11/04/2014 01:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How I Learned to Dance With Fear


Learning to dance with fear can feel like dancing the cha-cha... two steps forward and one step back. Each morning I rise from sleep and turn on my salt crystal lamp. I roll onto my left side and I sit up, eyes still blurry.

I stretch both arms over my head and I take a deep breath into the cool air of my dark room. I stretch down over my legs as I touch the backs of my legs on the way down -- waking up the skin and muscles that have been in the dark for many hours. I touch my big toes, and alternate touching the bottom of my feet (I learned that this helps to balance the positive and negative polarity in my body).

Next, I grab my miracle journal, and still half asleep I begin to write. Sometimes I manage to gather bits and pieces of my dream. Other days I write a list of all of the things I am so grateful for from the day before, in my life in general and any other thing that crosses my mind. Other mornings I may ask for guidance from my angels, from the Goddess and the Universe. I may ask for clarity, for a path lit up in front of me easy to spot and follow.

Some mornings, I sit and look at the paper and just write thank you, thank you, thank you.

I always end with thank you and a prayer from the Course in Miracles that goes as follows: Please show me where to go. Please show me what to do. Please show me what to say and to whom. I also ask for guidance and that I may trust my heart and intuition throughout the day and in all of my interactions.

Next, I move onto igniting my inner pilot light.

By now my eyes are more awake and I'm ready to move. My body knows what's next so I just start to move. Some mornings it's a series of stretches I learned in yoga teacher training. Other mornings it's an entire yoga routine. And other mornings I just crave some sensual dancing to reconnect with my inner-goddess, my body and my heart's rhythm.

These are the bits of my morning routine that realign my body, mind and spirit to something I believe in. Something within me that's divinely guided.

These are the bits of my morning rituals that I have crafted along the way to guide me back from those dark moments of doubt and fear.

I trust my morning rituals to tune my body, mind and spirit into the calling of my heart.

I allow my morning rituals to wash away the fear and doubt that sometimes wakes me from sleep at 3 a.m., and makes my heart beat faster as I lay there asking myself questions about the "easier" path. You know, the one that is not filled with doubt and fear and the "oh shit" moments of starting something new, something big, something that expands your comfort zone way past the boundaries of last month, last year, hell... past anything you ever planned on. And yet, there you are taking the leap.

I count on my self-care rituals to help me breathe into opportunities, challenges and into the joyful, playful side of me that I am getting reacquainted with as I creep slowly up to my 40s. And you know what? It's always going to be two steps forward and one step back. Every time I think to myself, "Girl, you so got this!" a new upper-limit emerges and a new wave of fears and doubts arise.

The difference now is that I know the doubt and fear, the gremlins will always arrive. Just as I am opening the door to something new, there they are in all of their glory. I've learned to recognize them as part of the process.

I've learned to dance with fear and doubt and do a mean cha-cha. Instead of self-sabotaging and letting the fear grip me into quitting, stopping, or changing paths, I have learned to tease out the lessons, do my due diligence, say thank you to my gremlins for their watchful eye, and keep rocking.

So I know it's always going to be two steps forward, one step back -- and I know that I can dance with the best of them.

What about you? What have you learned about yourself throughout the seasons? Have you learned something from the fears that creep up when you're just about to try something new?

Share your wisdom in the comments below.