the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
Back in October 2012, a bus kicked up dust while bumping along in a small town. The girls on this bus excitedly talked about a school exam they had just completed. “What answer did you give for question #2?” “Oh yes! I totally got those right.” Their eyes beamed, and their cheeks hurt from all the smiling.
Today, my own daughter, skips across the road into my arms. Her eyes glitter in the sunlight as she sings out her day. She begins with the cold, chocolate milk she chose for lunch, how she rocked her math facts quiz and sums up the day laughing with new friends on the bus.
These two stories begin very much the same but have drastically different endings. Malala Yousafzai was on the first bus in 2012 in Pakistan. Taliban gunmen stopped this bus of cheery schoolgirls and pushed open the door. “Who is Malala?” And then, gunshots fired.
If you are unfamiliar with Malala’s story, she not only survives, but she also lends her words to speak out for women and girls’ education around the world. She stood before her greatest fear and won.
In 2014, through her nonprofit the Malala Fund, Malala stated, “I am stronger than fear” and encouraged others to follow her lead. “I am stronger than fear.”
We can all be brave like Malala. Throughout our lives, we will encounter numerous changes, and these can cause fear within us – a new career, the birth or death of a loved one, an illness or even a switching to a new healthier diet. We fear what we do not know. “Will I succeed in this new business venture?” “Will I be a good mom?”
The path to change is not like the yellow brick road where we can easily skip to the Emerald City. It is more like the scene from Harry Potterwhere is takes a step over a frightening lake with no step to be seen. It is through love and faith, we find the road even when it’s not visible.
Faith is strong, but also soft. Practice softening your breath, body and mind allowing it to flow more like a river rather than a frozen iceberg. Send your breath to the hard spaces deep within the body. Soften as you exhale. Continue to investigate and seek out any frozen ice.
Our faith will shatter if we remain tense and tight in a situation. Thaw your fear. Let the breath and river carry you. You are stronger than fear.