The Role of Fear in Yoga

You are being challenged by our environment to adapt. You are being asked to grow your sixth sense– your intuition. But, when you try to listen to your intuition, you notice that you are being bombarded with messages from an overly anxious friend– your mind.

Most of these messages are junk, repetitive cautions. So, how do you know what is just habitual mental noise and what is intuition? You have to start challenging the noise.

When you begin carefully examining your mental noise, you notice that most of the noise is just the mind’s way of protecting you from either real, potential, or least likely dangers.

The real and potential may be valid. It is the least likely that you must challenge. Because, as you challenge the least likely messages, they lose their power. The mind simply (albeit slowly) learns that these messages are pointless, so it stops producing them.

As with any case, when the noise lessens, the silence heightens. In that silence, you begin discerning intuition from mind. Hence, becoming silent enough to listen is key.

This is what we are doing in yoga through meditation. You are intuition, your mind is, well…the mind. As you practice watching the mind, you are separating yourself from the mind. How? By not responding to everything it says.

You are allowing the mind to speak, but you are not doing as it commands (unless it’s cautioning about real danger in the moment). Instead, you are just watching.

As soon as you do as it says, you become one again. The more you let it speak without reacting, the more you become aware of your separation from your mind. Your ability to act autonomously from the mind increases.

So far, you had done what the mind had said to do. Now, you are doing different from the mind’s command. You are separating the servant (yourself) from the old master (mind). You become aware of yourself as the new master and the mind as your servant.

How to Begin Loving Yourself When You Don’t Know Where to Start

Down in the dumps survival kit:

  1. Take one day at a time. Don’t try to plan out more than a day.
  2. Minimize being around people who you feel judged by.
  3. Place any message that reminds you to relax and trust life by your head side. Read it first thing in the morning before the mind starts it’s negative talk.
  4. Drink water (maybe with lemon).
  5. Eat at least one good meal a day.
  6. Connect with a source of humor everyday (humor can be a real liferaft).
  7. Shower or bathe to remove toxic energy.
  8. Pay attention to the music you listen to. Only listen to those songs that make you feel good.

I Don't Know…and That's Okay!

I don’t know. Many years ago, this was the phrase on my phone wallpaper and I’ll never forget why. I had been dealing with a highly stressful situation for months. One day, I stumbled upon what someone had crafted as a funny phone wallpaper. It stopped me dead in my tracks. As I read the words, I realized that these were the three words behind my anxiety. Reading them was calming me down. So, I put it up as my phone wallpaper. Every time I read the words, “I don’t know,” I would whisper to myself “…and that’s okay!”

Known and Unknown, everything that happens, happens in the middle of these two realities. It’s the delicate moment balancing on the crest of our exhale and inhale. Known is the past, and unknown is the future. 

Out of our primal fear of survival, we try to minimize “the unknown” in the unknown. Yet, the future remains unknown. Our idea of safety remains just that, an idea. In reality, no one can predict what the next second of our lives brings to us. 

Letting go of our “idea of safety” to embrace the “truth of the unknown” can feel uncomfortable. But, this is a necessary step that we must lovingly usher ourselves into. After all, the road to truth is paved with nothing but…the truth.