by Hanuman Das, The Yoga Shack
Fear is one of the primary emotions that humans and animals can experience and witness. Fear is a highly functional part of our life and can save our lives. The paradox is that fear can also restrain our lives. When we understand fear and its place in our lives we can monitor its appearance, its foundations, and respond from a place of equanimous strength.
Each time fear appears the observant and discerning mind will clarify: is this fear coming from a functional view or a dysfunctional view?
For many years as a salesperson, I was involved in team building events that my employer asked us to participate in. On several occasions, these events included climbing high walls, zooming down flying foxes, and other activities where heights where a major component.
One of my things in this life has been heights and a slight surplus of caution regarding them. These activities I was being asked to perform were quite challenging, but an overactive or imbalanced ego and the desire to be seen as brave helped override the fear.
As I began to explore my emotions more discerningly I began to witness the fear arise and then make a conscious decision whether to participate or not.
From a discerning stance, I could clearly see many safety precautions had been taken and the instructors appeared qualified and able. This second approach came from a clear and functional mind that had done its due diligence then directed the will, senses, body and mind to participate in a present and joyous manner.
Our mind has several different components from a Yogic standpoint and one of those components is the ego. The ego portion of our mind is often incorrectly maligned and misunderstood. When our egos fulfil their role they are extraordinarily useful. When the ego is governing the other components of the mind, unnecessary suffering is likely. An ego that reports to the other components of the mind is a balanced and controlled ego. The ego’s job in relation to fear is to keep the individual safe in their life/incarnation. The ego’s job is to advise us of danger, to consult on possible consequences of our thoughts words and actions.
An ego functioning soundly brings fear into our consciousness as a warning when we are in threatening and challenging circumstances. Walking too close to traffic, being around dangerous and violent people or animals, generally taking unnecessary risks. A dysfunctional ego engulfs a fragile mind with fear when it feels threatened in other ways.
Disapproval, being alone, rejection, looking incompetent physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and being bound in past experiences can all induce fear in the mind. This manifestation of fear keeps us perched on the edge of life, never really embracing its joys or pains. We stand on the sidelines of life frozen in negative expectation, and often frozen by thoughts of positive outcomes. We dwell in a tormented mind due to a dearth of diligence, attentiveness and misperception.
Overcoming erroneous fear is not possible for the unaware or the weak-minded. Subtlety and obviousness are both guises that erroneous fear dons to bind the weary and oblivious.
Taking on such a formidable foe as erroneous fear takes a strong will and constant vigilance.
Investigating the veracity of the fear is step one: is this real? Am I in mortal danger? Could my physical body be harmed? Could my mental or energetic bodies be harmed? If these questions are answered in the negative than the second step, which is less time sensitive can begin. Having guaranteed a high level of personal safety we can perform a more rigorous and detailed exploration of the false fear.
Knowing the who, what, when is a prerequisite for fear assessment. Why has this false fear manifested? How can I understand the substance of it, whilst not being beset by it? How and what can I implement to dissolve it and then vanquish it permanently?
If we fear disapproval, fear can manifest as an overwhelming urge to people please, at a high cost to ourselves. If we fear being alone we will enter into or stay in unhealthy relationships. If we fear looking incompetent, we may act and speak untruthfully or conversely, we may not engage in anything that opens us to the appearance inadequacy.
Mastery of our emotions, be they fear, love, sadness, anger, surprise or joy or any of their offspring enables a deeper and more present interaction with our lives and the lives of others.
When we utilize or emotions rather than be consumed by them we step off the emotional roller coaster and enter the tunnel of love. Flowing gently and serenely with controlled emotions, flowing with the world, its beauty and its curiosities, flowing with birth and death, fame and shame, strong and easeful in each moment.
Hanuman Das is an author and teacher in the fields of Yoga and spiritual living. He shares techniques in the areas of meditation, self-inquiry and yoga asana. Hanuman Das conducts workshops and retreats and has lectured on consciousness and spiritual living at Yoga and spirit based festivals across Australia. Hanuman Das is a gifted and entertaining speaker and author whose parables make learning joyous, clear and easy to incorporate into daily life.
Are you ready to be transformed by Yoga?
Subscribe to our mailing list & every 2 months we'll send you a newsletter filled with Yoga goodness.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.