I recently had a lesson in patience. As an impatient person, I learn this lesson a lot. This time my lesson had a fair dose of Fear and anxiety thrown in. The worst thing was, I couldn’t do anything about it, I just had to wait for the outcome. Have you ever had this experience?
As a long time yogi, I have gotten accustomed to noticing the signs of my anxiety and Fear level’s rising (skipping meditation, being particularly busy with non important tasks, avoiding important things etc).
Of course I have my go to mentors to help me out… Thich Nhat Hanh is usually my first point of call. This time I picked up his book, Peace is Every Step. In this book there is a great little section on fear called ‘Transforming Feelings’. In this section, Thich Nhat Hanh talks about recognising each feeling as it arises from you- as we do in the practice of mindfulness. Then we must become ‘one’ with Fear. Recognising that Fear is a part of you, as is every other thought and emotion. Then to acknowledge that you are MORE than just your Fear, and you don’t need to be afraid. Then Thich talks about calming the Fear through the breath. Knowing that the feeling is not important, it is only a feeling. Then let it go.
When I practice and teach yoga and meditation, I talk a lot about letting go. I also like to use the breath as a tool for focus, clarity and calm. I find focussed movement, breath and meditation helps me to find peace and balance, and in this case help me be more patient and less Fearful.
So, what is the message here? Did it work? Well, it worked pretty well. I went back to my meditation practice, and during this time I asked myself what I was fearful of? Did I need to be fearful? My rational brain and heart knew that everything would be ok, I was just fearing an outcome that may not even happen. That came through in my meditation practice, and even my yoga practice (of which for me yoga and meditation are often at the same time). I found I also needed to recite a mantra about my fear during times in the day (or night) when required. I focussed on acknowledging the fear, and reminding myself that I would be ok, regardless of the outcome. I also focussed on my fear being able to teach me an important lesson in letting go of the outcome and learning to be patient and flow with where my path led.
I was able to calm my fear, and learn a little more patience. And you know what, the outcome was ok after all.
Perhaps next time you notice you are anxious and fearful, take some time out to sit tall and comfortably in a quiet spot and breathe- allow yourself to connect with your breath.
Here is a little exercise for you…
Imagine your breath is a river or stream and allow it to flow in and out of your body. Watch your fear as it arises and ask why you are fearful? Imagine yourself as an observer asking these questions. Do you need to be fearful? What is your fear teaching you? Then exhale and allow the fear to flow out of your body and into the stream of your breath. Inhale positive energy and then exhale and let go of your fear. Do this for a few minutes or until you feel better. You may like to repeat this more than once. This should help you feel calmer.
Remember, you are what you eat, so don’t let your fear eat you up- you are better than that! Namaste, Sarah x