meditation to overcome fear

These past 5 days in Florence have been the best days of *my entire year.*

I’m in beautiful Florence, strolling cobblestone streets, sampling ALL the bruschetta, and preparing to host my “Ignite Your Renaissance” yoga retreat in a few weeks. I’m ecstatic to be here now, but shocked at how close this retreat came to not happening at all.

Last year, I was majorly afraid to host a retreat in a foreign country, completely on my own.

Thoughts of doubt and limiting beliefs began to creep into my mind. Anxiety and worry began to settle in as an unrealistic fear of failure and fear of rejection set in.

What if nobody wanted to come? (hello, fear of rejection)

What if I couldn’t handle it on my own? (nice-to-meet-you, fear of failure)

What if, what if, what if…

Negative thoughts and limiting beliefs ruled my mind for so many months leading up to the retreat that I began feeling super emotional about it all!

Now that I’m here in Italy, where everything is SO easy, thoughts of the crippling fear and doubt I experienced in the months leading up to this trip have sort of dissolved out of my mind.

Reflecting back, I’m so glad I didn’t let my fear dictate my choices.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of work to keep my anxiety and worry at bay. I practiced a lot of meditation for anxiety and focused on practicing mindfulness in my daily life to avoid spinning out in the negative thoughts that always found their way back into my mind.

The entire experience leading up to the retreat taught me a valuable lesson…

…no matter how advanced a student (or teacher) you are, fear and worry are present forever.

Luckily, meditation helps.

In fact, this experience is partly what inspired me to create a guided meditation to overcome fear

This guided meditation to overcome fear can be a powerful tool in getting out from under the heavy weight of fear and anxiety. If you take the time each day to address this underlying fear that is getting in the way of you reaching your goals, then day by day it will become a littler bit less overwhelming.

Another tip?

Remember to stay in the moment with mindfulness. The more that you focus on the beautiful life that you are living, the less power fear and limiting beliefs have over you.

Want a little help on how to stay in the moment? Here are three tips to help you overcome your fear and take control of your experience.

3 Tips to Overcome Fear and Negative Thoughts

Learning how to navigate fearful waters is an invaluable tool that will help you throughout the rest of your life. It can also bring you tremendous peace and healing in ways that maybe you thought wasn’t possible.

Believe me, I’ve been there.

The power of meditation is incredible. Combined with mindful living and a few perspective shifts, you can begin living your life free of fear and panic too. Here are my three tips to get ahold of the fear and worry that is holding your mind hostage in your daily life:

1. Don’t Judge

If you feel fearful often (like me), don’t judge yourself!

The first step is to overcoming your fear is to realize that your fear is not your identity.

It is your ego, clinging onto anxiety and worry like a security blanket that no longer serves you. It is your brain‘s reactions to previous pain and trauma in your life, a survival mechanism that no longer serves you.

But meditation helps.

When you use your yoga and meditation practice to get grounded, you’re able to realize all the voices in your head (including fear) are just like passing clouds. YOU are the sky behind the clouds. You can simply observe your fear without getting caught up in the story it’s telling you.

You are not your fear.

As you learn how to observe your phobias, pain, suffering, fear and worry, they will have less of a hold on you and your identity.

2. Uncover the Value

I firmly believe that our bodies and minds *love* us, want what’s best for us, and are constantly striving to heal. When viewed through this lens, you fear is a valuable friend. Just like a newborn infant can only communicate through crying, fear can only get your attention by scaring you.

Recognize this, then choose go deeper.

Underneath the current of your emotions is a valuable message.

For example, I realized a lot of my fear around planning this retreat had to do with not having total control over the experience. Instead of letting a tour company assist or make decisions for me, I decided to control every aspect of the trip myself. Once I did this, even though it seemed counterintuitive, I was way *less* stressed.

This is a great example of how fear can shed light on something that makes little sense when viewed through logic, but is actually immensely valuable.

Remember:

Fear is one of the most powerful channels to connect with what your innermost self truly needs and wants.

You just need to ignore fear’s scary stories and dig deeper for the real message.

3. Be Proactive

Don’t let fear nag away at you and don’t listen to its surface level woes. Make time to drop down into your yoga or meditation practice with the intention of uncovering what’s happening at a deeper level.

Then take action immediately. This may mean having a difficult conversation, pushing yourself in a way that feels uncomfortable, or taking a new risk.

It may mean taking a breath before taking action and it may mean distancing yourself from certain people.

Don’t delay. I promise you’ll feel empowered and happy, immediately.

Then you can say: “Hey fear, thanks for helping me figure this out!”

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Here in Italy, I’ve been practicing a cell-phone free, camera-free lifestyle and trying to be fully present in Florence. Here are a few of the photos I’ve managed to take so far.

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Did you know Michelangelo was a master anatomist and lover of science? He dissected hundreds of bodies! I The Renaissance was the marriage of art and science, just like yoga is a blend of science and spirituality.

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My mom is here with me helping me find all the best off-the-beaten path lunch spots. Here we are in a lemon grove 🙂

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