I would like to begin with a confession: Outside of my relationships with my brothers or my closest friends, I would not consider myself to be a great communicator. When it comes to discussing the deeply personal aspects of myself, I often keep my thoughts to myself as I struggle to find the words to express my experiences. This discomfort is so great, and I have grown so familiar with hiding it, that I have become quite adept at casually changing the conversation to avoid answering certain questions.
Although this strategy works in a world where many people absently ask (and answer) “How are you?,” I’ve noticed that if I desire relationships of intimacy, those based upon open communication and a mutual sense of trust, this habit of deflection won’t cut it. Accordingly, I have been working to address this issue. The “problem” is that in being completely open, honest, and vulnerable with another person is absolutely terrifying!
Its no surprise then that I cling to the work of those like Brene Brown and Elena Brower who argue that vulnerabilities (i.e. one’s fears of somehow being inadequate) are the key to whole hearted living and are thus the gateways to one’s freedom. By understanding that our honesty, fears, and vulnerabilities are the keys to our liberation, we can begin to courageously take the small steps that will lead us towards our personal liberation; instead of continuing to fear their uncomfortable contact and thus maintain our present state of imprisonment.
This notion of fear is one that yogi’s have been addressing since the beginning of yoga. Within the yoga sutras specifically, Patangali identified Abhinivesa (i.e. the fear of death) as one of the primary Kleshas (veils) that keep us in a state of suffering. Through the yoga sutras, he argued that our suffering occurs because we become attached to our physical forms. This attachment keeps us blind to the reality that we are an energetic part of the divine and thus not limited to what we can immediately see, feel, or do. Thus, in order to reunite with the divine, and experience the immense sense of peace, comfort, joy, and ease that comes with that unity, we need to begin to trust in the universe’s plans and follow the messages it is sending through our hearts yearnings. That is, instead of attempting to control everything through our logical minds.
The question, the invitation, I have for you is thus: what are you afraid of? Can you begin to use your fear or discomfort as an indicator pointing to what you might want to begin to more fully manifest within your life? Can you use fear as an indicator of your ambitions in life and begin to open your mind to the possibility that your heart is attempting to guide you back to your own divinity?
Take a few minutes to practice alternate nostril breathing as you allow the mind to answer these questions from a state of unquestioning faith.