Tuesday night I taught a class on working with Fear. On starting to take small steps towards the goals that you're afraid of reaching. Of taking Action when you feel fear.
Wednesday I got just that opportunity, except that small steps weren't really called for... Huge ACTIONS were required for this one. When I went downstairs Wednesday evening to start the oven to make dinner there was a suspicious buzzing sound in my kitchen. 10 bees were buzzing around the inside of the window, more were coming out of the oven fan vent, and from the inside was an ominous continuation of the Buzz! BEES! I swore, and then ran out of the room shaking with fear! O. M. G! BEES! And I am home alone with a two year old. With BEES!
Thing is, with fearful situations I really just want to run away. Avoid avoid avoid. But when I'm the mom and my husband is 15 hours away by plane and more bees are coming in, avoidance really isn't going to work. Action is 100% totally REQUIRED.
So, because I love myself, I love my daughter, I love our home and I wanted to have dinner, I dressed in my heavy clothes and shoes, put on leather gloves and went in.
I can tell you Ahimsa (non-violence) quickly went out the window when I couldn't figure out how to herd those little creatures outside. At least I did try that first, I think one little bee made it out. Then my big shoe landed heavily. I'm not proud of it. I'm apparently not a Buddhist monk just yet. It was a terrifying, stress producing, heart pounding moment of sheer will to conquer the bees and keep us safe. And my pounding heart reminded me that I'm alive and I can still feel emotions to this day.
Then I turned on the oven fan and blew the rest of the bees out into the daytime. The oven fan has been on ever since except for one hour this morning ... and 3 bees made their way back into the house in that time... so they got the shoe treatment too and I'm NOT turning off the fan again until the exterminators show up to help.
In these moments, when I am facing real fear, fear that arises out of a situation in which I or my child could feel pain (I know bee stings aren't awful, but I don't really want to just go get one) I am SO glad I practice yoga. And, I am SO glad I practice a yoga that challenges me, and pushes my edges. That I practice poses that scare me from time to time. Because when the real fear arises (after swearing once or twice and running away) I get super clear. I don't fall into a heap of tears and stress. I get super super decisive, clear, focused and motivated to do what needs to be done. I feel the fear and take the action that is required... even when I don't want to... and my breath and my blood pressure stay under control so I don't have a heart attack in the midst of it all. Whew. So, this coping with fear through yoga, it's a real thing. With real applications in my life. And on days like yesterday and today I am SO SO SO glad that I practice and so grateful for all of the many gifts this practice brings to me.
And, I'm really grateful that I can pick up the phone and have someone arrive at my door to help me.
Contemplation: Fear, taking action, yoga... real life? Discuss.