A lot of new energy and experiences came away from my time this last week in Reno and Lake Tahoe. Some things are still percolating as to how they will manifest, some things still need my focus to receive full clarity, and others have already kicked into motion. I love how every moment continually creates anew and is opportunity to embrace the flow of that.
Having come to realize over time that the magick lies within my own capabilities and understanding in order to learn the intricacies of self-transformation, I constantly engage myself to be more and more conscious of my individual processes and triggers. In being more present and mindful, there is the opportunity for a bit of self-alchemy. You can become just as masterful in your abilities to transform anything in your life, as you have been masterfully agreeing to allow things to transform you, up until now.
The more you practice the discipline of being lovingly in the moment with yourself, having curiosity, and are gently willing to be vulnerably honest, this can assist you in discovering the roots of your fears and the keys to transforming them. You can start to walk yourself through repatterning in steps and timing that feels natural and safe for you, and in ways that will produce the most beneficial results for you in mirror to that. If this is a challenge to do on your own, there are many tools and support systems that can assist you in uncovering these innate gifts that lead you back to your empowerment.
I've been practicing how to retrain myself into being my most natural me. Sounds kind of ironic and silly that we actually have to relearn how to be ourselves, but it's not too hard to understand how little babies and children that receive teaching and support in certain ways, or in lack of certain ways, will undoubtedly become some sort of product of those upbringings. Things get compounded over time with societal influences, etc. and before you know it, the real you gets lost. Yet, this is all part of the beautiful story of you and what is gained from the soul growth opportunities that these experiences provide.
The good news is that what is lost can always be found. The right circumstances and supportive energy will help it to reveal itself.
What I've learned is how to become quicker at spotting my processes and how to modify my approach to myself depending on the magnitude of the fear and/or timing in my life. Some times I am able to flip a switch, remove all safety nets, and just provide no out for myself, but to move forward, and this works beautifully. BUT, it doesn't always work with all things in my life and I've been honing in on when some fears need a more methodical, gentle, and consistent repatterning to make it a more natural process again.
Switch-flipping isn't for everyone, nor should it be, and sometimes if you scare yourself into something too soon, or if the reprogramming doesn't go to the core, it can pop again so that you can make sure the new foundation is strong and will hold what you're building long term.
The beauty is, fear doesn't need to be fearful to process and while consistency and devotion to your personal cause is essential, the work can be loving, gentle, rewarding, easier, and less painful. When you realize that you aren't at the mercy of anything, decide that fears no longer are going to keep you from the natural, loving soul that you are, and give yourself permission to love yourself back into wholeness, you can consciously take the steps forward into transforming those fears into empowering experiences.
This last week while I was away visiting my family and spending recharging time in nature in Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and Reno, I had the opportunity to face one of my fears that is deeply rooted far past the surface of what it lo0ks like (more than what I can share in this post). I was able to put into action processes I had learned, and learned new processes at the same time, that were supportive of my particular challenge.
The fear stemmed around skiing and yet the root was several layered. About 5 1/2 years ago, while married to my now ex-husband, I took up skiing for the first time. Skiing was his favorite sport and wanting to share in that, plus having a love for the snow and nature, combined with my usually natural sporting abilities, it seemed like the time to learn. My usual processes with things were to attack them fully, push, and go for it. I had always been an achiever and pushed myself beyond human limitations - and had a knack in past lives to continually drive myself, or let myself be driven in order to perform.
It wasn't hard to imagine that with all of this I would likely hit a breaking point in this new venture.
I took only a one hour private lesson in Vermont and directly after skied the beginner run only a few times and was whisked off to advanced runs immediately at the encouragement and promptings of my ex, ex's younger nephews and family. They were so excited to have me skiing with them, and me to also please and prove my ability, and since I hadn't allowed any fears to surface, along with not knowing what to expect, I just went with it. They said I was a natural and I actually did think I did do good for someone never having skiied before and based on what was being conveyed with all the positive words of encouragement. Without having any thing to compare it to or what to expect, I just accepted the advanced runs, the falls, and looked past or pushed down any fear that came up.
I then went on to ski at Sun Valley, Idaho doing amazingly well in my ability to perform when need be, and again receiving lots of encouragement this time from people outside of the family and even from couples where husbands and boyfriends were teaching their partners had them watch me as to how to approach their own skiing and fears of the steep slopes. So I thought I must be doing well. However, I actually only likely skied about a total of maybe 6 -8 times. It was the last time in at Mt. Rose above Lake Tahoe, that did me in for the next 5 1/2 years.
I'd been only skiing more advanced runs, but this time when we went directly there, it was a completely new experience - but more the mirror reality of what I hadn't dealt with. The other times I had not let fear be shown or to stop me. I DID love being in the snow, it WAS fun to flow down the mountain, and there WAS a magick in the whole process. These along with the encouragements and promptings, as well as my "achiever" and performance mentality, made it easy to not deal with the fear or my natural ways and desires.
