“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
Doubts. Fears. Feelings of, “I’m not good enough, smart enough, strong enough.” We’ve all struggled with one of the above at some time in our life, or maybe even daily. It’s part of being human. We have such complex and powerful minds. Beautiful indeed, but with it a huge responsibility! We must understand ways to continue on the path we’ve been set out to walk without allowing doubts, fears or disempowering thoughts to paralyze us.
I was, as many of us were, raised hearing the words. “Well, don’t just sit there. Do something!” There was always something to do, work towards, clean, help out with etc. And while thankfully (really, sincerely, thank you Mom and Dad) the intention of parents is to combat laziness and instil purpose, the constant routine of do, do, do, go, go, go gets engrained in us, and then for some reason, almost revered.
When I found yoga & started noticing the subtle shifts it had on my body, mind & spirit (gradually, over the course of a long.freaking.time;), I was able to break down those preexisting, doubt-fuelling patterns of always having to be doing something (in my case, many many things at one time…I would pride myself on being a multi-tasker….damn I was good at it…I was exceptional (maybe even the best)….what can I cross off the list next?!?!…I am so organized, so useful!….but wait….I must be forgetting something….hmmmm….oh yeah, the second page of my list!!…look at me go!….this is great!….look at me go!…). OK. ALISHA. LET GO! My old mind would have rambled on in that parenthesis for years, blind to my highest self. Doubt would surface everywhere. Maybe because it was never on the list to manage;) By letting go, I gained a sense of presence & the life I used to know (my comfortable habitual patterns of always doing more, fixing, changing…being everywhere else but ‘here’) was forever to be transformed.
One of the tools I use, now DAILY, to let go and help guide me through times of struggle, is meditation. But it was far from instant. In fact, it took years of a dedicated yoga practice to really even be comfortable in savasana. During my yoga teacher training we studied a lot about meditation & spent a lot of time sitting. Observing. Breathing. Being. Wow…was this ever difficult. It was very painful to be with myself during that period. I can’t put it into the exact words why, but ‘stuff’ I wasn’t even aware of would come up for me (yes, this would be the important list to check off). I started getting anxiety just thinking about ‘having to meditate’. I didn’t want to cry again! But a part of me, that part that’s bigger than me, kept guiding me to come back to my seat, time & time again. I felt sad that I had been so ‘disconnected’ from myself for so long. But I persisted….
M e d I t a t I o n. It’s helped me see things from a different perspective. It’s gifted me a patience that I never felt I was able to embody. I am able to take a step back, respond vs react, and save myself from hurting others. It’s helped my skin & my teeth! Really, true story! Cystic acne, grinding be gone! I see everyone & everything with so much more compassion, gratitude & clarity. It’s helped and continues to help me bust through blocks I’ve internally created. It’s literally saved my life. It’s taken me to a place I have only dreamed of. That place that I’ve always known is in there but hadn’t been able to access. Now that I’ve felt that overwhelming sense of complete peace & ease throughout my entire existence, I crave that connection. Consistent practice helps me be the best version of myself.
And as for yourself, don’t doubt that it can’t transform you too.
As more of an appendix to this post, I invite you to give this beautiful doubt crushing, fear facing visualization meditation technique a try.
•Move your body. Whatever that means for you – walking, dancing, P90x video, yoga…just move. Swirl energy in, through & out of your body to create space for your dreams to become your reality.
•Sit comfortably. Perhaps place a block, bolster or book under your pelvis. Elevate your hips so they are above your knees when sitting cross legged. Sit tall. Roll your shoulders back & down. Allow the tops of your hands to rest on your thighs with your palms open to receptivity.
•Start to focus on your breath. Take 2 big inhales in through your noise & exhales out of your mouth. On your 3rd inhale, seal your lips and allow the breath to release through your nose. Continue with this deep, rich, steady breath for the remainder of your sitting. As you become comfortable in this seat, this moment, this breath, notice your body breathing naturally for you. Allow each exhalation to relax your central nervous system even more.
•Bring your awareness to your 3rd eye centre. Ajna chakra (provides perception beyond ordinary sight). The space between your eye brows – your seat of intuition. Focus on this point. Set an intention to practice presence & trust that this space will help you see past any debilitating feelings steaming from fear. Allow yourself to see whatever comes up for you. You may notice a shape, a colour(s), both or nothing at all. Either way, keep focusing and breathing. Try to resist any feelings of frustration or hopelessness should you feel like this is not working. Trust that it is, even if you can’t see anything.
•Now start to visualize what it is you want to see. For me (adding to last week’s blog post) it was passionately speaking & confidently BEING with others delivering whatever message it was that I wanted to share on that particular day, during that particular yoga class I was guiding. I began to see a women who clearly believes in herself, the practice of yoga & the ability to hold space for others to explore themselves, to believe in themselves. Visualize what you want to see. Create it. Witness it. Then believe it. You may surprise yourself. You may feel like you’ve see this before. Allow yourself to be. Witness this movie of your life present itself. Believe in possibility!
•When you feel ready to move on with your day, seal your palms together in Anjali mudra (fingers together, fingertips pointing up). Bow in slightly graciously honouring all that you are. Breathe in the gift of presence & breathe out anything that does not serve you(doubt, fear, disempowering thoughts). To seal in your practice & honour your intention, place both hands firmly on your heart space and internally repeat, “I love you.”
Keep your word…to yourself. Gift yourself presence. Connect to your inner world & allow yourself BE. On the daily. You’ve got this!
Inviting grace, goodness & gratitude into all of your interactions today including those with yourself, from my heart to yours.