By Myra Lewin
You can be in fear or faith, but never both at once. One represents resistance, and the other is flow. From moment to moment, we make decisions about the direction we choose. What we practice is what we experience.
I witnessed this in my own life some time ago. For many years, I worked in a corporate environment, all the while knowing that I wanted to own my own business. About halfway through my corporate career, I had an opportunity to branch out on my own. Choosing to branch out required faith, but even though it was dream I’d been waiting for, I let fear of leaving a steady paycheck win at that moment and remained in the corporate world.
Many years after I began a regular Yoga practice including asana, pranayama and meditation, I found the faith I needed to turn away from fear. Hale Pule, and all it has come to be, was born of this faith.
Learning to practice faith
Much like children, we learn how the world works every day. In this way, we create our reality. If we consume fear and act in fear, then we learn that the world is made up of scary things. If we build faith and act upon it, then the world is filled with sweetness and adventure, and we see that this is our true nature.
The energy of fear and faith have always existed in the world. Through your daily practices and routines, you decide which of these you cultivate and bring to life.
For instance, if you often spend your free time reading or watching the news, notice how it builds a feeling that there is much to fear in the world. It is possible to know the events of the world in a way that does not fuel so much fear. Practice viveka, or discrimination, in where you get your information. And as you listen to something, put a rose out at the edge of your aura to collect any charge or strong emotion that arises from what you read or watch. Explode that rose whenever it fills up and replenish your energy by creating a gold sun above your head and allowing it to fill your body and aura (download the free mp3 of the basic tools from our Intuitive Energy Practice if you would like to learn more about this exercise).
Faith shows itself all the time, often in small ways that go unnoticed. Open your eyes to the beautiful actions that happen every day -- kind smiles, an offer of help, a diversion from a path you had expected to take. This is faith in action. Look closely and you’ll begin to see it everywhere.
The root of fear
Most of the time, fear comes from attachment to an outcome. Fear of losing something you have or fear of not getting something you want. It’s easy to get caught in an uneasy anticipation of what is going to happen next. But fearing an outcome will never protect you from its arrival. By facing your fears, you weaken their power over your mind.
The world is constantly changing. In order to live a full and meaningful life, you must let go of your grip on how you think things should be and relax into the flow. Being alive sometimes means that you will lose what you think you can’t live without. When you are in the flow of life, the path will become obvious. And when you get things you didn’t think you could handle, being in the flow allows you to realize that you are capable of growing into this new situation with ease.
Remember that the universe does not make mistakes. Everything you experience is a representation of divine will. Just relax and allow faith to guide you.
Sattva to calm fear
Fear is tamas, or darkness and inertia. It can feel overwhelming to be surrounded by this, but there is a way out: point yourself in the direction of sattva, balance and harmony.
Sattva is gentleness, harmony and love -- the embodiment of faith. You’ll find it when you slow down and tune in to the subtleties of life. Sattvic activities, such as grinding your own grain to make a nourishing porridge or finding stillness in a simple pose like vajrasana, allow you to reconnect with the natural rhythms of life and turn off the urge to feed fear through constant busy-ness.
Sattva builds faith, because it shines the light of the divine on any situation. From the viewpoint of sattva, you see that there are no “good” or “bad” people or situations, just the law of cause and effect in action. By living in faith, you contribute to positive effects for yourself and the world around you.
A practice to build faith
It can be easy to become so busy that you forget to practice faith. Here’s an easy way to make sure it is a priority: schedule it.
Make an appointment with yourself each day to take pause (I like to put a reminder in my phone). When it’s time, stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Take 3 to 12 deep, conscious breaths, then end with a smile to yourself. Relish in that feeling for just a moment each day and you will be able to come back there whenever you need it.