Needless to say, I got to the top and everything kept going wrong. I had no control of my legs, feet, nor my emotions. And nor should I. My breaking point in life was hit on this one and I created a situation to get my attention to do something about it.
I kept falling, crashing, straining and hurting parts of myself, and I intuitionally knew, "Tania, if you push this, the worst IS going to happen." Suddenly something came over me and I embraced this knowingness, acknowledged enough was enough, let go of all the emotions that swelled inside, and I burst out into uncontrollable shaking (which happens when I have a major transformational shift take place sort of like a kundalini experience) and tears, as I sat myself down at the top of the mountain and said,
"I will NOT do this and it's OK."
Previous to this display, my ex-husband had lovingly tried to help direct me back on path and steer me into doing things to get my skiing back on point, as well as encouraging me I could do it. Nothing worked, as once I hit that breaking point and everything suppressed was released, there was no getting "back on track," what ever that means. Yet, the minute he saw me crying, sitting down, and stating what I did, knowing me, he knew I meant what I said and supported my decision. I then shimmied down the whole rest of the steep mountain slope on my butt, as I refused to get up and try anything further. I confidently did so without embarrassment, even when everyone stopped to ask if something was wrong. I just didn't care, as my well-being was top priority from that moment forward.
At the point, I felt a huge release that freed me from the saddle and bridle I'd been wearing and being directed by for SO long and I didn't ski again due to this realization and scarring fear, until this last week, 5 1/2 or so years later.
In the meantime, I of course have processed through many a fear, small and large, and continue to consistently put into practice what I learn of my unique self in terms of fears :) and how to best support their transformation into the innately powerful gifts that lie beneath. I have come to see that the things I fear the most, or the root of the fears, and the things that bring me greatest challenge, actually are the things I excel at, hold the core foundations for powerful and productive experiences, and/or naturally (if left to my own defenses) are things I love and are part of my path to share. They just need to be translated and molded back (by me) and channeled into the mirroring form of who I am naturally and uniquely.
Fear and Love are flip sides of the same coin and when you master the alchemy of understanding and integrating this, you have yourself a powerful tool with the ability to empower challenges that presents themselves.
There is of course more to this, but when you come to understand the foundations of things, the details kind of naturally take shape with continued and mindful practice.
Needless to say, when I returned to the mountain to ski, there was some trepidation (having not put to practice specifically in terms of skiing, the things I had learned). However, I was committed to honor myself in any given moment, above all else. And that made the difference in knowing I was here to back myself up and support "me." Nothing else was going to dictate or control the experiences.
When the vulnerable parts of you feel safe and can trust you will be there for them, they are able to reveal themselves and take more risks because they know you will not abuse them anymore.
I decided I would start from scratch and as if I'd never skied. I embraced being a complete beginner and the fact that I was "ok" if that was all I might ever be. There was nothing to prove, nothing to achieve, and nothing to push myself towards. I was there to be one with the mountain and myself and to experience my mindful practice of repatterning my fear.
It was decided that I would take a 4 hour lesson and then see where I was at after that. This was a great move, as I ended up in a private lesson, even though only paid for a group one (everyone else was matched with other instructors), and I got the best lesson and very conscious and gentle instructor that far exceeded anything I'd been told previously. Timing and readiness created a perfectly supportive situation. (Thank you to Alan at Alpine Meadows for such a great experience and for being such a great instructor - highly recommend)
I shared all of my feelings with my instructor and he took me through things step by step. Being someone that learns by watching and following by example, he shared that I was an ideal student. And so things went very well, he was very impressed and happy with how I was doing, but most importantly I was enjoying the process.
After lunch however, I got struck again, but I knew it was merely a testing point to see if I'd really learned.
My instructor took me up one notch to a little more intermediate run and suddenly things went awry. I started experiencing all the same things of nothing going right, falling, and fear taking over in the process. I knew that was it. I could tell he noticed this right away too so when I said to him at that point, "I have hit my limit of how much I want to push today and I feel that returning to the other slopes would aid my process of learning and establishing a foundation of comfort and trust that will better support my skiing abilities, but most of all my enjoyment of it," he was completely tuned in on the same channel and instinctively knew what to do to support me getting down the rest of the way.
(Fun REALLY is what everything is about right? Well, it should be, if it isn't. ;) )
Anyway, he agreed and was happy to see me acknowledging myself and knew just as I did that pushing was NOT the right thing for me. At that point, rather than shimmy down on my butt again, he skied backwards while I held both of our poles, and he directed my skis with his hands to help get me down the mountain safely while still learning. This was really great of him and actually helped me be conscious of how to process some of the fear.
