Love is what we are born with, fear is what we learn.
How do you grow strong at your broken places? We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some of us choose to remain broken. What keeps us in the darkness? Most often it is fear. Fear can stop us from living our best life, from going after our dreams, speaking our truth, doing the things we long to do. Fear can be paralyzing and controlling. It keeps us small.
When you look underneath painful emotions like anger, shame, and depression, you will often find unresolved fear. To release these fears and other self-defeating patterns, which keep us small and isolated, we can practice mindfulness.
There are a number of books written on the practice mindfulness, and many ways to incorporate it into daily life.
As a yoga teacher, this is precisely what I try to share with my students. Coming to your mat isn’t just about the physical asana practice; it is also about learning to quiet the monkey mind. I teach The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali to my students in an effort that they might carry a little bit of their practice off their mat and develop a practice of mindfulness. I feel it is important to use all the yogic tools we have access to, in addition to meditation, to alleviate discomfort (fear) and bring us closer to a sense of steadiness where we might shine the light of awareness on the fluctuations of the mind.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras describe kleshas as impediments to spiritual growth. There are five (5) kleshas, or negative mental states that cause suffering. Yoga Sutra 2.9 specifically classifies abhinivesha as fear of death. As one of the kleshas, abhinivesha works to block enlightenment and liberation. Many yogis also interpret it as general fear and anxiety that causes suffering. This fear can prevent one from living their best life. Yogic practices, such as meditation and pranayama breathing exercises, provide methods to overcome abhinivesha.
Personally, I believe that the clinging quality of abhinivesha holds priceless insights into what really matters to you. As you let go of the things you hold dear, you gradually affirm that each one is not, after all, as important as you once thought; and as you progressively let go, your life’s goal and ultimate purpose becomes more and more clear. Just like coming to one’s yoga mat, it is a practice that one must come to over and over.
To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around. ~Richie Norton