For four amazingly wonderful days in October, I enjoyed a relaxing respite at the Art of Living Ayurveda spa in Boone, NC. The retreat sits atop a mountain surrounded by rolling green hills that are just beginning to reveal the beautiful colors of fall, soothing saffron, ardent amber, and colorful crimson. My days there were ideal with a clear blue sky, a perfect 72 degrees in the sunshine, and a soft autumn breeze sending whispers through the chameleon leaves. It was a time to enjoy the majesty and wonder of creation, reflect on my past experiences and the prospect of things to come, and the relationships that have impacted my life in very meaningful ways. A time to be still, enter the silence, listen for the quiet, calming voice of God, and let go. Let go of desires and expectations, absolve anger, surrender shame, forgive mistakes, and most importantly, set fear free.
Fear holds us back and stifles creativity. Fear keeps us from exploring, from seeking answers to questions because the response may be unacceptable. Fear oppresses, controls, and isolates. Fear is a weight dragging you down a desolate path. Fear keeps us from loving. Fear keeps us from living.
If you release all fear, only love remains. Love for the earth and sky and everything in between. Love for the people in your life and even those outside the immediate circle, love of the struggle, success, and surrender that is life’s journey, but mostly love for yourself.
We currently live in an epidemic of fear. Fear of disease, which is certainly relevant today. Fear of exposure and vulnerability. Fear of betrayal and brutality, just to name a few. Fear breeds distrust, causing us to doubt our neighbors, friends, workplace environments, and government. Distrust abounds not just in our nation, but in our world, and the result is tangible and physical. Many nations are struggling with chronic illnesses which are perplexing and difficult to treat. Depression and suicide are global issues. Even before the pandemic hit, we felt unhappy and isolated. COVID only accentuated the situation. Fear cannot be eliminated, but as the song says, “Never let your fear decide your fate”.
There are many things in life which we cannot control. It is in recognizing this one truth that we become free. Acceptance follows. Accept the laws of nature, accept others as they are, accept yourself. Affirmation of your strengths and weaknesses and all the parts in between allow you to relinquish control, liberating you to be the person you are meant to be. You become happy being you. You can follow your passion regardless of monetary rewards or accolades. You can live inside your own skin and be happy.
Others approval is not necessary. Living for other people only brings confusion, distrust, feelings of inadequacy and ultimately, failure. You can never be what others require of you because then you nothing more than a counterfeit. You are hollow and empty on the inside. The only person you are capable of being is you.
The essence of you, the core of you is your shining light where love resides. In love lies approval, kindness, strength, resilience, faith, hope, and creativity. Love will never fail you.