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Living through fear


 Grief has limites, whereas apprehension has none. For we grieve only for what we know has happened, but we fear all that possibly may happen.
– Pliny the Elder –
The New Moon is usually a time to sit down, to assess, to cleanse and to begin anew. This time, we are also approaching the end of the year and with it, I begin to recall the experiences of 2022, my feelings and how I navigated through them. What have I learned? And how did I grow from them? One feeling that has regularly been coming back these past few months, is fear. This happened at specific moments throughout the year: the fear of losing my breath during COVID and pneumonia, the fear of my mother dying because of her spreading cancer, the fear of my partner leaving me because I am too difficult, the fear of growing old too fast, the fear of failing in my yogic path, the fear of taking away freedom from my children… And now I realise that all of these feelings boil down to the fear of letting go. Letting go of my grip on the future.

I realise now that I was putting my energy in the fear of a possibility instead of experiencing what truly existed. And when I put my energy in what is, here and now, I automatically let go of what may or may not happen, as I am focused only on what is. It’s difficult when people tell you that « you must let go » because how in the world does one let go of things that mean seem very important to us, such as our children, family, career etc.? Well, let us forget about « letting go » and focus only on experiencing the small and « real » things of the present. Yoga teaches us to do exactly this, through the practice of asana but even more so through meditation.

When I do this, I eventually become fearless, not because I am superwoman, but because the fear evaporates by itself; it literally ceases to exist as most of the time, it’s part of an uncertain future. While I already know this, I can only believe it when I experience the present. How does one « experience the present »? By feeling each one of our tiniest movements, actions or thoughts. Coming back to my fears, I choose to take long deep breaths when I am sick, to focus on the laughs with my mother instead of sadness, to be happy next to my partner instead of analysing his feelings, to embrace my wrinkles and the joyful moments throughout my 43 years on this Earth, to begin organising my first yoga retreat with all the risks it entails because I trust myself as a yogi, and to give more space to my children even if this means that I also begin to lose them a little bit for they are not « mine » to lose anyway.

Grief puts things back into the cycle of life, while fear stuns you in a paralysing way. So don’t be fearful of what has not happened. If the worst is to happen, then Nature will provide you with grief which you should use and travel through, step by step. In the meanwhile, let’s live in the small moments and take risks that make life worth while.

Sat Nam,
Yoga Sha