Feel the fear and do it anyway. I believe that’s a book title, or at least a saying that gets thrown around a lot. Most of us have done this. So scared we want to puke, adrenaline pumping, hands shakin’…
Then you leap.
“Is today going to be the day?” My friend asked me as we all dragged our yoga mats towards the wall to kick up into hand stand. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do a hand stand. The teacher went on about fear, that it’s not a lack of capability that paralyzes us, but the fear.
So, palms sweaty and slipping on my mat, afraid of breaking my neck, I kick up. It’s scary to kick up. Once up, in hand stand, the fear didn’t subside at all. But I could feel the strength of my shoulders, my arms, my whole body.
Strength and fear, simultaneous and fierce.
There has been this secret hope I’ve held, that at some point I will transcend fear. That at some point I will stop doubting and questioning and smashing face first into terror.
Perhaps…perhaps…if I get stronger, better, more capable and confident that I will be cured of fear. Nope, ain’t happening. And why not? Because there are always new edges, there is always the unknown. But there is something delicious, something sweet and sacred and down right thrilling about feeling the paradox, right there, in the direct experience of the body.
Strength, power, certainty, knowing, trust- all there, unquestionably.
Fear, doubt, shaking, trembling terror- all there unquestionably.
To feel them both, mingling together is a reminder, that fear is not to be conquered. Fear, felt alone may be a cue to search for the strength that is already and always there.