What are you feeding – fear or joy?

November 7, 2014 | Life in My 50s

I originally wrote this post in January, but I came across it this morning when I was looking for something else. It was exactly what I needed to hear today, so now you have to hear it again too. Who knows? Maybe someone else out there needs to hear it today as well. Here you go…

I’ve been ruminating on this topic — What are you feeding? — for a while in my private time because I think it’s a pretty big deal. If we feed our fears, if we feed our anxiety, if we feed relationships with people who don’t really care about us or, even worse, make us feel “less than,” we throw a spark on the dead leaves lying around on our spiritual doorstep. Eventually it becomes a raging forest fire of self-doubt or unhappiness and, if we’re not careful, it will siphon off all the energy that should be feeding the good things in our lives.

So as I was driving to yoga class this morning at 5:15 a.m. (Update: haven’t been to yoga in months now), energized by the cold air and cheered by the twinkling lights that still decorate many front porches and trees in our town (Thank you, whoever you are!), I was writing the headline for this post. Because that’s what I do, even when I’m driving, even when I’m showering, even I’cleaning bathrooms or raking leaves. I write. It doesn’t always end up here or anywhere, for that matter, but I write almost non-stop in my head.

And so I walked into yoga class knowing that I would come home and write a post titled “What are you feeding?” and I had already planned to use that graphic up there, the one that says, “Please do not feed the fears.”

I sat down on my mat in the dark and quiet yoga studio and entered into that silent sacred space that exists wherever we want to find it, if we’re willing, even at the YMCA, and I waited for class to begin. And then this is what my yoga teacher read to start our practice:

Listen. Love laughs
at fear. Can you hear it?
And fear fades in the face
of laughter. Let nothing
distract you from the fact
that fear will grow if you
feed it, and shrink when
you pay it no heed. There.
See? Fear disappears, and
leaves love laughing.— From “One Soul” by Danna Faulds

By the time she got halfway through that poem, I was smiling on the inside. By the time she got to the end of that poem, I was smiling on the outside. How did she get inside my head this morning? Not sure, but I’m glad she did.

At the end of class, I went up to my teacher and asked if I could have a copy of what she read and she said something like this (might not be exact but close enough), “I was sitting in my car this morning picking out this poem and I thought to myself, ‘I hope Mary is in class today,’ because I knew you would love this.” Talk about a soul connection, and just when I needed it most. Thank you, Spirit. You never fail me.

I came home from yoga class, went directly to my computer, and unfriended someone on Facebook who was taking energy I didn’t have to give, a “friend” I didn’t even know but who had entered my life through the magic of social media. Why feed the negative? Because we humans tend to have a weakness for that kind of thing, I think. We want to be loved, we want to be understood, we want to be successful, we want, we want, we want. And so we continue to try to make a connection with people who don’t deserve our time and energy, and we focus our hearts and minds on the fears and worries rather on the gifts and blessings. We think by focusing on those things we’ll become stronger, we’ll overcome the fears, but just the opposite happens. We end up feeding that fire of negativity, and it will burn our joy to the ground if we let it. So don’t.

Today I challenge you to let go of one fear you’ve been feeding, one negative thing that takes more than it gives, and use all that energy to feed something good in your life. Focus on one blessing, one person who deserves your attention and love, one joy, and see what happens.

Peace, blessings, joy, love, namaste.



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