The default state of fear is so familiar. Waking up from a deep night’s sleep after fearful dreams. Washing and brushing teeth, there’s something coming up to be afraid of. Sitting in the corner of the bedroom, fear is around the corner. Fear of the past, fear of the future. Sitting still, birds singing outside, body strong and comfortable on the cushion, what’s to be afraid of? I don’t know. But it’s there, seemingly. Without going in any direction I held the fear close, noticing its flavour and substance, and how it felt in the mind and the body. So familiar. There for as long as I can remember. There’s something to be afraid of, there’s something to be afraid of. At least right now, I think, there’s nothing. No one to interact with, nothing I have to do. So fear is a residue or imagination and those can be met in stillness, now, while I’m sitting here. It soon becomes clear that I am intwined with the fear, it’s not something other than me. Just feeling it, allowing it near, suddenly there is no fear different from me. My very attitude seems to be the fear itself. There’s not a thing made of fear, it seems to have no substance of itself but only in relation to me. I can’t say that it ended or dissipated or dissolved entirely but there’s now a handle on it, the way it works and the way I work. And the key to this tricksy lock seems to be in nothing but awareness. Not a doing of awareness but simpler than that.
It’s all caught up with me today, almost exhausted after the moving, decorating, the underlying emotions of C moving, the work on the flat here and this evening, the yoga teaching. I didn’t have much ooomph for the class but I enjoyed teaching it once I was there. Beforehand, as each week, the flight response so strong, the wanting to cancel, to walk away, to not bother, to find any excuse. But each week I go through with it and despite the nerves it does ease something deep inside that has long been fearful. I was very much in touch with this shameful fear on the yoga teacher course, often listening to a small voice asking why are we doing this, not wanting to it, wanting to stay with mother, stay safe, and not mix with these outsiders. To this I listened, I accepted, I loved. And now I am doing something I never thought I would be able to, something I have run from my entire adult life and most of my childhood. It’s hard but there is nothing else for it. And I get to share the thing I love, the thing I have stuck with longest in this life: yoga. I have total respect for this ancient art.
Steps stepped: 6044