Face the Bear

A couple times this week, it was suggested to let the past go or drop what didn’t work for me and move forward. This is especially true with yoga. The first lesson we learn is that if you fall out of a pose, shake it off and get back into it.

This perspective has been a powerful tool for me. It makes life lighter if we can laugh at ourselves or shake off mishaps and mistakes. It keeps us present to what we are doing and what path we are following.

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But sometimes what’s behind us that we haven’t dealt with affects the path we are on. Sometimes we have to turn and face the bear that has been chasing us for a long time. I say bear only because if most of us saw a bear, we would probably run. However, if it’s literally a bear, the worse thing we can do is run. The bear will keep chasing us and possibly cause harm.

It may not be a bear, but your inner demons, grief, tragedy, pain, addiction, the list is endless. If we never face what is causing us to have to restart over and over again, then we can get stuck on our path.

So there needs to be a balance. I know grief will chase me my entire life. Turning around and acknowledging it took a long time for me. Doing that allowed me to move forward. I spent many years stuffing it down, and I still do when that bear gets too close. I tamp it down and run as hard as I can. So now my grief walks alongside me. It’s not something that will ever go away. It’s like a scar on my heart that out of the blue makes itself known. When I falter and have a day where I’m not as chipper as I usually am, or I can’t function, I’m kind to myself and let it be. I give myself permission to be with that grief, then I shake it off and move forward.

Life to me is in the moment, forward and backward. You can’t eliminate the past, but you can choose how you react to it. You can’t completely forget about the bear who is lumbering over you, but you also can’t let it prevent you from living.

Journaling is a way for me to revisit my past without allowing it to overwhelm me. And not everything in the past is bad, let’s be honest! How about turning and remembering the wonderful people and events in your life?! That propels you right past those demons.

Every new day is a chance to start over. Every moment is a chance to forgive ourselves and begin again.

What is chasing you? What stops you from moving forward? What would happen if you turned around and faced it and had a dialogue? How have you begun anew?

You never know, what you thought was chasing you may have only wanted to say hello.

Holding Happiness/Facing Fears

Knowing what makes you happy is the foundation of your emotional health. Bringing joy into your life is the shelter that protects you from the storms. It gives you the strength to rise up when difficulties in life and your fears pull you down.

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So many times we try to hide our fears through excuses or the masks we wear. We pretend we are stronger than we may be or that nothing fazes us. Wearing those masks and that armor literally wears us down until we don’t know who we are. Facing your fear and the darkness actually keeps you on the positive path to joy. What would happen if you changed your perspective and looked at fear as something that challenged?. Perhaps your fear is actually your soul saying, “Hey, you need to try this, because then you will grow.”

What are your fears? If you could talk to your fear, what would you say or ask? Do you fear revealing who you truly are, going back to school, getting out of a relationship, moving away from home, trying something new? When your fear shows its horrid face, it’s begging you to listen to it. It’s like having a nightmare. That’s the only way for your subconscious to get your attention when you still aren’t listening.

I fear that I’m not enough, that I won’t be able to help others when they need it most. I’m afraid to let my inner light shine, because I may fail.

It feels yucky. My stomach gets upset, my chest tightens, my voice shrinks, and I’m that little girl who was told that my dreams were just meaningless dreams.

To get rid of that feeling I need to go through it. Pain brings us to joy, because we know what the bad feels like. We grow gratitude by knowing how life can be. So when we face what we fear and do it anyway, we feel the lightness and joy of a great burden being lifted from our shoulders. We are empowered to face the next fear. We know we are back on track.

When I fight through the grip of my fears, I find myself:

Teaching writing workshops, because I have something to offer.

Helping children and their families during a tragic time, because with my compassion and empathy I can support them through their pain.

Writing my truth, because it heals me and gives hope to those who are having a hard time grasping their own.

When I face my fears, I know that:

IAMENOUGH