My most effective tool I learned at Peace Retreat, Costa Rica during my 200 Hour Multi Style Yoga Teacher Training Program. There was a time and a place in which every cell of my body jolted and spiked millions of times a second - constantly. At the same time and every place, my mind raced with fears, insecurities, pain, chatter, gossip, toxicity and it wouldn’t stop. It never stopped. Deeper than the depths of fear my mental and physical bodies experienced from the choices I made in my life, my spirit barely hovered. Ever glowing a beam of light, it tried so hard to shine through the film of depression I had laid upon it - rarely achieving its goal. It took me 200 hours of intense physical, emotional and spiritual training to become aware of the way I had been operating and behaving in my life. Becoming aware, getting real with myself was the most effective tool I learned while at Peace Retreat. It’s one that will always be with me.
Getting real means becoming aware of how you are operating and behaving in this world so that we can take the next step of becoming accountable and authentic. That’s when we can begin to live in a way that brings us joy, peace and hope for the future - to be free and to act out of love. Without the one simple, but exceptionally powerful and effective tool, I’d never have gotten real with myself. The tool that will help set you free is to answer a very simple, yet tremendously powerful question. Get to know your fears, your biggest, darkest fears. Ask the question from the MSYI Toolbox: What is your biggest fear? Then, apply a new acronym to it.
F - FALSE E - EVIDENCE A - APPEARING R - REAL.
Our biggest fears sit on the surface like the shell of an onion. Peel your fear back to see why you fear it at all. As the layers of my fear were peeled, I finally found out that my biggest fear, my most limiting belief, was my belief that I was unloved and unworthy of love. By answering the question, I became aware of how I had lived my life to-date. For more than two-thirds of my life, I had actively looked for False Evidence Appearing Real in every interaction, every connection, every job, every school. I ran from town to town, school to school, man to man, career to career - because my False Evidence Appearing Real was everywhere. I was constantly terrified. On the outside, I became invincible to the eye. I was smart, determined, strong, grounded and focused - unstoppable, intimidating, angry and stubborn. On the inside, I was ever more anxious, scared, insecure, untrusting, depressed, hopeless, narrow minded and judgmental. My social circles became smaller and smaller.
The people I could trust and love, fewer and fewer. I was convinced! I must be unworthy of love because of all of the False Evidence Appearing Real in my life. By asking a simple, yet HUGE question, I became aware of how I was operating and behaving. It was the most powerful and effective tool: awareness. Without it, I couldn’t be accountable for my actions or my choices. Without awareness, I couldn’t know that I was an asshole. I didn’t know I could change. I didn’t know I could make space in my life and choose to live differently in a way that would empower myself, deepen my relationships and set me free from fear.
There’s so much more to life than to live in fear. It’s time to let my spirit shine and be real!