Rising Through Fear on the Mat
Blog post by Katie Scarsella.
I don’t remember the first time I felt fear, I just know it’s always been there. At times It has kept me safe, but sometimes that fear has come at a cost. Because when we live in fear, it prevents growth and change.
Throughout my years I’ve made attempts to co-exist with it. At times I’ve let it define me, I’ve tried ignoring it, even attempted self-medicating to release its grips. However those attempts simply enabled it to appear in new, more creative ways.
Recently, there has been a shift. I now see the time spent on my mat has forced me to spend time with myself, without the influence of others. My practice along with the introduction to mindfulness had changed the way I viewed fear. It unknowingly helped me face it, and in a way, befriend it. I continue to learn from embracing it’s loveliness and it’s ugliness.
In those moments when I can say, ‘I feel your presence, fear’ it grants me a great freedom. That freedom becomes my ability to choose its relevance. Do I listen to fear and turn back around? Or, will I attempt to do what feels impossible. Am I fearing the task? Or simply the responsibility that will come from breaking through another barrier.
May your fear give you the power to rise, not just the power to hide. The moments of greatest transformation occur when we let our light burn bright, even if the winds of change attempt to extinguish it.
“What is to give light must endure burning”. - Viktor Frankl
The essence of the wisdom Marianne Williamson conveyed when saying:
“You dismantle the darkness by invoking the light”
is timeless. It has been interwoven in all spiritual practices throughout the ages. However, what she said before that is a key part of what keeps many unable to release their suffering. She explained how societally we have a tendency to feel a need to analyze everything, including the cause of our suffering, but suffering does not go away merely by analyzing it. It is when we bring light into our life, that the suffering finally begins to have less and less room to exist. Hearing her explain it this way was a huge “A-ha” moment for me. We all suffer in different ways.
Sometimes you can easily observe someone's suffering by their outward expressions, others aren’t as easy to read. Like most people, I was one of the later. I appeared normal and happy, for the most part, but internally I was seething. There are few people that knew of this struggle, mostly because finding a safe place to share this wasn’t easy. Admitting something wasn’t right would have likely lead to questions. It’s human nature to want to make someone feel better when they are upset. The questions “What’s wrong?” , or “Why do you feel that way?” would have likely been asked. Knowing this, I tried to analyze the origin of this deep upset myself, but I had no answers. I spent over a decade from adolescence onward on a journey from self abuse, to self love. Intuitively the women of my family helped guide me on a life changing path towards yoga, and healing body work. I received gift certificates for both, and immediately knew there was something in each of these practices that reached me at a soul level. They both allowed me to witness a deep peace and stillness beyond the self negating dialogue that ran through my head. As the years passed, I found my way to many different healers, and yoga classes, each offering their own special gifts and wisdom, each one bringing me closer “ to my own true nature”, as one teacher would like to say. My yoga practice wasn’t always consistent. I would go through phases of regularly getting to the mat, and the more I would, the more at ease my life would appear. I could feel compassion being cultivated for myself and those around me. Then the hard lessons of life would roll through, and I would lose my footing. The beauty was that no matter how much time I spent away from the practice, it was always there to receive me when I was ready to come back.
In the winter of 2016, ten years after my first yoga class, I felt I was finally ready to pursue the path of a yoga teacher. I searched different programs in the area, and asked those around me for their input. Coincidentally, Kundalini Yoga was being brought to my attention enough at that time, that I knew I needed to seek out a class. My first class engaged me on so many levels that I knew I had found the yogic path I wanted to continue on. After this class, my boss, friend, and intuitive sounding board, Jennifer Perry, text me the info afriend gave her about a Kundalini Teacher Training program that was coming to our area. I signed up, and since then the program has undoubtedly changed my life. It has taught me how important it is to commit.
When you commit to a spiritual path, it will invoke the light that is within you. Whatever your “Darkness” might be will be brought to light and released, and what will be left is peace, and pure love for those around you, and most importantly for yourself.
