Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Fear of Music: What to Do About That Talking in Your Head

I've been getting in touch with fear this week.  Although I thought I was willing to try almost anything in practice, I discovered that even small changes can throw me off balance and bring a rush of that fear coursing through my body.  Simple things such as more intense adjustments from a new yoga instructor, challenges in my regular practice and future work possibilities remind me that I'm not as courageous as I sometimes like to believe.

Fear is a necessary component of living.  It tells us that some behaviours are reckless, some actions and people are dangerous.  Fear allows us to exercise caution so that we don't think bungee jumping without a cord might be a good idea.  The trick is to harness fear, so that we can differentiate between new ideas and actions and true danger.

When fear prevents us from taking reasonable risks or exploring new territory, it becomes an impediment to joy.  If we are afraid to experience life outside our comfort zones, we are in danger of missing the music of life.  Our options decrease; experiences narrow until we are confined in prison cells of our own making.  If I never explore the boundaries of my work, I will never know how far I can reach.

Yoga and fibre work are teaching me to explore my limits, to work with my fears.  Rather than chastising myself for experiencing fear, I approach it as an experiment: "Isn't it interesting that I was so afraid to push myself in that pose?  Why am I so reluctant to try that new knitting stitch?"  When I step back and allow fear to settle, rather than listening to the voice crying, "No!," my actions become clear.  Negative chatter grows less demanding. My true Self knows what to do, how to do it and how far to extend myself.  I expand into the universe and my enthusiasm for life grows.

Playing with fear doesn't have to involve huge changes in our lives.  We can begin by exploring our routines and by asking what we can safely change.  If I always settle into a pose in the same way, can I deepen into that posture just a wee bit more?  If I always knit garter stitch scarves in plain colours, what will I gain by knitting a hat?  If spinning smooth 2 ply yarns is "my thing," what can I learn by spinning art yarns?

Crossing boundaries using baby steps usually shows me that life is not as frightening as I sometimes find it.  My actions tell me that there is much more to explore while I'm on the planet.  Those baby steps allow me to step back when I need to do so, but sometimes, they demonstrate that a leap of faith is what is required. I can run towards the music and all is well.


Where might a new road lead us?

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