How do you behave after you become afraid?

I think we can all agree that what is happening in the world is scary. There is violence, strife, poverty, and heartbreak pretty much in every direction. So much suffering is being actively created by the hands of FEARFUL man.

Title it what you like but it is fear that is breeding the violence, greed, racism, extremism, the endless arguments about borders, and creating the absolute hell of war. That is fear – often labeled as something else – operating behind the scenes.  Which begs the question: “How do you behave after you become afraid?”

Not the very instant the fear strikes. But after it settles itself. After it becomes normal rather than abnormal to feel afraid. When the fear has become your bedrock. How then do you behave?

IMG_1758Anxiety has always been an issue for me. My practice over time has become my medicine. If I don’t practice enough I notice my anxiety begin to spark and fire. I notice the heat beginning to build and I know I need to get back on my mat for longer practices. And I do. I hate anxiety! So I practice.

She noticed her anxiety sneaking around, its darkness at her edges. It appeared as a crawling thing in the corner, a demon in the shadows. It took up space and sang its siren song of misery.

Excerpt from Healing Footstep to Footstep


For a long time I though my anxiety happened in a vaccum. I was anxious because I was anxious. OKAY?!?!?!?! But through the awareness that practicing yoga and meditation ultimately brings I now recognize that what I feel percolating as anxiety is at its root fear. I am not really anxious so much as scared shitless.

Fear can bring something entirely different out in you. It’s another magical thing about being unique snowflakes – our emotions don’t create the same out come. Have you ever wondered how you express fear? Is it anger? Or do you connect with the notion of victim? Or like me do you become anxious and hyper alert? When you become afraid how do you behave?


Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me and through me I will turn to see fear’s path. Where the fear is gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

                                                ~Frank Herbert

Whenever I step onto my mat I first set the intention that I am stepping into my sacred space. It may seem silly but my mat is a place of safety and I become much more capable of making inquiry about my strongest emotions while contained in its borders. Often for me it is fear that I must confront. So I do, I choose through my practice to recognize my fear, acknowledge my fear, and ultimately release my fear.

What are you going to do today to help yourself? What practices can you incorporate today to give yourself a moment to come to center and find the sacred space that resides within you?

I know you are busy. But you have to make time. We all have to take time for ourselves. We are all busy. In fact we are all so busy that busyness is not interesting. Busyness is not a badge of honor. It is a form of waking escape. Slow down. Take a breath. Find your footing. Take responsibility for your mind, body, and spirit. Choose to align with peace, sacredness, joy, light, calm, harmony – even if it is only for 3 minutes.

Here are four simple things you can do:

1. Practice this breathing lesson:

2. Sing to this song: Beautiful, Bountiful, Blissful (Bahkti Yoga – Yoga of Devotion)

3. Practice Yoga! Relaxing yoga series!