Making a Friend of Fear
Fear is a normal human response. It's protective, it guides us towards security, gives us a tingly shot when we see a shadowy figure on a dark street, puts us on alert when the messages we're getting from people or the world aren't making sense with what we're seeing. When we're out of balance with it, it has the power to drive us blindly and can cause us to make decisions based on assumptions rather than facts, so it's important to be in relationship with it. Being in relationship means we attend and befriend the sensations of fear in the body. We make space, get curious, listen closely- what do I have to feel if I do that thing that I'm so afraid of doing? What story am I telling my self that's keeping me locked into patterns in my life that aren’t satisfying? Fear is information- it points us towards assumptions and beliefs we have about ourselves, the world and people. Sometimes those are accurate, sometimes not. To get unstuck- we have to be willing to sit down with these fears- find out what they're afraid of, what we need to know, so that we can reassure them that we've got this and ask them to step aside so we can try new things. This isn't about forcing, powering through or "JUST DO IT". It's about friendliness, curiosity and kindness.
Breathwork is an active style of meditation practice. Using a 3 part Pranayama Breathwork technique, we'll actively breath through held patterns of tension in the body, connecting deeply and directly with our felt experience of being alive so that we can shift and clear mental states that aren't serving us. Creating space for and connecting with the fullness of our human experience- the parts that we like and the parts that we don't- is part of living the full spectrum of life.
Breathwork practices allow us to temporarily bypass the ego and thinking mind, stepping out of the stories of the future and the past. This can help empty out the complexity of our lived experiences. When we're able to create the space to be with whatever is arising- we'll see that it also passes. This insight helps us learn to trust our embodied wisdom and allow this natural process to become part of our lives.
Contraindications: pregnancy, cardiovascular problems, significantly high blood pressure, major psychiatric conditions, recent surgery, acute infectious illness or epilepsy. Asthma is not generally considered a contraindication but the participants inhaler must be available.