"...I decided to stalk my fear of heights. I'd perch on this tiny ledge high above a river filled with rocks. I'd stand there, at least twenty or twenty-five feet above the water, petrified, waiting for the fear to leave. But it never did- So I would jump anyway. I'd keep climbing up that ledge and jumping off five or six times, even though my heart hammered harshly in my chest. I realized the fear wasn't going to go away, but my paralysis within the fear would.
Sometimes I'd hesitate. I had this paradigm in my head: If I just stand here long enough, the fear will go away and I'll jump and I'll be fearless. That didn't happen. I discovered instead how not to be stopped by my fear. I tried stilling my fear by sitting down and breathing deeply, but that really wasn't all that helpful. After a while, I'd clamber all the way up and just jump right away so the fear wouldn't have time to build, the paralysis wouldn't deepen, and all the subterranean scary stories in my head couldn't bubble up. I didn't wait to feed the fear. I just took a deep breath, exhaled, and jumped. The fear was there, but it wasn't unmanageable. I'd believed that in order to do what I was afraid of, I had to get rid of the fear first, but that turned out to be only an idea, not the truth. You have to do something two hundred times before the fear will disperse. Are you still afraid of something? Just do it again. Do it again. Do it again.
1. Identify your fear.
2. Turn it around, hunt it, stalk it.
3. Stop making decisions based on fear.
4. Find the healing within the fear.
5. Snuggle up to your fear.
What exactly are you afraid of, and where did that fear come from? Start working that path of discovery. "
Gratitude to all the people who came out to class today, and to Ana Forrest for sharing her wisdom in her book Fierce Medicine.