Looking at this picture that I found on Facebook 3 years ago, I am most touched by the words ‘Act in spite of fear’. I feel that I and with me, many others have firm struggles with overcoming the fear that is holding us back from following our heart. Fear of not being good enough, not being safe in ourselves, not belonging, falling or failing, being visible or invisible, being rejected, fear for our own potential or living a meaningless life, never really doing what we deep in ourselves dreamt of doing… and so on.
Two years ago, when facing the fear that was holding me back from choosing to step out of the cozy prison I had created for myself, I met very old emotional pain that asked for my attention. I learned that dealing with fear is not only a mindset. I believe there are strong emotional habits behind our mindset, that are responsible for many of our thinking patterns and nowadays beliefs. Emotional patterns, deeply hidden in our cells, that are responsible for unconscious self-sabotaging beliefs. They were formed when we were still little ones that did not have the words yet to express ourselves nor the social knowledge to understand what was going on in our lives.
These emotional habits are so firmly ingrained in our physical structure -our posture, our way of walking, and our way of moving through life-, that they have become like our signature. Fairly often it is not as simple as letting go of the beliefs they bring to mind. We have become attached to them for better or worse as the struggle with them has become a purpose in itself. We’re not aware that we’re holding on to them by choosing to control, fight them, push them away, and refuse to own them. That we are actually avoiding the even bigger fear of not knowing and not being in control. But isn’t it in the unknowing that our dreams will unfold themselves?
I believe these beliefs and the emotional patterns that form their root, can only be addressed, brought up, and transformed in close collaboration with the body.
I discovered that the body expresses the emotions that we tend to push away through tension and pain in our body tissue, our muscles, joints, and organs, causing an overwhelmed nervous system, fatigue, depression, hormonal disbalance, and ultimately disease. I am talking about psycho-somatic issues in the tissues that most doctors have no answer for but ‘learn to live with them’. Mystery pain and tension that has no name nor a cause in most of the classic medical books.
On my own journey, I learned to dare to not know and stop controlling fear. Staying present with fear in heart and mind amidst the emotional overwhelm is challenging but not impossible. And actually stepping into action in spite of fear brought to the surface my most hidden gifts and talents. I learned to feel and see beyond the physical pain and feel the emotional story behind a posture or physical movement pattern f.e. walking. In short, I learned to walk my talk.
When making choices that were more aligned with who I am, I felt clear how highly tense, sore tissues started to soften over time. I learned to relieve habits of stress by listening to my body’s impulses. My organs got back their motility and mobility and improved function. My immune system is still growing stronger every day. Even to the point where some old food intolerances disappeared. After 30 years of chronic exhaustion, I am now feeling alive and full of zest.
And as I continue following and trusting the voice of my body whether she talks about food, movement, emotions, thoughts, memories, or pain I get to know what my soul craves. Like a shadow guide, I explore the hidden emotions and beliefs behind the physical pain, the constrained movement, the tiredness, and the unhealthy patterns that I created over time.
And as I go there, sad emotions and sheer fear come to the surface like little monsters. Except when connecting with them, they seem more like little children feeling very lost in the dark. In my opinion, the work is about bringing these little ones home as they carry with them so many of our soul’s gifts and talents.
Steadily I am finding ground in my body. And the more I breathe with her in moments of fear, the more she softens, opens, and stops holding on to it.
I dare say that choosing the life you wish for in spite of fear, is a powerful way to dismantle that same fear. It starts with reclaiming your dream step by step: addressing and unraveling old emotional habits and reframing old childhood belief systems while embracing new chosen life experiences, and sensations. To refind our ground in the body releases anxiety and overwhelm. Remembering the body as our earth’s home creates the peacefulness and safety from the inside that is so needed to move along unknown paths.
When I set out to fulfill my dream and find my truth, I never dreamed of finding so much potential for healing and growth by owning my fear and stopping controlling it.
I now trust, listen and validate my own instinctual and intuitive wisdom and act upon that wisdom. What a difference that makes! I feel there is calmness in one’s own wise words when one speaks them to oneself. There is peace underneath the fear when one allows the body to move with it. To trust that there is silence in the eye of the storm that overwhelms the nervous system and that this silence comes with strength and insight to face the inner storms and showers of rain yet to come.
I believe we can only change mindset when we change the full setting; mind, body, nervous system, and soul. I feel they are all interconnected and can’t be separated in the processes of learning and healing.
The tool needed for change is to become self-aware in sensing, feeling, thinking, and action, owning every aspect of this including the consequences of our choices and actions. In understanding why you are where you are, you will know which way to walk and how to choose your path.
So if you also feel that your comfort zone is a safe prison, it might be time to reconsider if you want to stay there. Why not take the first small step out of your comfort zone… In spite of fear!
In the retreats that I offer, I help you find ground in your body and get ready for new choices and actions. If you are interested you can check my retreats on Bookretreats.com