Fear can present itself in many forms, it can prevent us from moving forward, paralysing our feet to the ground, not allowing us to move forward in our lives, to take that next step, to become somebody that we've always dreamt of being but we've never had the courage. It can prevent us from taking the course that we've always wanted to do, it can prevent us from leaving an unhealthy relationship, one that isn't working for us anymore, that doesn't make us feel lit up, valued, supported or not made to feel the best we could possibly feel, which is how we ALL deserve to be. It can prevent us from doing things that others find super simple and super easy!
In my case, one of my fears has always been going upside down. As a yoga teacher I struggled with whether this ought to prevent me from teaching yoga full stop but I managed to reconcile that enough to begin teaching because I feel that this is such a small part of the yoga discipline in comparison to the enormous benefits I wanted to share with the world. As a personal goal it was always something that I wanted to work on and so in my private practice I attempt headstands on a good day, when I'm feeling courageous and strong and it remains a practice.
Recently my partner and I have started learning acroyoga together and part of the requirements for this was being able to handstand or even perform a hand to hand manoeuvre. The thought of that literally just filled me with complete and utter fear and I worried I would be letting us down as a couple and prevent us from being able to get past a certain level. I decided that I had two choices. I could either get on and learn how to conquer my fear or I could tell Matt that we were going to get stuck. That I was stuck. To top that off we have big plans for our acro practice so there was nothing for it but to face the fear head on and accept that I needed help. I wanted to get to know my fear, to allow myself to explore where it came from and to sit with the feelings that arose.
One of my earliest memories that I can still feel in my body today is being the least sporty person at school. I was rubbish at everything, picked last for the team and in no way gymnastic at all. This memory of embarrassment and shame has clung on for years and when you tie that together with my one and only handstand attempt ending up with me in a heap on the floor, I began to realise where this suppressed fear had come from.
Last week I received an offer of help, the chance to be part of a small group to work exclusively on hand to hand hold. I jumped (albeit with quivering legs) at the chance. Last night was my first session. I sat and watched as the rest of the group, at different capabilities attempted their version of the pose while I sat thinking, 'this is never going to happen for me!' I had two small attempts, each going a little further than the last, always feeling completely safe and supported, when it came round to the last attempt of the night.
With complete and utter trust in my teacher, patience and compassion for myself and a tiny bit of bravery, I went up. UP!! LEGS UP IN THE AIR! I may not hold the record for the longest hold but I was there, enough to be able to look back and see just how high my legs were, enough to feel the joy and the gratitude for myself and my teacher for their patience and enough to have the biggest smile on my face.
I now have photographic evidence of this upside down fearing woman, being UPSIDE DOWN. So the next time someone tells you you can't do something, the next time the voice inside you tells you it's safer to stay where you are you, ask yourself 'what if?' What if you took that next step? What if you took the outstretched hand of help? What if you took that leap of faith? I don't know what's on the other side of your rainbow but for me, massive smiles, 42 years later, I've done my first actual upside down balance. You're never too old, it's never too late, it's literally the desire to change, the desire to have courage and be brave, the desire to accept that you have a choice.
So if there's something that you have a fear of, something stopping you from making that change something that you want to change about your life and you don't know where to start, or the little voice inside says, 'But no-one in our family's ever branched out on their own', 'No-one in our family's been successful', you could be the first. You could be the first person to pave the way, to set a new intention, to set a new path.
I am here for you to greet you, to guide you, to support you on your own journey. I have a 3 month 1:1 Intensive programme running at the moment with space for just 2 people.
If this is creating all sorts of sparkly tingles in your body and you feel excited already then do reach out, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. You've got this!! Together we can change your reality.
In trust and gratitude,