As teachers, there is no shortage of opportunities to lead and share our work. For many, being in this spotlight can certainly trigger fear. Over the years, I’ve realized how important it is to quiet this energy so I may enter into these spaces in an empowered way. Here’s the method I use:
Nothing calms me better in the moment than deep breathing. For me, it works on all levels of fear—the physical, emotional and spiritual.
Try it: Slowly & equally count your inhales and exhales as you breathe deeply. Focusing on counting helps quiet a fearful mind.
I take comfort in remembering past “scary” commitments and how they turned out in the end. It’s never as bad as I fear—and usually it’s really good!
Try it: Meditate on past experiences that once caused you fear, but turned out well. Visualize the result and as you focus, re-awaken feelings of success and joy. Sit with these memories until you feel a shift towards more positive energy.
No matter what I’ve signed up for, I know I will not show up unprepared. I won’t arrive to teach a yoga workshop without planning the sequence and I won’t climb a mountain without exercising beforehand. I take comfort in presenting myself as organized and well-prepared.
Try it: Talk to other people who have already done what’s causing you fear and ask for advice. Also, re-read any agreements or written materials that lay out expectations. Create a game plan and prepare enough so that confidence is overshadowing fear.
My favorite way to transform the energy of fear is through ceremony. Ceremony is all about changing our relationships to situations and emotions. I take my fear to the earth, make offerings to spirit and pray. I ask spirit to guide my experience. I let my fear drain into the earth and ask pachamama, her spirt, to fill me with empowered energy.
Try it: Gather an offering for spirit. Sit at your altar or on the earth. Call on spirit to join you. Speak your intention for what you are about to embark on and ask for support. Make your offering in exchange for this divine help. Ask that your fearful energy be transformed into an energy that will lift you up.
The next time you find yourself overcome by fear, gift yourself this process. Soon, you will have your own tried and true method for quieting the voice of fear and empowering your spirit.