"Do not seek to have everything that happens as you wish, but wish for everything to happen as it actually does happen, and your life will be serene."
-- Our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasure."
--Rainier Maria Rilke
This morning in class, we worked on Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hang-to-Big-Toe Pose). I know the lovely lady on the Yoga Journal site has a big smile on her face, but this is one of those poses that pushes all my buttons and makes me lose my cool. Between sides, Nikole asked us to let go of our struggles on the first side and start the pose on the second side with a fresh and open mind. She said, "We spend so much time living in the past, don't we? Even the things we worry about happening in the future are just things that happened to us in the past. Just let it go."
Fear is a useful thing when you're being chased by a bear. It's much less so when you're trying to balance on one leg with your foot in the air or considering changing your job or moving to a new city. And there's a fine line between learning from past experience (arguably good) and assuming that because things did not go the best way possible last time you tried something that it will be so again in the future (arguably bad). The question is how to know when fear serves to protect us, and when it holds us back from reaching great treasures.