Fear is Just Excitement without the Breath

Just read that blog title again – fear is just excitement without the breath…

I have thought of all sorts of profound things to say about this revelation that I have had. One, I’m not sure if it needs that much explanation. And two, I’m not sure that I am that profound…

Often I feel that the things we fear the most stem more from a fear of coming to learn something new about ourselves than anything else. Fear does comes from an instinctual desire to protect our chances at survival. Typically, we associate survival with defending ourselves physically from harm.  But think about it, don’t we tend to get the most protective when we’re trying to defend ourselves from emotional, mental or spiritual harm? And, how many of us are often in situations where something/someone is attacking our chance at physical survival? Hopefully not too much or at least I don’t think as often as we are in emotional, mental and spiritually fearful situations. When we fear work situations, familial strife, changes in romantic relationships and friendship connections we tend to become the most vulnerable – the most protective of ourselves.

Leaning into fear is, well, scary. However, I think leaning into understanding our fear is an entirely different perspective that is less scary. Probably more genuine and honest than we are used to, but absolutely less scary. Once we know what it is we are fearing, we take away the power of that thing to influence how we respond to it – at least to a certain extent.

When people see the word “breath” they may immediately think of  yoga – especially since this website is yoga-focused.  So yes, that is by design, but breath doesn’t have to be linked to a “yoga posture” for it to be yogic.  Sometimes it may just mean closing our eyes for a moment.  Sometimes breathing through fear takes minutes, hours, days, weeks, months…The process of breathing through fear may just be a continual progression that happens over longer periods of time than we prefer.

We just have to be careful that we aren’t breathing into fear without letting the excitement part truly resonate. We also have to be careful to let go of the fear and lean into the excitement of the situation when appropriate. I think we tend to become so fearful that we miss opportunities to enjoy thrilling situations in life.

Some people think letting go of fear is a “leap of faith”. But see, if you learn to understand what it is you are really afraid of, you aren’t making any leaps. In fact, you are just learning what it is you want and letting it in on your very own, genuine, less scary, terms.

Music for Today:  Skinny Love, Bon Iver (For Emma, Forever Ago, 2008)

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