"Act as if you trust your God." Anonymous
It's funny how the novelty of new things can maintain a level of enthusiasm that makes it easy to feel good, until our old habits creep in again, and we're forced to either face those demons or remain entrenched in bad habits. I recently wrote about how I had started working with guided meditations and mudras (hand gestures) and was immediately feeling some wondrous effects. I guess that was the honeymoon phase. I'm still trying to meditate regularly and work more with my subtle, energetic body but it's become much more challenging now that that alchemical high has subsided.
Attempting to meditate while in the grip of old fears and negative thought patterns is no easy task. Sometimes, I'm so distracted, I wonder if these practices are having any effect at all. Then it dawns on me that this is the time I should practice: when I've slid into that dark hole, because I'm forced to draw my attention to something else. As for trusting my God, well, let's just say I have trust issues. Since becoming a full-time yoga instructor three years ago, I've placed myself in an environment that is constantly triggering my deepest fears and insecurities. Every day, I struggle with a sense of unease, as if failure is just around the corner.
I spent most of my adult life working at jobs I had little to no interest in, so there was nothing at stake. Now, my passion is my work but I'm constantly plagued by the spectre of "what if I fail at this?" What then? What if I can't do what I love? How do I move backwards? For an introvert who is, I would say, moderately ambitious, I feel like a fish out of water in a business that's moving at breakneck speed, populated by highly ambitious extroverts with seemingly endless social media and web expertise, as I awkwardly clunk along, guessing at what might work to reach potential clients, and trying to swallow my general distaste of social media.
I guess I'm still trying to figure out how to relax and trust the process, realizing more and more with each passing day how little control I have over anything. How does one move past deep-seated fear, which inevitably leads to despair? I've learned that when you care deeply about what you do, and you're an independent contractor, it's a whole other ballgame. Trying not to compare myself to other teachers proves a nearly impossible task, and I always come up short, trapped in a hell of my own making. A part of me simply chooses to reject the notion that one can do what one loves in life and make a good living at it. That's probably why I abandoned trying to pursue a full-time career in the arts.
Or maybe this is the theatre in which my fears will play themselves out, where I'll be forced to deconstruct old beliefs and create new ones, where the path may lead me to some unknown place that I hadn't even thought of. I continue to practice and teach, through the twisted thicket of fear and doubt, constantly confronted with my ego's need for bolstering and reassurance, and trying to sift through the complicated web of desires that drive my actions, seeking purer intentions than mere validation.
How does one believe they can and are living their dream without waiting for the other shoe to drop? How does one let go of the nagging feeling that everyone has this figured out except you? I suppose these are questions for that silent space in meditation, for that moment you discover a long-held emotional block and let go, for that blessed instant when you realize it's all in your head. The question is: do I trust my God?