Spiritual Awakening is what we’re all about here at Adironnda & Company. Assisting you and others in matters of Spiritual Awakening is at the center of every message Adironnda delivers. It’s also the aim of every program we put together and the main ingredient of every lovingly created product we offer.
And then, Adironnda reminds us:
“You teach others what you need to know.” (Tweetable)
So it makes sense that we who make up Team Adironnda are everyday in process with our own Spiritual Awakening, too.
Have you listened to the recording of the 2-2-2014 Double Digit? Adironnda spoke a lot about fear that evening and how it can block our progress toward Awakening. There was so much love coming through on the topic of moving through fear, living beyond our comfort zones, and answering the call to something greater than the safety of our current situations.
This is a central theme for us—and by us, I mean you, me, all of us—because the way our physiology is designed in this human experience is slanted toward safety and survival. Believe me, I’m truly happy that my body shut down and prevented me from attempting to finish the climb on an 8,000 ft. mountain when I had not trained properly. Scaling the mountain single-file with only that chain holding me was not in my highest and best interest that day.
Yet, the funny thing about fear is that, regardless of whether or not your life is truly at risk, your system reacts as if it is. Even though it’s something you’ve chosen to do, fear can make standing up and speaking to a room full of people, or speaking your unspoken truth in a relationship feel just as threatening to your survival as scaling a mountain when you’re afraid of heights.
Maybe it’s not the heights we’re afraid of, maybe it’s the potential falls!
Periodically, when I feel held back and a little too safe, I’ll do something to prove that fear doesn’t have control over me. I’ve climbed the pyramid at Chichén Itzá, parasailed in the Caribbean, hiked mountains, spoken at public events, moved my family in a tent and, most recently, flown on a trapeze.
Even with my fear of heights (fear of falls, really,) being able to fly was something that I had longed to experience. So in 2012, I set the intention to do so on the trapeze. Later that summer, we were on a road trip to see Tony Robbins when we stopped by the Santa Monica Pier to see if we could catch a performance by a musician whom our friend, Steven, had seen a year earlier. He wasn’t there, but guess what was: a trapeze school!
Fast forward and I’m in a safety harness and going through the physical motions and sequence of what we would do in the air. Our instructors had us review this again and again, to prime our bodies and minds for what was going to happen.
My fear of potential falls was fully present as I climbed each rung of the ladder, focusing on the very next step and then the next. My legs were shaking like jelly, and the only way I could move through each step was to remember my bodily sensation of expansion, to breathe and find gratitude for this experience. I reminded myself that there was a net, there were people to assist, lots of people have done this before me, and I was going to be okay.
Once at the top of the 30 ft. platform, I saw the rest of the pier stretching out into the Pacific Ocean. With only a small handle to hold onto, I found that familiar shrinking feeling returning. To keep going, I checked back in with that feeling of expansion and gratitude and slowed my breath as I made room for the next person to share the tiny landing with me. When the instructor clipped the back of my belt, I panicked, realizing that I would have to let this person hold my entire body weight as I reached out to grab a hold of the bar. I’m fiercely independent, and trusting others is something that takes conscious effort for me. Breathing again and moving forward, I leaned out to grab the bar and listened for the command. After another breath…
I wish you the experience one day of the sense of freedom that ensued. It was brief, but exquisite. After wrapping my legs around the bar and hanging upside down, I grasped the bar again and fell to the safety net below.
I want to do that again!
Each time I went up, it was barely easier to do, but eventually, the final moment arrived: the JUMP! As I leapt off the platform and hung upside down with legs over the bar, I heard the “hup” signal from the instructor and, with my hands outstretched, I would release my legs from the bar entirely, mid-air.
What came next were extended moments of bliss… I was caught by the instructor fully, beautifully, and profoundly, and as I swung out toward the ocean, I was filled with the most complete sense of freedom and elation that I have ever known. Down below, I could hear whistles and hoots! See the video for yourself!
Here is the framework I learned while moving through fear and into bliss. I’ve also included some adaptations that I’ve incorporated in the years since:
- Acknowledge and appreciate your survival system. Accept that it’s part of our current human life, and express gratitude for its support. After all, you made it this far!
- Prime yourself for the physicality of what will take place. When you walk yourself through the experience, actually moving around the room to embody and visualize what will occur, your body starts to understand what is expected
- Expand your body. If you’ll take just two minutes to stand like Wonder Woman with your hands on your hips, legs hip-width apart, head and shoulders back, this will set off biochemical changes in your body that increase testosterone (the hormone that helps you take risks) and decrease cortisol (the stress hormone). It’s not just something happening inside your body either; in a double blind study, researchers found that the change can be understood by others on a subtle level.
- Gratitude. It’s been said that fear and gratitude cannot exist at the same time. Center yourself and train your focus to return to this state of gratitude for this greater experience that’s calling you forward.
- Breath. I’m sure you’ve heard that the difference between fear and excitement is only the breath. Remember to breathe into the gratitude that you feel and let it expand all over your body. Train yourself to return to this focus and act.
- Shake. I’ve heard that animals don’t seek therapy to resolve their fear, they just shake it off. Literally. I learned to do this from a co-counseling friend and it works miracles when there’s just so much energy rushing through your body that you need to do something. My favorite form is to lie on my back, put my hands and feet in the air and just shake everything. Yep, could be pretty embarrassing, so remember to be selective about where you do this!
- Trust. A wise coach of mine once said that the Universe can’t catch us if we don’t jump. A central tenet of Spiritual Awakening is that Life is truly happening for you and not to you. If we could see and understand the amount of non-physical support and love out there for us, we would know we could do anything. There is a tremendous amount of love and support for us on this physical plane, as well. Be willing and open to trusting that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and that you are divinely guided.
Fear is something that accompanies human life, regardless of how confident or accomplished we become. As we continually expand our comfort zones and reach outside of them, we inevitably encounter fear or discomfort. The trick is leveraging a strategy that’s been proven to work for you so that you can transcend the fear of potential failure and continue to grow, expand and reach new levels of Spiritual Awakening and bliss.
It’s my wish that you connect with the courage inside of you to rise up and meet the greater experience that is calling you forward, whether that’s being seen in a larger way, speaking your mind, or however your expansion looks for you. Let yourself try it. The Universe will be your safety net and will catch you, should you fall. And the rest of us are all here, down below, just waiting for you to jump, so that we can cheer you on as you do it!
Christi Daniels is a Catalyst for Positive Change who helps extraordinary women challenge the assumptions that keep them stuck, so that they can live a life true to themselves and make the difference they were born to make. She’s been a fan and student of Marilyn Harper and Adironnda since 2005 and is thrilled to be helping out behind the scenes during this exciting time with Adironnda & Company. More info at: www.christidaniels.com