Last week in yoga, our teacher was explaining crow pose to the group. To prepare for the pose, you squat, put your hands on the floor, bend your elbows, and put your knees on your triceps. The key to the pose is to shift your weight forward until you can lift your toes off the floor. This is a scary pose when you first start, because you feel like your face will smash into the floor. And let's face it, nobody wants their face smashing into the floor.
When explaining this pose, our teacher said, "Some people have a fear of moving forward." As a student of courage, the phrase struck me as one to examine off the mat.
Earlier that day, I had conducted my first Courage Conversations interview. Courage Conversations are intimate talks with people who I think are leading courageous lives. My hope is to gain deeper insights into what builds courage and share those stories with the world so we can all live bigger, bolder, more authentic lives.
My first talk was with Maria Elizabeth, owner of Salon deZEN in Old Town, Alexandria. Maria shared that she has always had a passion for overcoming her fears. She thought back to her childhood. "I had this thing when I was a really young kid, that I was scared of the dark. I would make myself go walk into a dark woods, to get over the fear, because I knew it wasn't rational. So now when I do feel fear, I examine it and walk through that dark hallway anyway."
I found this story to be incredibly inspirational. I don't know about you, but when I was scared of the dark as a child, I made sure my blankets were tucked in so tightly that the monsters from under the bed couldn't get to me. Even today, I can feel the pull of wanting to protect myself against my fears rather than walking boldly through them.
But Maria is right. The monsters aren't real and the only way to move forward is to walk with a racing heart and shortened breath into the dark woods. My guess is that the only thing we will find in there is courage.
As we move forward, in crow pose or in life, consider these questions:
- What fear is holding you back from living your biggest, boldest, most authentic life?
- What would happen if you walked forward into that fear, instead of pushing it away?
- What action could you take today as a first step in living a more courageous life?
Ready to Go There?
If these messages speak to you, I invite you to join me and other like-minded people at an upcoming Flourishing Workshop. Whether you're a mid-life seeker searching for clarity, a transitioning veteran planning your next mission, or a successful entrepreneur looking to reignite your passion, I have a workshop specially designed for you.
The next sessions are approaching soon, so be sure to register today to hold your spot so you can be saying things like this:
"The process helped me discover what I really enjoy." -Sean McBride
"You made me fierce." -Sue Hoppin
"The program was life changing." -Amy Rutherford
You'll walk away with:
- An inspired purpose that will help you overcome the fears holding you back.
- A way to talk about yourself or your business in a way that inspires and attracts people.
- Articulation of your core values so you can craft a life with more meaning and fulfillment.
Hope to see you there!