I’d like to share some words and experiences here about anticipatory anxiety (In messy and not completely edited form yet!)
First, these are some words from my teacher in Costa Rica about anxieties before her trainings/retreat. This was a reply directly to a student that she shared via her blog.
“Expectations/fears/doubts: The feeling of nervousness seems to be a common element that precedes the most powerful experiences in one’s life. Almost as if the psyche is gearing up to let go of one familiar way of being in the world in order to move into another more spacious and less limited point of view.” ... “ There is the fear of traveling far from home, which may be a metaphor for the kind of “disappearance” of some outdated aspects of self (home, the familiar) that make way for the new self to emerge (the stranger, the unfamiliar).” ... “Your nervousness is the very antidote to this: it demonstrates how deeply you are already preparing yourself, even now, for the experience. We can only grow and change to the extent that we open ourselves to receive, and also to the extent that we allow ourselves to be influenced by new experiences. The fact that you are worried only shows me just how much capacity you contain to be transformed. We just have no way of peeking into the future to see what shape will emerge — but wow, there’s a lot of power there, in all the honest depth of your current inquiry.” ( from: https://pavonesyogacenter.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/pre-transformation-yoga-nerves-q-a/ )
My own experience ... Several years ago before my first trip to Costa Rica for yoga training... I wrote to my teacher Indira with extreme anxiety too. I looked back at our dialogue and found these words, amongst others. “Keep breathing and remember why you wanted to do this in the first place” I remember how hard it was to hold onto my initial intention when fear had taken over. My mind was off-line wherever I stored that intention; breathing certainly wasn’t taking away the fear but did manage; and I laughed when someone said “listen to your gut” when my literal guts wanted to vomit from fear (note to self to never tell someone to listen to their guts when their scared!). For me, I knew some former self had set this up with good intentions (even as I doubted that former selfs good intentions) and I simply had to follow through with the journey, backing out was not an option. The journey was not easy, so many obstacles, snow storms with last minute plane changes, financial problems, car troubles - it was like I was being pulled in another direction. Thankfully not listening to what could have seemed like many many “signs” from the universe to NOT go, I made it! And, I’ll never forget the very moment fear completely dissolved and a deep feeling of “home” overcame me... a soothing warmth of safety and familiarity. How could I be so at home in this foreign place? It was first in the taxi. Exhaustion and finally resting my head back as we traveled on a very long gravel bumpy road. I watched the the headlights shine through the darkness into the forest/jungle and barbed wire fence. Deep associations emerged. It was a connection beyond places and inside myself that has become invaluable to me and much more dimensional than I can even give words to here now. During the training a teacher shared this quote that I now share with you.
“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.” Wendell Berry
I wish you ease on your journey and more than just ease … with whatever adventures arise ... the wisdom that it’s all a part of the journey.