In Ana Forrest's book "Fierce Medicine", she talks in the first chapter about her "fear training", i.e. she would deliberately do things that she was afraid of. She came to the conclusion that even though it was not possible to banish all her fears, she was able to make a choice to not allow them to rule her life.
When I was on holidays last week at the lake in Northern France where we always go, my 65 year old father did a backward somersault into the water. I remembered how I used to do this as a child. So, I decided to get up on the platform, which was about one meter of the water - with my back facing the lake. I could sense the fear; it almost made my head spin.
I first just jumped backwards into the water feet first and then did a couple of backward rolls in the water. Then I went back onto the platform and I stood there - very scared. I was feeling the fear in my entire body and there was a sense of paralysis and indecision creeping up on me, which in some respect was a great motivation for me.
I completely understand Ana's decision not to allow fear to rule her life, so I connected to my legs and feet, took several deep breaths, pushed off and did a backward somersault. It was not the kind that earns you points at gymnastics. It was definitely not pretty, but it was totally and utterly exhilarating. It was not about being able to do a somersault, which did not alter my life, it was about doing something that I'm very scared of. I felt the fear and did it anyways. In my mind possibilities opened up, I felt empowered.
Ana's steps to walking through the "spook zone":
... and do the somersault anyways.
Somersault in beauty
Yoga, well-being and mindfulness... always walk in beauty.