Let’s talk about Fear

Fear, it’s a funny thing; it keeps us safe, but it can also hold us back.

In an effort to work with my fears, I’ll be completely honest with you; right now, my fears are holding me back from achieving my highest potential. Part of this fear is a fear of the unknown; part of this fear is the fear of failure (whatever that means); and part of this fear is the fear that I will need to continue to live up to this heightened state – the status quo allows me to sit back and take breaks/rest/find balance and I fear that living a life where I strive to achieve my highest potential will mean losing the ability to relax.

Now the funny thing about fear is that it can be completely and utterly deceptive. Because fear keeps us from the unknown, only my imagination can “tell” me that these are fears to be concerned about. When, in reality, I don’t know if that’s what will happen. I’m sure there will be moments when I will feel the need to rest or take a break so I don’t think this fear is a rational fear.

Rational versus irrational fear. Rational fears keep us safe from physical danger. These are good fears to pay attention to – we can still take calculated/educated risks in life, but these are the fears we have to keep us alive.

Irrational fears, although they may present physical symptoms, hold us back from taking safe and calculated movements that take us outside of our comfort zone. Take a look at these fears, examine them – are they real? Are they rational? Are they irrational? What are we afraid of? What’s the underlying message behind the fear? What is the deeper emotion? What can you do, today, that is a baby toe step outside of a fear? What aren’t you going after because of your fear?

The most important step to take, is the first step.

In love,
Alannah

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Yoga Musings

Instead of sleeping (or being out on a Friday night) I thought I’d share a few random thoughts I’ve had recently.

Yoga Goggles
There are many reasons why men should practice yoga: build strength, stretch and lengthen muscles, improve movement and functionality of the body, stress reduction, challenge…fit women in luon (whatever gets you there boys!), but here’s another reason for (single) men to roll out a mat: Yoga Goggles. Yoga Goggles act similar to Beer Goggles, but healthier; when an average looking guy chooses to attend a yoga class of his own free will, he instantly becomes hotter! I highly recommend you come to class and say hi to the cute girl sweating next to you.

Being “Good” at Yoga
I recently met someone who has never practiced yoga, so I shared that now, I can’t imagine my life without a regular practice; however, it took me many years to get to this point. His reply was “you must be pretty good at it”; which got me thinking, that’s really the amazing thing about yoga, there’s always a new layer to peel back and discover!

He then asked for an example and this was my response:
It’s a pretty cool form of exercise because as you practice, your body gets stronger AND more flexible and your mind becomes quieter. So as those changes occur, new poses become available for you, and new feelings within old poses arise. When I started, I had the physical strength to do handstand, but my fear (head/thoughts) was my limiting factor, now my head is catching up to my body.

As these thoughts dance inside my head during my practice, I also marvel at how those changes and shifts can happen daily; some days my arms feel strong and some days my hips feel tight and pinchy; all those combinations alter the practice each and every moment!

I was talking to someone else recently about yoga and equated it to growing out your hair (guys, this might not make sense): for months, it feels like your hair hasn’t grown at all, then one morning, you wake up and notice “all of a sudden” your hair is longer. I touched on this in a previous post, but I feel it fits in well here and is worth repeating: yoga (and life) is not always about achieving the next pose (goal), sometimes it’s about building the foundations, getting stronger in other ways, then “all of a sudden”, poof, the pose is there for you (you’ve achieved that BHAG, your hair has grown)!

Fear is a funny thing…

2012 has been a goal-crushing year so far: I got laser eye surgery, ran my first 10 km race, maintained a strong (almost) daily yoga practice, paid off my Visa, completed my first half marathon and jumped out of an airplane! Here’s the thing, I’m STILL terrified of losing control; this fear severely limits my ability to crush my goals of feeling comfortable in forearm balance and handstand, not to mention falling in love.

I recently ran into an old yoga friend of mine from Kelowna and we got talking about yoga and my recent goal-crushing and I had an ah-ha moment during our conversation. I realized that I’m happy to be in control or completely hand over control to someone I trust, but I can’t LOSE it. Here’s the difference: when I went skydiving, the person I jumped with had already earned my trust and had already proven his ability to maintain control so I was perfectly comfortable handing him full control of the situation; however, when I go to invert, there isn’t someone there to take over control; it’s me, and only me.  Here’s the sad part of this realization: I don’t trust myself enough.

My distaste for losing control is partly positive; it means that I don’t have the desire to try drugs and won’t allow myself to get drunk. On the other hand, I think it might have something to do with my fear of commitment and falling in love. Oh, and it is obviously hindering my yoga ASANA practice; however, not my YOGA practice as working through this IS my yoga practice.

I had hoped that jumping out of an airplane would help me break through my fear of losing control, but because I was able to fully hand control over that didn’t happen; so now it’s up to me to build up my CONFIDENCE IN MYSELF instead of being scared or putting my trust completely in someone else.

Bucket List Goals!

Well, it’s a stormy summer night in Vancouver, and I’m not watching Batman like I was supposed to (see earlier post), so instead, I’m post-happy!

Last weekend I did something I NEVER thought I’d do! I went skydiving! O-M-G!

I think I mentioned in an earlier post not to judge yourself and what you think your life will be like and this was one of THOSE experiences! So here’s the story, maybe you can learn from my “mistakes” (read: be careful of the commitments you make, but allow others to help you push your boundaries).

Once upon a time, I was crushing on this guy who loved to skydive. After 11 meetings, he asked me out and we started dating. During our first few dates we talked about his love of skydiving and my fears of jumping out of perfectly good airplanes; he shared that his goal was to become a Tandem Master and, being a “girl in like,” I told him that when he achieved his goal, I would celebrate with him by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane strapped to him. Well, this summer, three years after I made this commitment, he achieved his monumental goal, and, even though we are no longer together, he strapped me to him and we jumped out of a perfectly good airplane together…and it was AMAZING! I think sharing that moment with him was just as amazing as jumping out of the plane 🙂

There are only a few people in this life that are able to give us the support to push our limits; allow them to do that!