I decided to take time to educate friends, family, colleges and clients that I would be away for five weeks studying yoga in Thailand. It’s funny how many people told me that fear of attending a residential retreat in another country would prevent them from ever attempting to try the experience. Traveling has never been a source of fear in my life. I grew up near the border of Mexico and would often cross the border to go shopping or visit friends. I enjoyed how easy it was to have a different realization of life. I continue to realize that the majority of people do not wish to ever leave their secure home environment. I understand that many don’t have the resources to leave home and enjoy growing experiences. However, it’s hard for me to understand why people would be willing to pass up the opportunity that travel provides. We must realize that all challenges in life help us grow. I’ve told people before that I’m more afraid of giving a presentation in front of a room full of 100 people than hitchhiking in Europe, and I gladly give talks as much as possible. Really, all fear that we have is just based on experiences, or how our perceptions relate to the experience. The funny thing is that we have no idea if our preconceived feeling is or is not true. Following this, as long as we’re comfortable and happy with the boundaries set by our notions of the human experience, we will be fine.
As an entrepreneur, I really don’t have a job to quit, but I did decide to push the pause button on my life. I was in contact with my team members in charge of marketing, public relations and branding intensely the first week of my journey. Then I realized that although I was physically on the other side of the world (12-hour time difference), I was still in my stressed out frame of mind. One day, I actually spent almost the entire day in the hotel room without taking in the natural beauty of my new environment. Luckily I realized that I wasn’t abiding my right action and that it was time for me to step back and be mindful. I decided that I could still be goal-oriented, but it had to be within the context of defined boundaries of time and intellect. If I start getting too stressed, I have to stop. I figure that it’s time for me to retrain myself so that I can have a better life.
It’s funny, I sent an email to my book publisher and my favorite writer detailing why I had limited time to contribute. They both replied that they were not worried and I should focus on enjoying my trip and learning as much as possible. For some reason this response from both of them surprised me. Apparently, I’m so used to people not understanding the value of vacation that I am surprised when I encounter someone who does. All I can say is that both of them are welcome to stay on my team for as long as they are able. Sometimes surrounding yourself with the right people is the most essential step to making a change in your life.
Fear is one of the most toxic emotions that a person can have. One of my favorite quotes is:
“Holding onto anger is like holding on hot coals, it is you that gets burned.”
Although anger and fear are different emotions, the same premise applies. Fear prevents most people from trying anything new. This can include a new food, new career, new philosophy, new way of thinking or new environment. What most don’t realize is that trying new experiences allows us to collaborate our lives and gives us the experience to create more skillful experiences. I’d recommend that everyone ask himself or herself if they’d rather be more or less skillful in figuring out their life path. Most would choose to be more skillful and wise.
I have been reflecting on what action would I focus on in the New Year. Last year my goal was to refine my self-compassion. I focused on that all year and can honestly say that I’m gentler with myself when it comes to balancing the needs of my body and the goals that I set for my life. This upcoming year I want to grow in another internal area: fear. While fear has never prevented me from making decisions, it has caused me useless suffering. I am one of those people who thinks about every possible outcome before pushing forward with my initial desire. Since I have enough courage to go after whatever I want in life, this analytic process is essentially useless. For this reason, I’m going to make a concerted effort to not do analysis in reaction to a fearful emotion.
Now I'm off to prepare my lesson for my first class.
About Dr. Roshawnna Novellus: A Wealthy Yogi that helps people achieve their inner an outer goals through smarter financial decisions. Curator of Goal Diggers Club, a community of savvy goal oriented individuals that pride themselves on living a fabulous life. President of Novellus Financial, a concierge style tax and financial strategy firm. Author of Budgeting is More Liberation Than Limitation, a simple guide of how to change your mindset about money so that you can jump-start reaching your dreams.