SomaNews – March 2011

Stepping into the Unknown


May my mind come alive today
to the invisible geography
that invites me to new frontiers,
to break the dead shell of yesterdays,
to risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
to live the life that I love,
to postpone by dream no longer
but do at last what I came here for
and waste my heart on fear no more.

—John O’Donohue

I remember a friend quoting, “We would rather live in hell then to step into the unknown." Oh how true that is!

Do you let fear of the unknown come between you and a new possibility?

I'd like to share a personal story to offer you an opportunity to step into the unknown and walk the path toward your dreams — to do what you came here for, and wasting your heart on fear no more.

My Story

I sat down to write. Then it happened.

Okay, nobody move!

I took a deep breath and gathered my courage to take one giant step to the right. Lying on the ground in a heaping pile was Fear — looking up at me with that smile of recognition and inviting me to come and just be in it.

I stared into the pulsating mass and looked deeply into its eyes. I began to see those stories that keep me connected to it, stories that keep me small. I'm not capable, I don’t know enough, I’m too old.

I kept standing there. As Fear slid along the ground toward me, sheets of stained paper with few words were left behind as a trail of my inability. It smiled again and tried to touch my essence. I took a step to the right again.

I took a deep breath and asked, Why do you love me so much? A grin appeared on its crooked mouth, and it said, Because I can.

Why do you follow me with such vigor? I implore.

Because I am the habit. See, I have already begun to slow you down, make you unsure of yourself, stopped the flow of creativity just by being. I mean, all you have to do is look at me and you are mine.

Meditation for Shifting Fear

Fear ignites the part of you that wants to stay small and not step into the unknown. It's a felt sense in your body that is taking care of that small part of you.

But what if fear were to inspire a reverence of your life? The kind of reverence that invites you to new frontiers? How would you need to shift or reshape your body to sit in that sensation of reverence?

What if fear could shift to a felt sense of exploration or curiosity, becoming a positive sensation? How much more ability would you have to do "at last what you came here for”? When fear shows up, it can be a road sign pointing you in a direction that you need to walk — it is your body signaling you to pay attention. Fear, then, can be a catalyst for change.

Before beginning this meditation, take a moment to write down one of your dreams that you may be struggling to achieve. What stops you and keeps you wasting your heart on fear?

Now, sit quietly, noticing your body. Go back to an experience where you felt fear — perhaps standing in front of a room full of people or beginning to write your story.

Step into the arena of your fearQuietly sense into what your body is doing, what you are feeling. Take 3 deep breaths and drop into a world where you are stepping into the arena of your fears.

Center yourself as you walk among those fears — being too small, being rejected, being too big, being seen. Look that fear in the eye, and keep centering. Then speak out: I do have choice.

Again, feel your body. How is it reacting? Are you moving away somehow? Is your stomach tightening? Is your breath getting short?

Begin to walk toward the center of the arena, toward your dream. As you walk closer, a large pool of dark water appears. Fear! You can’t go around it, you can’t jump over it — you must walk through it. If you don’t, you're stopped in your tracks.

You look around the arena and find a staff. You pick it up. Now approach the dark water with a sense of curiosity — even reverence. Take a deep breath and move closer to the pool.

Step into the dark poolWhat are you noticing in your body? Truly feel the story. Go to the edge of the dark pool. With curiosity, plunge the staff into the water. How deep is it? There's a sound of wood hitting stone and you see that the water is but a mere 3 inches deep!

An old story has been broken. With staff in hand, you walk confidently through the pool of water. Feel your feet rooted to the ground as you wade back onto dry earth. You smile as you reach the center of the arena, wasting your heart on fear no more.

By learning to approach fear with a sense of reverence and curiosity, fear need not stop you from doing what you have come here for.

Many blessings on your journey to your dreams.

New Workshop Series for Women: Weaving a New Story

Do you want to create and embody a new story for your life? Join me in Petaluma on April 9 for a free introduction to Weaving a New Story workshops for women.

This new 6-session series provides a safe place for women to uncover old stories that keep them from living balanced and empowered lives, and offers techniques and practices to create new stories for the 21st century woman.

"There is no greater burden than
carrying an untold story."

—Maya Angelou, Poet Laureate

Contact me to reserve your spot for the April 9 introductory workshop in Petaluma. Details about the workshop series will be available soon.