Breathing Through Fear
I heard the wind come up from behind and whirled about to see if anyone was there, although logically I knew there was no one. This annoyed me. I didn’t want to feel fearful on my favorite woods walk. In the past, I might have dealt with this by redirecting my thoughts, or I might have cut short my walk and gone home. This time, I was inspired to try a different approach. I breathed into the fear. I allowed myself to feel it inside and breathe into it. After a few deep breaths, I was surprised to discover that underneath the fear was a feeling of excitement. The more I breathed into it, the more I felt the excitement.
The fear melted away. The dark, snow-lined branches surrounding me looked beautiful now. The drifting snowflakes like magic. I closed my eyes and breathed into that feeling, feeling myself expanding out of the constricted state of fear right into a feeling of connection and alignment. I pulled energy up from Mother Earth and into my heart. I pulled energy down from the Great Central Sun and into my heart. I felt the connection and sent love out and in, up and down. I pushed my hood down and turned to feel the exhilaration of the wind on my face. An amazing experience begun in fear!
What a concept, fear is excitement without the breath. But what is the excitement? Perhaps it is the realization that I don’t have to be afraid of fear. I don’t have to struggle against it. There’s a thought.
Before I started on the path of spiritual development, I spent most of my life feeling afraid. Then I learned that I could take charge of my thoughts and change my experience. It was amazing. The flip side of that, however, was that I struggled against feeling fear, anxiety, stress. Telling myself that if I could just keep my thoughts positive, I wouldn’t be dragged into those negative emotions. My thoughts took another tack then and turned into a litany of criticism for not staying positive. Sigh. What we resist, persists.
We don’t always manage to stay positive and maybe that's OK. After all, we chose to incorporate in this dual Universe of plus-minus, positive-negative, for the experience of both sides of the coin.
What if we greeted fear simply as an one expression of life? What if we choose to allow the feeling, breathe into it and BE with it. As we release the struggle, it will rumble through, rather like that freight train of wind blowing past, clearing the air so that we can experience the connection and love which lie just behind.
Given this experience, next time fear comes up, I might greet it with a deep breath and a feeling of positive anticipation. Hey, it could happen.
Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash
Life is full of spiritual lessons. Some feel good, some not so good. All support us to grow. This blog is about my life lessons. Perhaps you'll find yourself within these stories.