Breaking Through the Terror Barrier

When we come face to face with stepping out of our comfort zone, we have two choices.  We can either retreat back to safety or we can plow through and break through our terror barrier.  At the beginning of this month,  I was invited to teach a yoga class to a  group of women entrepreneurs. When I was first invited the month prior, I quickly said yes.  I had set the intention January 1st of this year that I would grow my yoga business to reach more women and help them achieve more peace and purpose in their lives.  I was in absolute awe when the universe conspired so quickly to help me achieve my goal.

As the event drew closer, however, my terror barrier began to build.  My ego or  “X” factor kicked in.  I started to get  sick with a sore throat and cold.  I began having a panic attack.  We even experienced our first big snow storm of the year the night before I was to drive to the retreat.  In the past, any one of those things would have prevented me from going. But my “Why” for going was bigger than being sick, feeling the panic, or even being nervous about driving in the snow storm.  The answer to my “Why” was that I set my intention at the beginning of this year to grow my yoga business so that I can help more women like me experience the healing effects from the teachings of yoga.  My “Why” was bigger than any obstacle. So I busted through my Terror Barrier and I went for it.

I’d like to tell you that everything’s been comin’ up roses since then, but real life isn’t really like that,  is it?  Since the retreat, I have been plowing forward with building my business.  I’ve met with a business coach, signed up for a brand-building workshop, joined a Women Entrepreneur networking group,  and joined a group coaching for mompreneurs.   I’ve even used some of the knowledge shared at the retreat to build a Facebook ad to increase the number of participants at my next yoga workshop.

I should be over the moon with my efforts and where my business is headed, right?  Well, I was.  Until I saw that one person had taken her name off of my list of attendees for my next workshop.  She could be not coming for a number of reasons, but my ego or “X” is trying to convince me it’s because I’m not a good teacher, that this whole idea for building my dream yoga business is foolish, and who was I to ever think this could work out….yada yada yada.   You may have experienced this brain chatter before.  It’s insidious and destructive.  I know this.   I knew that I needed to pull out my strategies on how to bust through my terror barrier again.   Using a variety of strategies,  I was able to acknowledge my fear, but then move past it.

That’s the funny thing about Terror Barriers.  They can appear out of the blue when you think you’ve got everything under control, when things are swimming along beautifully.  And they can happen again and again, each and every time you leave your comfort zone.   That’s why it is so incredibly important to have some tools available to help you move through them, so that you don’t give the terror barrier the power to stop you in your tracks.

God’s blessings to you on your own journey.  I am grateful to have you by my side as I travel on mine.

Peace, Love, and Gratitude,


“The Yogini Next Door”


Yoga, Crying, and Panic Attacks

Earlier this month, I wrote about Postpartum Depression and how yoga helped me to overcome its debilitating effects.  Another delightful little hormonal side effect from my third pregnancy which I haven’t been able to completely shake (9 years later!) is having panic attacks.  I spent about 2-3 years after Abby’s birth with frequent panic attacks.  They are definitely better controlled now and much less frequent, but they can still sneak up on me out of what seems like no where. I say “seems” because in retrospect, it’s usually when I’m stuffing my true feelings about something.

This past week I had one of the worse panic attacks I’ve had in awhile.  My pulse was 107 at its resting rate.  My heart felt like it was going to jump through my chest.  I tried forward bends, alternate nostril breathing.  I even took a warm bath and drank some chamomile tea.  Finally, after a couple of hours, I burst out into tears.  I cried hard.  I let out the shit I’d been holding in.  The shit I don’t always share because I’m the strong one, the competent one, the one who doesn’t make waves, or rock the boat.  Sometimes I’m pretty sure I have a sign on my back that says, “Dump your crap here….I can take it.”  And most of the time I can take it.  I’m able to process the stuff that life throws my way through my yoga practice.  But there are days I just can’t and I just need to cry hard to release it all.

So…I did a little research about crying.  This is what I found:

A study by the University of Minnesota discovered that the chemicals that build up in your body during emotional stress can be removed in your tears, and unreleased stress can increase your risk for heart attack and damage certain areas of your brain.  So your human ability to cry is not only therapeutic, but could even be considered a survival tactic.

Later in the day, I was talking to my momma about this blog post.  She said that she believes when our hearts are open, we cry easily.  I think she is right on the money.  Because there are times that I do cry easily, whether for happy, sad, or angry reasons.  Thinking back on those times, I realize, in retrospect, that my heart was open at the time.  In contrast, this past week, I realize now that my heart was closed as my ego was trying to protect me from some tough decisions.
Yoga, meditation, and breath work are still my favorite anxiety relieving practices, but I will not deprive myself of that good cry when that is what my body really needs!  For now, I’m off to practice some heart openers so that I can cry if I wanna!