well, let’s just say that the outcome is not near as expansive of an experience.

Unfortunately, the four letter word which has been showing up for me of late is NOT love. It happens to fall on the less than desirable end of the continuum. The word is … you guessed it … FEAR! Fear is so tricky. It’s tricky because I don’t know that there is a single human being who can escape this emotion.

I’ve been discussing this less than desirable feeling with those in my support system. I find that simply acknowledging this elephant in the room has the ability to diminish some of the power it has over me. Many well-respected authors seem to have written of this omnipresent emotion. A dear friend recently led me to a passage by one of my favorite authors, Marianne Williamson, on the topic at hand …

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be … As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

In my opinion, this passage speaks to the continuum to which I’ve referred. My experience has been that it is my yoga mat which consistently provides me with a place to face said fears!!! I once had a boyfriend antagonistically ask “Do you think that your yoga mat will be able to support you on this one, too?” as we were going through a rough patch. And the answer was/is, “YES!”

So rather than beating myself up over the fact that fear has been presenting itself, I’ve been embracing this as an opportunity to spend some quality time on my mat. I have found that stepping onto the mat provides me with a safe and supported environment to drop fully into the noticing, staying, and ultimately feeling out that which my newfound awareness has been shedding light upon. As the saying goes, “The only way to move forward is through.”

Has awareness ever yielded less than desirable feelings and/or emotions for you? Has the phrase “Ignorance is bliss” ever crossed your mind, too? How have you chosen to manage this experience?

Perhaps next time you might consider stepping onto the comfort and safety of your yoga mat to navigate through some of those feelings! Acknowledging and BE-ing with the uncomfortable can be growth inducing. By facing physically stumbling through poses while on the yoga mat, neural pathways are established. These neural pathways create the foundation for an opportunity for similar experience(s), in which you might feel safe to try to take a look at something that is less than desirable, outside of practice time while facing “real life” stuff. After all, once we know we simply cannot un-know. And so the option is yours … to flounder about with that knowing – OR – to move forward. How will you choose?!

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