Yesterday as I left the construction site that is soon to be my yoga studio, I had an idea. I quickly calculated how much money I had left in the bank and, for a second, decided to use it all to pay off my car, drive into the mountains and escape.
I was afraid.
I kissed Alex goodbye, got into the car as it started to rain and drove. But not to the mountains. I drove to the sea, parked at the public beach as it started to pour and walked up the path under the sea grapes toward the ocean. I felt the sand between my toes, the wind and rain on my skin and looked out at the blue green Caribbean. Then I stripped down to my undies, jumped in and played in the waves and the rain until my fear was replaced with happiness and the joy at being alive and free and able to find fearlessness.
Fear is all around us. The point in finding fearlessness is not to be so strong you can beat the crap out of someone, especially yourself. It is in being so strong that you don’t need to, that you can stand by yourself and those who have not yet found their strength, that you can be soft and face your own internal fears: fears of failure, success, ridicule, sometimes even praise (don’t want to stand out in a crowd), love (that might hurt), forgiveness (what? I cannot hate that person anymore?), being different (what will they say?), being the same (how long can I keep that up). There are so many things to be afraid of. But all that fear inhibits us from doing the fabulous things that make us joyful at being alive.
So face your fear. Take the mudra: right hand extended at shoulder height with the palm facing away from you, fingers together but relaxed, soft elbow. Breathe into this gesture of fearlessness, symbolizing protection, peace and the dispelling of fear.
You might find yourself spending all your money to run to the mountains. But you might also find yourself running into the sea, filling yourself with joy at being alive and finishing that project you have dreamed about all your life or at least for a very long time.
Tribal Yoga, Tulum, Mexico, inauguration December 19, 2015. First classes, Monday December 21.