Working with Fears and Into Courage!
I had the occasion recently to explore and work through some very real fears.
We were on a desert hike and came upon a dead but very big rattlesnake. I had seen rattlesnakes before, having relatives who lived on the Prairies and in fact as a child, I remember being in possession of a ‘rattle’.
Being naturally curious, I took a picture of the rattlesnake so I could do some research later; this may not have been a good idea. Thanks to Google, I found out that the ‘Western Diamondback Rattlesnake’ is ‘likely responsible for the majority of snakebite fatalities in Northern Mexico’. Now, I have known that hiking in the desert comes with the risk of seeing and being bitten by a snake, this is not new information. The actual dead snake visual however, catalyzed a visceral fear reaction and I found myself avoiding the lovely gorgeous desert hikes that I had previously enjoyed. Even as I write this, I feel my heart rate accelerating as I remember the picture of the snake!
In life, whether it is the risk of a live snake or perhaps, it is the seemingly more innocuous ‘risk’ of trying something new, we come across experiences that kick our fears in high gear! How we work with our fears can be a major life pattern and also can serve as a metaphor for how we handle life in general.
Having a practical strategy to rely on when feeling fearful is helpful.
It took some real inner work and self talk to get myself out on the next desert hike! I utilized my coach training and self inquiry as well as the ‘Self Compassion Break’ exercise I learned with the “Mindful Self Compassion” Training that I completed (learn more about this training http://centerformsc.org ). Remembering that I have never seen a rattlesnake in the multitudes of times I had completed the hike previously helped as well.
It is with gratitude and mindfulness that I access practical body centred skills when faced with fear!
I’m not sure that I felt courageous on my next hike, however, I did ‘feel the fear and did it anyway’.
If you are interested in learning and practicing mindful self compassion for yourself and live in the Metro Vancouver area, join Georgina and I during our next 8 week training, starting April 5th. Further information available here: http://mindfulselfcompassionforlife.com/mindful-self-compassion-training/
If a shorter, more Intense Training is of interest and benefit to you, join Victoria, Dawn and Marcia for a Mindful Self Compassion 5 Day Intensive: https://compassioninspiredhealth.com/event/mindful-self-compassion-intensive-retreat/
Enjoy your day my friends and remember to pop back for practical updates and tips,