Fear. Fear! Natural and Good.
Here is Eastern State Penitentiary, in my hometown, Philly. Every cell in this prison was a solitary confinement. Each prisoner had their own teeny backyard and a little slit to allow a sliver of sunlight, but never saw or touched another person their entire sentence. Yikes!
Talk about fear. This kind of solitary confinement frightens me because I am such such such a social creature. The thought of solitary confinement and not speaking to another person for years scares me, but if I were confined, I might be able to fall into the grace of silence and embrace its gifts through meditation.
My cat has massive oral action right now, two teeth removed and an abscessed lip. I was scared to take him to the vet because I didn't want him to be sicker than he actually is. I feared loosing this 13 year old chubby kitty of mine after so much time together. The night I had to leave him at the vet, I almost wept, feeling guilty about letting him get so sick and imaging my home with out him. I mediated that night and the fear and guilt slipped into acceptance and appreciation for knowing this furball. (Kitty's fine, still fat, now on antibiotics.)
I also fear the raw power of true spirit. You know how freaky it is to glimpse of your absolute true potential? If you've seen this part of you, you may have been frightened to the bone. I am. To *really* grow into my fullest shining is frikking scary. Today, I thought about turning the fear into anticipation...anticipation for the greatest transformation and change. I gotta turn that fear around180 degrees in order to allow myself to truly follow my dharma and fulfill my highest goals. My fear comes partially from conditioning, partially from low self confidence and feeling like I don't deserve to be my fullest. These are *deeeep* seated fears. I'm gonna killit with a skillet and turn that frown unpaid down.
Fear can be a great, protective energy. Right now, it's not serving me and the best way to combat this tamasic (lethargic) fear, is to do the most radical thing I can think of: sit on my meditation cushion and embrace it. See ya on the flip side, glowing and growing.
Mia Park is a ParaYoga teacher in Chicago, IL, specializing in teaching Basic Yoga for Advanced Misfits, as well as teaching people how to cut through the junk to shine on.