Thursday, August 5, 2010

Upside Down Thinking (The Sequel)

Since My last post on thinking upside down I had some additional thoughts about facing fears.

What I believe made my head stand an approachable fear was that I was in a safe place. Unlike my high school Gymnasium, the Main Street Yoga studio in Mansfield ( was a very safe place for me to stretch way beyond my comfort level.

There was no one present that was about to laugh or make fun of me as I tentatively got into position, which also made it easy to try something new.

I also had help. My yoga instructor, Kath Thompson, had no doubt I could do it and offered, without force, the opportunity to give it a try. For some reason, for many of us, we are hesitant to ask for or accept help. That may have been true about me when I was 16, but now, I can ask for help, even from strangers, if there's no one around that I know personally.

Trust was also a big factor. I cannot imagine facing and conquering my fears if I didn't trust those that were anywhere near the vicinity of whatever new thing I was about to try.

I find it interesting that many people sometimes hang around with friends that they don't truly trust. I wonder why they would spend their time with someone that did not want to see them at their best, and perhaps even rather see them fail.

The circle of friends that are currently present in my life all pass the trust test. I'm sure as I continue to knock off fears one by one, my true friends will be cheering me on, as I will for them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Upside Down Thinking

I had an epiphany while standing on my head earlier today in yoga class. You see, this headstand was a first for me and was a pretty big deal.

Forty plus years ago when I was in high school, I used every possible excuse to get out of performing a variety of physically challenging exercises, and headstands were on my taboo list, along with cart wheels, tumbling and the uneven parallel bars.

Since I was afraid of a myriad of results which included breaking my back as I fell to the ground and the fear of getting stuck upside down and being left to die because my class mates were always up for a laugh, I never expected my head would give the mat such a long kiss. Okay, so it wasn't more than a moment or two (not sure how long a moment actually is), but it was long enough to have an inspiring thought.

What popped into my inverted brain was that if I could overcome a fear that was 40+ years old, I can surely overcome the fears that were more recently developed. In fact, it makes sense to me that those fears from long, long ago have more time to expand to reach a higher than normal fright level.

If I could actually look that fear in the eye, then it must mean I can do it again. In fact, I bet I could knock off two or three fears a day if I put my mind to it.