Fear, inflamed by my thoughts, is my greatest obstacle. Fearful thoughts lead to attachment and sever me from feeling connected. In dance, I can work myself up to a fever pitch of anxiety and you can guess how well that works. Yes, adrenaline can be good and being a little nervous can sometimes hone your focus so that you do even better than if you weren’t a little anxious. However, when the butterflies in your stomach become pterodactyls, that is the point when you have slipped over into fear. It’s just not possible to do anything well or think clearly with massive creatures roiling in your gut.
When my thoughts become obsessive and fearful, if I am aware of what’s happening, I consciously try to focus on what’s good in my life in the here and now. In class or while trying to create choreography, if I am fearful (or feeling not-good-enough), I focus on how much I love what I do and how grateful I am to be able to do it. With the release of fear comes the letting go of my not-good-enough refrain.
Recently, I had a dream that there was a poltergeist in our house. When I tried to call my husband in the dream, I couldn’t speak. I was frozen.
I have an “I am” necklace by Maryann Dolzani that has two discs – one has “I am” on it and the other can have anything you want. Mine says “fearless.” It’s an affirmation that I wear every day. In my dream, the poltergeist had taken my necklace and was dangling it over my head so I couldn’t reach it. I finally got to our bedroom where my husband was and I said, “Tell me you love me -- and I’ll say it to you and it will make the poltergeist go away!” That worked -- and I woke up, still feeling a little scared.
I don’t really believe in poltergeists, but I think they can represent the embodiment of fearful thoughts. Subconsciously, a poltergeist can take away my “I am fearless” affirmation, but only if I am not thinking of love.
The next night, we were awakened by the sound of water running. Our upstairs toilet had somehow, inexplicably, started to flood. This was not a dream. My husband, Drew, jumped out of bed and tore upstairs to turn the water off, but soon we literally had a rain storm in our kitchen below. I had the crazy thought that somehow I had called a poltergeist into our experience. I looked at Drew and said, “It’s the poltergeist, say you love me!!”
He did, and instead of worrying about water damage, we found it kind of funny.
Love transforms every situation.
It didn’t stop the rain, but we were both laughing.
Photo by MaryEllen Hendricks