The Path to Freedom
Sitting on the deck this morning enjoying a moment with my girls and the warmth of the sunshine I was happy, content.
We moved inside and as I nursed my youngest I felt and noticed a tick crawling on my hand.
And…. Cue FREAK OUT! I flick it off of me and as it lands on the coffee table I grab the nearest thing and end it as quickly as possible!
FREAK OUT cont’d… the mind commentary…
Oh my goodness what are we going to do they are everywhere, we are not safe. Our dog will bring them all inside, my girls are not safe, someone will be bitten and become very ill! Must check the girls now, so I SCREAM “everyone strip down, let’s check for ticks!” Check the dog, she was rolling in the grass…but I will probably miss them and they will be in the house. We need to move. How do we take away all trees, bushes and long grass in our yard? We can’t go outside all summer. We need to sell this house.
Two hours have passed and the mind continues with its rant. Wait! Have I even taken a breath??
Step away from the mind, let the thoughts go. Surrender to prana. Trust and rest in the breath. Allow the breath to release the body tension. Keep breathing, move through the fear. Release the body, release the thoughts, release the patterns.
What stops us from trusting, from letting go, from flowing with life? I believe it ultimately comes down to FEAR.
How well do you cope with fear? Does fear rule you or do you live fearlessly?
It is somewhat reassuring to know that there is a physiological response to a threat, which is essential for our survival. We are all aware of the nervous system and its superior ability to lead us to freeze, flee or fight in the face of perceived danger. But how do we know how to identify a threat? The responsibility lies within the two almond shaped organs in our brain – the amygdala. They are part of the limbic system and responsible for memory, decision-making and emotional reactions. It is these little guys that can literally DRIVE YOU NUTS! What happens however when the threat remains? What happens when you cannot let go of the fear and the physiological response receives no signal to turn off? Label it however you please, essentially your mind and body are frozen in a state of stress.
What prevented me from continuing the rant in my mind for hours, for days? It is simple: awareness. Through awareness I was able to connect to my breath, to my body and become the observer of my mind.
I am filled with gratitude for the path of Yoga and the infinite tools that are at my disposal to guide me through these moments.
We live in a world filled with perceived threats but are we missing the infinitely more beautiful and spectacular aspects of life because we are frozen in fear?
Will you live fearlessly, will you surrender and will you choose to be free?
Laura Young, teacher and forever student of Yoga