Breathe Power Into Your Questions
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
– Joseph Campbell
I am thrilled to be back from NYC!! I spent the latter part of last week through this past Sunday up in NYC for ECA, an international fitness convention which offers workshops, certifications and features innovative and diverse programming. Basically, the latest and greatest in the fitness industry. I met some A-mazing fitness professionals, got Insanity certified (stay tuned for where I’ll be teaching that class!), and I learned A LOT. But, perhaps the most rewarding thing for me last week was the clarity I gained in regards to my vision and the reminder that achieving that vision is an evolutionary process.
Every time I attend ECA I acquire new “tools” and resources. But, this year, instead of just taking it all “in,” I wondered what I had to put “out” there. Instead of replicating what I learned or questioning if I should be in this industry, I wondered, How can I take these resources and make it my own? I shifted my focus from finding the “right answer” to the power of a question:What can I GIVE? This question filled me with curiosity, excitement and fueled my passion to take what I’m doing to the next level. It helped me realize, I’m not just teaching a class. No matter the format, I’m teaching MY class. And, that’s the kind of power you can breathe into.
So often we think what we want to achieve is impossible. That our dreams are too lofty. Or too hard. Or maybe they will take too long. So often we search for the right answer. The quick fixes. Or we chalk it up and just stay where we are, going through the motions without really living life. Simply put: we’re afraid to fail.
Fear has gotten a bad rep. It’s the paralyzing-anxious-debilitating-defeating-sweaty-palmed-quick-breathed-I-think-a-lion-might-eat-me kind of feeling. I mean who wants any of that, right? But fear is also one of the greatest tools we have at our disposal. If we are willing to breathe power into the questions that arise out of fear and failure, we can use that feeling to face our circumstances and rise. We have two ways we can look at FEAR: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.
When we are in the Forget Everything And Run mode, we operate under three principles:
Principle 1: Fear of failure keeps us grounded instead of realizing the sky is the limit.
For many years, my fear of being fat kept me stuck in my eating disorder. And, even when I had the realization that I wanted to be done with my ED, the fear of failing to recover kept me circling back to old habits. You know, the proverbial two steps forward, ten steps back.
Principle 2: Our fear has friends.
My fear if being fat wasn’t just about what I saw (or thought I saw) in the mirror. It’s a bigger picture of What if I’m not enough? What if I don’t have what it takes? What if no one likes me? My fear extended (and still does at times) into other areas of my life.
Principle 3: Fear feels real.
The fear of public speaking and having to take a public speech course in college nearly paralyzed me. It honestly felt no different than being chased by a lion. Fear feels real and that’s because the caveman part of our brain doesn’t distinguish between real danger and perceived danger.
We have two ways we can look at FEAR: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. When we decide to view our FEAR as Face Everything and Rise, we start to reframe our story and our questions. As I shifted my perception of FEAR, I started to shift questions around my ED. What if I get fat? shifted into, How much fuller can I live life? And I found that as I reframed my questions, the story I told myself shifted. I started to look for ways and opportunities to honor my body and give it the nutrition and rest it needed. I started to take rest days. I found reasons to be grateful for my body. I became a Beachbody coach and started taking Shakeology so I could get a daily dose of dense nutrition that I knew my body needed.
What fear really offers us is clarity. If it wasn’t important or if it didn’t matter, we wouldn’t care, right? Fear is a very good indicator of what we really want and need in our lives. In the moment fear doesn’t feel like clarity. It feels excruciatingly crippling. But, something Petra Kolber said in her Perfection Detox session at ECA gave me an A-Ha moment in regards to my fear, especially around my teaching. Petra said, “Anxiety is excitement without the breath.” It was simple but deeply profound. Out of her statement, I found myself shift questions around my teaching from How can I get more numbers? How can I be the most perfect and amazing instructor? What if I say “No” to this opportunity or give this class up? into What can I give? What lessons can I teach? And how can I live those lessons myself? And it was like a WOOooosh! of a shift. By bringing breath to my fear-based questions, I opened the door wide open to excitement, a place where I can let my passion for teaching and my creativity loose.
Maybe you’re in a place of fear right now. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you have a dream or vision on the back burner. Maybe you’re going after it right now. All I ask you to do this week as fear comes up is breath into it. No matter what the fear is, simply asking, What can I GIVE? unleashes the quiet power of service and showing up. No matter what the fear is, when we ask, What can I GIVE? we are ultimately asking, How can I bring more of myself to the world?And that’s a beautiful thing.
What can you GIVE? Breath into YOU.