Day 206 – Being fearless is essential–not the just fearlessness of competition or first days on a new job, but true fearlessness within every moment. In today’s reading Rolf asserts this happens on the mat, writing: “Many postures require us to unafraid. Others require us to let go, to surrender parts of ourselves while other aspects of ourselves are being strong and expansive.”
The inability to do this, the fear of letting go, is asmita, “an exaggerated sense of I-ness, or self-centered fear.” What is there to fear in most situations? Failure is opportunity to learn. If we envirsion ourselves “as being weak and vulnerable to attack” always, we live fearful. The world becomes “split into things that can make us feel less afraid and things that make us even more afraid” and, even on the mat, we “experience this vague fear as an inability to know peace for more than fleeting moments.”
More and more, I place myself in places that require fearlessness. I am on a 3-day fast right now (medically supervised), which I have been preparing for 3-weeks. Prior to this fast and this study I am in (to get off meds and heal my body), I would never have considered a fast. I love food so much; I am obsessed by it. I also feared not exercising. Over the past 2 years, I have been forced not to do things I love and things I feared not doing due to pain, and I have been fearful over these things and my future. So, I am taking steps that feel fearless to me, coercing myself into experiences and habits that are uncomfortable. I plan grand camping trips, sign up for difficult classes, clear out the clutter in my house and life, ask for assignments at school that stretch my teaching skills and patience, and yes, take time off to rest my body.