I’m just now realizing the irony of this being written days away from Halloween! Nevertheless, I’ve had this topic on my mind and in my heart for awhile. Up until now, I haven’t been able to figure out how to approach it. Nor have I had the time to even brush my teeth until 2 in the afternoon so… that’s scary. But in light of all the things life has been chucking in my face recently, I thought I’d write out what I’ve been feeling before my heart explodes.
Abhinivesha (fear or fear of death) is one of the 5 Kleshas in yoga philosophy. You can read all about them in the Yoga Sutras book by Patanjali. The Kleshas are obstacles in our spiritual paths hindering us from experiencing Yoga, and union with the Infinite or what I like to call God. Of course, if it’s not your personal goal to achieve union with the Infinite, I guess you needn’t read further.
There is another book called The Bible and it tells us not to fear 365 times; that’s a daily reminder for us to not be afraid. While I find that rather incredible and also take great comfort in it, I still experience fear in some form on a daily basis. I mean, we have to be afraid sometimes right? It’s what keeps us safe, even alive in some respects. Fear comes from our ego which, again, is there to protect us. But here’s where it gets real.
When I think about the decisions I’ve made based on fear, regret almost always follows. I wish I would’ve done that. Or damn, I shouldn’t have done that. We learn from practicing and living yoga that we should be living by our spirit, not our ego. I say in my class all the time, find that connection you have with your true inner self. We are love inside and out. Our spirit says, “take the chance” and “make your decisions with love in the forefront.” I have to remind myself to do those things DAILY. Discipline my children with love instead of fear that if I don’t, they’ll become apart of the ever growing asshole of society. Love, trust, and initiate affection when it comes to my husband even though I have scars on my heart from the first man in my life. Wah wah wah.
I watch the people I care most about miss out on what I think could be great opportunities for them because they’re afraid. Afraid to put themselves out there and love again. Afraid to live their lives true, open, and honest for fear of judgement. Afraid to slow down and actually take a moment to listen and feel what’s going on inside themselves.
So here’s the kicker, fear will always be there because ego will always be there. I think the key is to recognize fear by stepping back and taking a third person point of view and figuring out why it’s there. I’d like to live my life with an open and fearless heart on and off the mat (heart opening poses are my favorite). This wise gal says it best, “Openness doesn’t come from resisting fears but getting to know them well.” -Pema Chördön.
Well that’s what’s going on in my life currently. Maybe you can relate. Maybe not. Maybe you can start to see where fear shows up in your life or even just on your mat. I’m encouraging myself and those of you who took the time to read this to choose love over fear every time.