Recently I spent the weekend in South Florida and I had the chance to again be inspired by the artist Peter Tunney (he is the artist who painted all the Gratitude billboards in NYC) — this time while visiting Wynwood Walls in Miami where he has a gallery. When I walked into his gallery, the first piece of art I saw was the picture above. Fearless split on two lines almost like an an answer to a question…How do we live more; more truthfully, more fully and more in the moment? We Fear Less.
We have so many everyday fears that can take the mind away from the present. Fearing less so we can live more became our practice for this week.
As class began, I asked my students to explore what they feared on their mats. Perhaps it was a not achieving a certain pose or not looking like the person next to them in a pose, or modifying or taking a break if they need. As they thought about their fears, I shared one of my own. When I first became a teacher I feared not being able to achieve Mayurasana (pictured above). I struggled with it until I finally began to let go of my fear of not achieving it. Once I surrendered the need for this pose (and the fear that I couldn’t do it), the pose came to me. I could Live More once I Feared Less.
We started class with warm up and sun salutes and then weaved into our asana practice a systematic building of poses that prepared all the muscles necessary to achieve Mayurasana. The living more in the steps along our journey was our practice..whether we found Mayurasana in our bodies was not. Instead it is in all the preparation to get there that the living happens. Just as fearing less allows us to live more, living more also allows us to fear less.
Off the mat we also have everyday fears that can conquer the mind and take up valuable space and more importantly take us away from the moment we are in. So I asked my students to identify a fear off the mat that they may be able to Fear Less in order to Live More. What I asked of them I also offered… I shared a fear of mine from off the mat. Last weekend I had to sub a class for a very beloved teacher who has taught at the studio for 20 years and has an extremely loyal following. We teach very different style of classes so I was nervous to teach her students. I was finding this worry taking up space in my mind so I decided to Fear Less by investing some extra time in preparing an asana practice for these students. The preparation helped me to not just stop being afraid but also to be excited by the challenge and a different experience…in other words, to Live More. The excitement that came from the preparation allowed me to fear the moment less and live in the moment of my teaching more.
Back on the mat, I reminded my students that one of the most powerful ways to fear less is to feel ready or prepared; to be fully in the moment. As I watched my students build and prepare, I saw many of them attempt Mayurasana. We did have a few Peacocks in the room but what was really powerful was that mostly all of them tried.. they were all Fearing Less and Living More and that truly was the practice. The Journey is the Joy, Fear Less to Live More. Namaste.