I wanna see you be Brave


What we resist persists. We’ve all heard this, but what does it mean? We all have fears, but it’s how we react to the fear that dictates it’s power. The more we resist fear & try to push it away and try forget about it, the more it keeps coming back. So the more we resist facing our fears, the more they persist.

So instead, how about trying, what you let in, leaves. This is an idea I first learned with Dr Richard Miller, when I took his iRest (integrated restoration) training on Yoga Nidra. (see iRest.us for more info). He speaks of meeting sensations (physical, mental & emotional) as if you are having tea & conversation with someone. When we don’t face these things that come up within us, it’s like having someone come to our door & knock. We pretend they are not there & the knocking continues. If we work hard enough on pretending we don’t hear the knocking, it might go away, but more often than not, that same thing will come knocking at our door again & again. Each time it might be more demanding to be heard & even one day it may knock the door down & we won’t have any choice but to deal with it.

Open the door, face what is there & listen to what it has to say. Avoid going into the story behind the sensation, but instead hear what the sensation has to say. When we really “see it” without judging, & when we feel ready, we can escort this sensation back out the door & shut it. It may come back again, but we will be more accepting to open the door & it may be less demanding. When this sensation feels truly heard, one day it may not return. So if we let it in, it then is able to leave us, as it no longer holds any power over us.

Facing the uncomfortable & even painful sensations takes an act of bravery, to be courageous.

By definition, bravery & courage are:

- the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening

- not deterred by danger or pain

- the ability to do something that frightens one

- strength in the face of pain or grief.

So we can’t be brave unless we are facing something that we are afraid of. We could show our bravery, by jumping off a plane while skydiving, for example, if we were afraid of heights. But, just doing something dangerous is not always the best way to show our bravery.

Fear also does exist to keep us safe, it is why we have a fight or flight response. We sense danger, & our adrenals kick in & either cause us to fight or run away to protect ourselves. But this response will happen with anything we are afraid of, even when we are not really in danger. So how do we decide when it is right to move through our fear or to listen to it? Our own wisdom can help us decide.

Here is a part from an article by Sally Kempton that speaks on this idea

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/philosophy/brave-heart/ Go to the link for the full article. “ The Raw and the Cooked

Basically, we’re talking about the difference between the raw and the cooked, the green and the ripened. Between the two lies a world of discipline, surrender, and experience.

Raw courage, for one thing, is based on emotion, fueled by anger and desire. It often acts out of noble motives—the civil rights workers of the 1960s, who were my first models of courage, were driven by the most intense idealism. Yet raw courage can also operate without morals or ethics; it can work in the service of aims that are unconscious, deluded, or even sleazy. The real mark of uncooked courage is the trail it leaves—often, a karmic minefield of misunderstanding, pain, and enmity that can injure us if it isn’t cleared.

Cooked or ripe courage, on the other hand, contains discipline, wisdom, and, especially, a quality of presence. Skill has something to do with it, of course. It’s much easier to act bravely when we know how to do what we’re doing, like the well-trained soldier who goes into battle with a clear strategy. Ultimately, though, ripened courage rests on a profound trust in something greater than your own abilities—it lies in trusting the Self, the Divine, the stability of one’s own center.”

But what if we find the courage to face our fears & it becomes too much. Richard Miller speaks of a place called our Inner Resource. A place that you can visualize, where you feel safe & at ease. You can imagine yourself in this place & the sensations you are experiencing are NOT you, they are just that, an experience. You are the calm, safe centre in the midst of it. Try practicing with your smaller more manageable fears first, then you can begin to work on the ones that really challenge you.

Here is another article by Tara Brach on how to befriend our fears. This part from her article is when we use unsafe ways to deal with fear. If you ever find yourself using unsafe ways to deal with your fears, or being overwhelmed by then, I encourage you to find someone to speak with, or the help of a trained therapist to help you through your journey. We all need help at times, so let go of that fear & be brave enough to ask.

From: http://www.yogajournal.com/article/yoga-101/befriend-fears/ by Tara Brach

Unsafe Havens

While the basic experience of fear is that “something is wrong,” many people turn that feeling into “there must be something wrong with me.” This is especially true in Western culture, where one’s sense of belonging to family, community, and the natural world is often weak and the pressure to achieve is so strong. You may feel as though you must live up to certain standards in order to be loved, so you constantly monitor yourself, trying to see if you’re falling short.

When you live in this trance of fear, you instinctively develop strategies to protect yourself. I call these attempts to find safety and relief “false refuges,” since they work, at best, only for the time being.

One such strategy is physical contraction. When you stay trapped in fear, you begin to feel tight and guarded, even when there is no immediate threat. Your shoulders may become permanently knotted and raised, your head thrust forward, your back hunched, your belly tense. Chronic fear can generate a permanent suit of armor. In such a state, we become, as the Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa taught, a bundle of tense muscles defending our very existence.

The trance of fear traps the mind in rigid patterns, too. The mind obsesses and produces endless stories, reminding you of the bad things that might happen and creating strategies to avoid them.

In addition to physical armoring and mental obsession, there are many well-worn behavioral strategies for reducing or avoiding fear. You might run from fear by staying busy, trying to accomplish a lot, or judging others critically to boost your ego. Or maybe you take the popular approach of numbing yourself by indulging in too much food, drugs, or alcohol. Yet no amount of doing or numbing can erase the undercurrents of feeling fearful and unworthy. In fact, the efforts you make to avoid fear and prove yourself worthy only reinforce the deep sense of being separate and inadequate. When you run from fear and take false refuge, you miss being in the very place where genuine healing and peace are possible.

Bringing compassion and mindfulness directly to the experience of fear will help dissolve the trance, taking you inside to the real refuge of unconditional presence. Compassion is the spacious quality of heart that allows and holds with tenderness whatever you are experiencing. It seeks to answer the question, Can I meet this moment, this experience, with kindness? Mindfulness is the clear recognition of your moment-to-moment experience. Here the inquiry to use is, What is happening inside me right now? Being mindfully attentive means that you are aware of the stories you are telling yourself and the feelings and sensations in your body. You can initially emphasize either compassion or mindfulness in meditation; both are essential when facing fear. "

To finish todays thoughts, I wanted to share a song my kids sang at their school assembly for Bully Awareness Week at school today. The words speak for themselves:

Brave

Sara Bareilles

You can be amazing

You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug

You can be the outcast

Or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love

Or you can start speaking up

Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do

And they settle 'neath your skin

Kept on the inside and no sunlight

Sometimes a shadow wins

But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say

And let the words fall out

Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say

And let the words fall out

Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I wanna see you be brave

Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down

By the enemy

Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing

Bow down to the mighty

Don't run, stop holding your tongue

Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live

Maybe one of these days you can let the light in

Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say

And let the words fall out

Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say

And let the words fall out

Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence

Won't do you any good

Did you think it would?

Let your words be anything but empty

Why don't you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say

And let the words fall out

Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say

And let the words fall out

Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

See you be brave

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you

Namaste,

Anne Cox E-RYT 500

ACYOGA.net

403-819-9790

hello@acyoga.net

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