By: Megan Sicheri
The word fearless can mean many things to many people. For some it might mean trusting your instincts to take that leap into new territory, for others it may mean having a confidence that radiates from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. This word can spark power and positivity or it can elicit anxiety and cause people to shut down.
I’ve been invited to speak at a conference entitled the Fearless Warrior Yoga Conference in its flagship, the city of Pittsburgh. I’m honored and excited and it has forced me to sit down and think about what the word fearless means to me. I think that to be fearless, we must be comfortable sitting alone with fear. Fear will always exist, that is a given, therefore we should honor a deep-rooted respect for it. And learn to work with it instead of against it.
I haven’t always embraced my relationship with fear. I’ve stayed in relationships too long or dragged my feet on the way from place to place because things were comfortable and that was just fine. Change is scary and full of unknowns. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and trundle along leading a perfectly fine life. It wasn’t until I decided that I wanted a big life, full of big things that my relationship with fear became more like that of a respected colleague and less like that of a creature hiding in the dark.
Think back to all of the fearless moments you’ve had in your own life. Did you get through them with a meticulously planned chess-like strategy or did you steamroll that shit? I’ve certainly had mixed reasons, strategies, or nonstrategies when living my big moments.
My most memorable and oddly proud moment of fearlessness happened when I was about eleven. My sister is autistic and because of this some of her behaviors may seem strange and her speech is impaired (she to me IS the definition of fearless). I was playing soccer or at least looking for four leaf clovers on the soccer field, when little eleven-year-old B ran up to me and told me that my sister was retarded. I have hated this word from a young age because I could see how this simple, careless word could hurt so many people. I remember thinking of my options at the time. I could have said nothing, I could have taken the opportunity to educate poor little, ignorant B on the spectrum of disability and further on the importance of words and their meanings, or I could stand up for my sister in the best way I knew how. Even though all of this happened in less than a minute, I remember thinking of the consequence of each of these actions. I like to credit myself for being such a thoughtful eleven year old… right up until the moment when I kicked B as hard as I could in the shin. What? At least he was wearing shin guards.
Since the kick heard ‘round the AYSO field, I have found many other opportunities to act with fearlessness. Some have been clever and some have been a big ol’ sweaty shitshow, but the more I started to stand up for the big life that I knew I wanted, the better my relationship with fear became.
I encourage you to sit down and think about your relationship with fear. How can the two of you work together to create epic plans? I also encourage you to check out the Fearless Warrior Yoga Conference because there is nothing better than surrounding yourself with good, powerful, fearless juju.