It is in developing this inner peace that we will begin to see peace in our homes which will spread into the rest of the world. I always say the reason that I travel this path is because I want to give the “Power to the people!”. I know it is not something I can actually give, but rather something I hope everyone will be able see for themselves by choosing to find a way to allow that light into their life. For me that path is yoga, for anyone else it may look very different. Ultimately you’ll know when it’s the right path for you because it will show you who you truly are, and displace the false story we tell ourselves about who we think we are. I believe that part of liberation and true prosperity is achieved by speaking and living your truth. I’m blessed to have this space here to share mine, and send you light on your path in finding and sharing yours.
Veronica Crites (Adi Shiva Kaur)
What’s in your heart?
Blog Post by Jennifer Perry
There was a period in my life that I spent in reflection, introspection and in reverence to what was going on inside my heart. At that time, my heart felt broken, my life was in conflict and turmoil, my insides felt heavy and burdened and I didn’t know what the word LOVE meant to me anymore. I knew that I Loved my children and would do anything to keep them healthy, vibrant and emotionally stable through this time of resolve in me. They were my True North in grounding me back to my path that I had detoured from. The heart path.
During this time, I let myself be, I let myself feel, I allowed every emotion to flood in. I spent 2 years feeling and meditating on one word. LOVE. In this allowing I discovered a connection to my intuitive nature a deep place inside that we all have access too. I allowed myself to connect to all the space around me without needing it to be different, without wanting it to feel different. I observed, and I processed and in that space, I began to emerge, I began to remember. I emerged connected to the trees around me, I emerged connected to the wind and to all living things above and below me. I observed how our collective conscious created weather patterns upon the planet and I began the next path of my inner journey remembering who I was, how I was deeply connected to all of this and what part “I” was here to nurture, grow and share.
I observed the patterns of individuals on social media, I observed others stepping into their own greatness, I observed the continuous cycle of drama in the world. I observed the addictive behavior that individuals, corporations, our political parties have to this drama, I observed where I played into that same cycle. I observed, and I processed. I observed, and I processed. I still do this. I discovered that drama causes trauma to the world. So, I continued to observe my own personality, my own character flaws and I began to Love them without judgment but as a Shakti as a witness, and in that space, it allowed me to develop a deeper integrity with my own actions. In this process I learned, I absorbed, and I blessed. I blessed every person I hurt in the past, I blessed every person I admired, I blessed my family, I blessed the planet, when the late hours of 3:00am awoke me I blessed some more, I blessed strangers on the street and in my blessing a wonderful thing started to occur. I began to heal from the inside out. I healed with teachers, I healed with energy, I healed with faith, I healed with Love.
As the fragmented pieces of my heart began to connect again through this process I was now able to listen. I began to tap into my guides, my ancestors, my angels in a deep compelling way. These were and still are my strongest teachers and guides in my path back to the light, back to my heart. They are with me now as I write, they give me the courage to continue to live from this place of trust and integrity and heart. They cheer me on, they tell me when to say no more; and as my dad said to me in his direct jolly manner, the first time I connected with him from the spirit side; after asking him what took so long for you to come? Tears of joy rolling down my face, he replied: “It is like a concert hall trying to get through them all, to talk to you.” They, these spirits, angels, teachers and guides are my concert and my choir, and they are with you too. I realized the quieter I became the more I could listen. They were with me all along, I just couldn’t hear them…. but now I do.
My heart continues to heal through my unwavering inner practice of meditation, yoga, and service, all of which I began without ever fully understanding the depth of these practices. These 3 vital tools have become the anchor to my heart, my soul. Without them, I would not know which step or action to take. They have changed my body, my spirit, my life. Each day is different but through the evolution of my inner garden (heart) I get to observe, process and continue to water the areas that need attention and Love. I get to share the joy that has emerged in my heart, the Love for all individuals has deepened to a place of non-duality and non-judgment because I see their angels, I see their guides I see their soul. In learning and observing my own heart I have compassion for where they are on their own personal soul journey. I get to experience great joy in watching humanity moving back into this heart space, this place of remembering.
To all of those moving back into your heart space, doing the work, no matter how hard or challenging it may seem. To all of those showing up to every moment with integrity, with introspection, with the courage to recognize your own individual heart and into your own remembering; I honor you. I honor your struggle, I honor your greatness and most of all I honor your light. Keep going, the joy and freedom is always on the other side of deep heart work and as the Native American Proverb says, “Listen to the Heart, it knows.”
In Love & Heart,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.