Tuesday, April 6, 2010

facing our fears

my early morning yoga classes have been going really, really well and i've come to look forward to them each week.  i kind of love waking up so early, before the sun and the hubby, and having my time to get ready and prep class or walk my pup or just relax on the couch with a mug of tea.  this morning, i found that i had 20 extra mins on my hands and i took some time to reflect on how i used to feel so much anxiety in the pre-dawn hours.  i remember when i was first asked to teach these classes and how i spent some time debating. 

would i feel anxious before every single class?

would i always dread those mornings?

would my anxiety become overbearing?

most people would wonder why i said yes!  but i said yes for a very specific reason - i love to teach.  and just because this class was early in the morning wasn't going to scare me away.  i refused to make a decision on the chance that i'd feel some anxiety.  i conquered so much... why stop now?

and i could have said "i'll teach the class after i make sure i don't have any morning anxious feelings."  but that wouldn't work, because i can't overcome something if i don't face it.  it's kind of like what i call the 'monster under the bed' situation.  as little kids, we might be petrified of a monster under our bed, but our parents know its our little kid minds in overdrive.  just like our anxiety.  we tend to feel fear sometimes over things that don't warrant such an intense reaction (like my anxiety over long car rides).  but if we don't face our fears and check out what's under the bed -which is nothing!- we'll never conquer the fear.  we'll never see that the monster that resides in our minds really doesn't exist and is just fueled by our fears. 

but we do need to be prepared.  we wouldn't just leap off the bed and take a look if someone didn't say to us "there's nothing under there, take a look for yourself."  just as you wouldn't run head first to confront something that causes you anxiety if you didn't know how to yet work through your anxiety. 

we always need to take baby steps to confront our anxieties, but we also need to know how to calm our fears and stress before we have the ability to face our fears and ride out our anxiety.  we need to understand what a panic attack is and why it won't hurt us before we feel confident enough to work through one. 

so i'm glad i said yes to teaching these classes because i'm having a blast doing them.  and every class i teach and don't feel that tiny little itch of anxiousness is a success for me.  granted, i've had a lot of practice working through things that make me anxious!  (the list was long!) but even if i did feel intense fear when having to teach this class, what better way to alleviate it than to teach it and see that i can do it! i have the ability to work through my feelings, face my fears and come out on the other side even stronger. 

i always like to celebrate a success! 

always consult a physician or professional before introducing something new if you have any questions or concerns. 

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