What I found is that when I only looked directly in front of me (as I had to do just looking at him, my skis and listening to his directions), not way out ahead, I was able to be more present in the moment and only work with what was right there in front, rather than trying to let my mind wrap around all of the stimuli AND the steep angle of the slope. Since my mind can process a ton at once and is multi-faceted, it needs in a case like "fear" to be very single-minded, present, and focused only in the immediate, otherwise anxiety, stress, or fear can take place. I'd understood this before in other things I helped myself work through like stress, but to have it actually visually and physically put into action, and not just mentally and emotionally experiencing it, really drove the concept home. I am one that likes to process and experience on all levels, as it helps me learn the best. What a find!
I returned to the less challenging slopes and things went good again. I had learned a lot of pointers from him in the physical sense, but also had fully honored myself, and in mirror he honored me. I accepted that the only goal was to enjoy myself in the way that felt good to me and to create a new foundational experience of comfort, support, and joy by gently teaching myself to experience this in a way natural to "me." Not to what anyone else was doing, or some ideal I had to reach.
So, by the next day, I was ready to ski again AND for the first time ever, I skied alone. I stuck to the runs that felt right to me and just kept repeating them over and over in order to really connect with myself, put to practice my processes, and to continue to create that comfortability and trust - which all equated to pure joy and having fun! I really enjoyed skiing now for reasons real to me and without compare to what anyone else was doing or how they chose to approach their skiing. I had no need to do anything other than be with where I was at in the moment.
And when ever something felt to be out of control or fear started to kick in if I went too fast or something was more steep, I gently inner dialogued with myself reminding myself the things my instructor taught me that helped me to focus and repattern old waves of thoughts. This helped keep me supported with a guiding voice to instantly reprogram the fear postures and stances that took place when I stopped being purely in that moment, so that I could just focus on the connection with the snow, mountain and that instance of conscious choices.
Perhaps some of you may be similar, but I know that for me, I naturally have a broad sense of being able to take everything in and know my connection with all simultaneously to my own experience. But, in an instance of fear, it is best for me to go within myself and cut out all external stimuli in order for me to return to calm and be able to better make decisions, choices, and take more responsive actions.
So for sake of repatterning and processing this fear it was, again, more important to pull into the very now moment that only lied directly in front of me (only three feet ahead), rather than try to conquer the whole mountain at once, and take everything in one small step at a time in talking to myself what to be mindful of. This assisted me in not seeing the steepness of the entire run ahead (as heights are challenges for me too) and to not over-process what that stimulates in my mind in terms of over-bearing fears that become too overwhelming, causing me to lose ability to function and think clearly.
I also assured myself I had the ability to correct anything at any given moment by listening to my inner guidance of instructions that had my best interests in mind - joy, comfort, and safety - not achieving or proving. Still understanding my connection with everything, and yet in order to support the fear of seeing the steep slope and all that happens in reaction to that when my skis then get out of control, I needed to step back into myself in order to step forward.
I just continued sticking to the runs I felt comfortable with, over and over, to really create a deep and new foundation for myself and will continue to do so until it becomes natural and if I feel to try something else. I have no particular goal, as I mentioned, other than to honor my joy and comfort with this experience. There is no ladder I am striving to climb. I feel that I will naturally get where ever I want to go if and when I want to. For now, I will have my own kind of fun, and use the experience as a tool to learning repatterning techniques I can integrate into other aspects of my life that are similar and to supporting my vulnerable parts with the loving, gentle trust it deserves, and that's OK.
One small, gentle step forward at a time, IS a step forward nonetheless. And suddenly, as with all things so far, I'll look back and say, "Wow! Look how far I've come," and be amazed at the whole beautiful and perfect process.
This really shifted my entire experience with skiing, but more importantly shifted my relationship with myself, this particular fear, the old programmings that the fears were based on, and is helping to transform a not-so-nice experience into a nice one by slowly and gently erasing the old stuff. There was no need to force anything or do things in huge leaps.
Tender care, patience, and devotion to conscious personal growth will support forward movement. And in the end, you discover as the tortoise does, that you still arrive where you need to be with persistent and methodical steps. That's not to say I don't have some rabbit in me ;) , but I am learning when and how to pull out their individual wisdom at the appropriate times and situations.
Learning to understand your individual process and how best to support it in every different situation (as I know many of you are quite complex like me and will have different ways of processing those unique treasures) will help you to adapt your transformational skills into personal alchemy.
You are worthy of fully experiencing your divinity and to love yourself as the Universe loves you. Isn't it time you gave yourself permission to transform your fears in honor of that self-love, rather than have your fears control your life?
Here are some quotes to reflect on:
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. ~Marcus Aurelius
Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will. ~James Stephens
Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. ~Karl Augustus Menninger
A warrior must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if he feels that he should not follow it, he must not stay with it under any conditions. His decision to keep on that path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. He must look at every path closely and deliberately. There is a question that a warrior has to ask, mandatorily: 'Does this path have a heart? ~Carlos Castaneda
Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.