My goal during my last 30-day-challenge was to “stop being afraid.”  I have recognized for a while now how much fear can hold me back from doing the things I want to and need to do in my life.  Fear of unknown, fear of consequences, fear of vulnerability, fear of getting hurt.  By recognizing that fear was holding me back, I have been able to make strides by forcing myself to push through my fear.  “Don’t be afraid” is what I told myself this while buying my first car recently, while signing the lease to a new apartment, and while I severed a long term partnership last month.  What I have come to learn, is that fear, while totally normal and acceptable, is not a reason to stop moving forward.  It is not a reason to say no when the answer should be yes.

Fear of pain is a fear that comes up for me often both in and out of the yoga studio.  I am terrified of hurting myself.  I don’t want to push too hard in some stretching postures because I’m afraid of what might happen to my body, and I am afraid of looking at emotional situations head on because I am afraid of what it will do to my heart.

In yoga recently, it has been very hard for me to dive into the practice mentally, because I am afraid of the pain that is inside my heart.  I feel very sad during so much of class, and today I found myself repeating over and over “don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid,” because I needed to push through that fear, and feel that pain, in order to release it. 

At some point during the floor series, I did allow my emotions to come to the surface, and I had a very interesting experience.  I felt that my grief was tangible.  I thought I was able to truly take it out of my body and look at it head on, and in doing that I decided (however ugly it was) my grief was manageable.  I am not a believer in God in the religious sense, but I do like the saying that “God will never give you more than you can handle.”  When we are given these challenges in life, it does truly force us to become better, stronger, more compassionate individuals.

I stopped being afraid of my grief.  I confronted my feelings face to face, and I feel I will be able to begin moving through them now.

Bravely yours,