Let me share with you one of the most powerful moments of my life.
I'll never forget the moment when Karen asked, 'Aren't you excited that you get to overcome your fear of spiders?' The sun had just gone down and it was my first time in the thick dense Amazon jungle. If you've ever been to the jungle you know that thousands of different species of every type of insect and creepy crawly come alive at night. Attracted to the light they swarm the windows and doors eventually filling in any gaps that you once could since. I've never really been afraid of bugs or snakes but for some reason I was holding on to this irrational fear of spiders and really anything with eight legs - even crabs!
After a week in the jungle I managed to avoid seeing any tarantulas as I hurriedly ran from one building to the next every evening, making sure not to glance too long in the shadows. Keeping my head and limbs wrapped in a shawl at all times my magical invisibility cloak kept me safe - or so I thought. I woke one morning in the myloka after ceremony, with my head on a pile of gathered blankets. I collected my sacred journey tools as the others in the room started waking up. I began folding the blankets that I just spent the night on when I startlingly discovered the absolute worst possible thing I could ever imagine. I grasped stunned, frozen in my tracks. Cozy in the blankets was a massive eight legged hairy beast. Next to my head. All night. It probably crawled on my face! I slept with a tarantula! Trembling and shaking I couldn't even find the words to express my absolute terror. The tarantula - startled by my waking her - scurried out in the creepiest way possible. Completely devastated I felt like life was playing a horrible trick on me, like the worst possible nightmare that I so desperately needed to wake up from. There was no way in any reality - dreaming or otherwise - that I was going to get over this fear. This just made things worse.
Just before lunch I found Nancy in the lodge. I wasn’t wearing my glasses and so I didn't quite know what her big grin was all about but she seemed to know something I didn't. As I got closer I saw she was holding a long eight-legged furry monster! So many emotions rose up inside of me. The heat in my chest rising up from my churning gut was so intense. I was nauseous, terrified and felt complete hopelessness. I knew everything I wanted was on the other side of this fear. I knew so much expansion and growth was waiting for me to simply let go. Nancy told me about how they are really nice and only bite if you show fear. GREAT. That didn't help AT ALL. How the hell am I supposed to stop being afraid before getting over my fear??? A craze of thoughts and emotions swirled around in my head and I could feel every cell in my entire body spinning. I'm going to vomit. I can't do this. But I have to. There's only one way through this and it's right in front of me now. I lean in. Place my hand out next to the giant spidery beast. Two inches away. The pressure in my head builds - It's about to explode. I can't do this! I pull back. I don't care. I'm not going to do this. There's no freaking way. I'll do it some other time. Next time when I'm more calm, I need more time to prepare for this. Yes. More time. I'll do it in a couple of days. Or the next time I come back to the jungle. I can't do it now. Absolutely NO way.
I sit down on the couch, across from Nancy who is now putting the tarantula ON HER FACE!! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK>I am literally experiencing physical pain in every part of my body as I watch her. This is crazy. How can I let the IDEA of something ruin my life so much to the point of actual physical pain? This is absolutely insane! I have to do it. I have to get over this! I must hold the tarantula. Mind racing. Heart beating out of my chest. As I reach forward it feels like someone is strangling me, I can't breathe. My head is a balloon. Every fear I've ever had about anything ever is all completely present in my face, in my body, in my mind. My heart aches for all the suffering I've ever experienced all rolled into one single moment. This has nothing to do with the tarantula. Just when I felt the furthest away from ever getting over the single most debilitating and irrational fear I've ever experienced I remembered Who I Am. I teach and coach others through this very thing and, wearing a different hat, I guide and facilitate the art of surrender. I gave up, I let go of my monkey mind. I decided to take my own medicine and let go, surrender and trust. As soon as the first hairy leg touched my hand hundreds of lifetimes worth of mental, emotional pain and fear transmuted into a deep sense of peace, serenity and love.
The weight I'd been carrying for so long simply vanished. I offered up my backpack of grief, pain and fear. She slowly and gently crawled onto my now very still hand as I reflected on how misunderstood this incredibly talented master weaver is. Soft, light and beautiful, with a tender touch, she made her way over to my wrist. She curled her legs up on an area that has caused me lots of pain and prevented me from doing things like handstands, push ups and even detailed motor skills like writing or painting for extended periods of time. Confident in her choice of resting place she sat and I felt her healing vibrations in my wrist. I was in absolute awe. I didn't want to put her down. My new friend was healing me on so many levels. I couldn't believe what I went through to get to that point. As I released my attachments to the fear I realized how it was entangled in so many other areas of my life. Everything is Everything. How you do anything is how you do everything. I had to choose to let go of the pain, the suffering and the ideas I created in my head of my list of things to fear and avoid. I had to be stronger than my excuses. Take back the power I was giving the stories. In the process of letting go of the excuses and the self-inflicted suffering I made room for so many new possibilities to enter into my reality.
I couldn't have possibly imagined in a million years what was about to open up for me in releasing and surrendering. Things once seemingly unrelated are rising to the surface, revealing themselves in a beautiful mosaic of synchronicities. The dots in the sky formed brilliant constellations. The resistance I experienced in other areas of my life was connected to same underlying message of fear and doubt. Am I safe? Fear of the unknown - of choosing a different story right NOW. The power is in the present moment. Everything is Everything. How you do anything is how you do everything. Once I was fed up with my own excuses I had no other option but to let it all go. If I was ever going to get where I wanted to be - on the other side of this fear - I had to do it now. Not later. Not next time. NOW. One of the most profound moment of my life.
Anytime I have any doubt or fears creep up on me I will always be able to tap into this moment and remember the feeling of taking the leap into the unknown, trusting in the process and all of the incredible things that opened up for me as result. This has catapulted my growth and expansion in ways I'm still discovering. Fear is an amazing teacher. In nature, the antidote is always found growing next to the poison. It's reveals your greatest room for expansion. It shows you where you're experiencing lack, which is all just an illusory construct of the mind. Fear of not being safe or in control. Fear of not being good enough, of not having enough. There is no truth in it yet so much energy and attention is given to these stories which, when released, return all power and create wholeness and sovereignty.
I am so grateful for the challenges that present themselves to me as they are always an opportunity for me to grow, to know myself deeper, and to love more fully.
Your power is in the present moment.
I challenge you to take a moment to reflect. What are you afraid of?
Allow Transparency and Vulnerability to lighten your self-imposed limitations so they can be released and transmuted. Where do you experience lack in your life?