Having trained more than 500 women in the art of creating and leading an ongoing Women’s Temple Group, I often receive questions about how we can deal with fear and insecurity as leaders.
For me, the solution is not to build up a new and shiny “confident me”, but to cultivate the capacity to stay present and relax open even when unwanted feelings like fear come to visit. Any identity we cling to suffocates our connection to the wild intelligence that we are and dims how much Presence we are able to transmit to others.
The world doesn’t need the plastic version of you: what we are hungry for is the medicine of Presence, generously given through the broken, imperfect, glorious and fully alive you.
These are 3 practices that help me relax and open to Presence while giving talks and leading groups:
1) I have made it the center of my life to serve something bigger than myself. It is not about me. This view is not a feeling that sometimes comes and then leaves again. It is where I plant my roots every day. In living what we call servant leadership, there is no room to indulge in unworthiness nor in trying to be special. My job is to get out of the way enough so that Presence in me can speak to Presence in the listener. Presence is pure intelligence.
2) I practice to see with “transparent eyes”, to truly see who I am really speaking to. I recognize the mystery in front of me; I see that I am speaking to spirit in form. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “Keep your eyes on me”: keep your focus on Presence/Spirit. When we see through the seemingly solid surface of things and recognize the shimmering intelligence we all are made of, our fantasies of approval or disapproval relax.
3) I recognize that fear is a feeling, and that feelings are energy. We don’t have to run off on the story fear tells us; instead we stay close to the feeling and the energy of fear as a sensation in the body. We can shake and breathe deeply to let the frozen fear melt. This liberated Shakti/energy then becomes part of our aliveness and presence as teachers.
:: Learn more about our Women’s Temple Groups.
Photo Credit: Bibbie Friman