This is a confession series with four yoga retreat leaders. They share their thoughts on fear, courage, adventure, what scares them the most, and how they deal with fear.
The following is written Kiersten Mooney, a leader at Green Monkey Yoga.
The first time I taught yoga at a major conference, I experienced all the physiological responses to fear. My heart and respiration rate increased, I began to perspire, and my muscles began to tense. All of these physical responses are the same when experiencing the excitement. How we interpret an event is what determines our experience of either excitement or fear.
The most common “fear” I experience usually occurs in my mind. It is very rare that the fear I am experiencing is due to any type of imminent danger. Therefore, my fear is generally something I create that is dredged up from the past or anticipated in the future. This is typically fear of failure, criticism, self-doubt, not being good enough or liked. This kind of fear is false and can rob us from our life, not the actual fear itself that can take our life.
Moving through fear requires stepping into action. So I put on the microphone and began teaching. As I connected with the people on their mat, the fear began to melt away. It’s a delusion to think that we won’t experience fear, especially when living an extraordinary life where we are constantly challenging ourselves. The distinction between living into your greatest future and staying stuck on the sidelines in an internal state of fear is your capacity to shift how you perceive risk, fear and failure. The root of courage is “cor”, the Latin word for heart. It takes tremendous courage to lean into fear, and show up authentically anyway. Many times these are the most rewarding moments in our lives.
Ask yourself when you are faced with fear: is the fear I am experiencing from a real danger? Or, am I afraid of not being good enough or a concern for looking good?
If the answer is yes for the latter, consider that stepping out of your comfort zone is the action necessary to elevate you to your next level of growth. Such as, trying a new pose that you may fall in, requesting what you want from someone, or telling someone you love him or her. These are all risks worth moving through despite how uncomfortable you feel.
Don’t allow your past, fear of failure, or concern of what others may think, stop you from living in the moment. Those are delusional fears that rob you of your brilliant and abundant life. Moving through fear is a choice you make moment-to-moment. It’s a phenomenon that requires a shift in your relationship to fear. Facing life with an open heart is the key to courage and ultimately the recipe for living bold and powerfully.
Please share with us how you overcome your fears in the comments below.
About Kiersten Mooney
Kiersten Mooney E–RYT500 is co-owner of Green Monkey Yoga, Baptiste Affiliate studios located in Naples and Miami, FL. She is a Lululemon Athletica Ambassador, frequently teaches at Yoga Journal Conference, is a Senior Baptiste teacher and is on the faculty for BPYI.
Kiersten and her team at Bala Vinyasa Yoga contribute significantly to local and global non–profit organizations through service leadership programs, events, and offering donation based classes and trainings.
As a teacher and presenter, Kiersten offers concrete tools with a lighthearted perspective, grounded by profound insight that empowers people to courageously live life to the fullest with total self–acceptance. Kiersten encourages people to awaken to their personal power, to be on a mission to create the life that they want to live and to be bold enough to live it. Empowerment of others is truly her passion and through her teaching she continues to make a significant contribution to those she comes into contact with.