This thanksgiving weekend, I was on a road trip with other friends to the Grand Canyon, Arizona. This is my first time to the Canyons and it was an amazing sight to see the splendor of nature. The vast land sculptured by the flow of the almost extinct majestic rivers of the lore! The perfect ridges along the edges on the giant piece of land were like the scars of an age old warrior who lived to tell his survival story against the mighty waters. We watched a beautiful sunset along the south rim of the canyons. The colors of the rock was just amazing. The shadows of the giant rocks falling on each other as though . Pure bliss! Here is a picture of international Art of Living teacher, Dushyant Savadia, standing at int eh grand canyon at the time of sunset. It was taken by my iPhone5 in the panoramic mode.
Let me just stop there because this post is not to describe the beauty of the canyons :(. I noticed something when I was there seeing my friends walk to the edge of the cliffs in the south rim. I had a fear of heights! This was stopping me from getting to edge of cliffs whereas few of my friends were sitting at the edge with their legs handing down to more than thousand feet drop! I just couldn’t imagine getting there, leave alone sitting and looking down.
Have you witnessed this before – one person walking confidently towards the edge of a cliff or the edge of a tall building whereas some people just stand back at a safe point and shouting instructions and warnings to them? Well, I was one of those shouting instructions, at least to start with. My mind would start imagining different ways I could slip and fall down the cliff. Here are some of the funny ones – strong wind would just hit me alone and I would fall face down; My right shoe would slip on me and I would be falling from the edge like in the movies, etc.
If you watch someone with a fear of heights walking along the edge, you can see them suffering from one of these – freezing sensation of being stuck –
- STUCK – cant move back or forward,
- Heart beats getting harder and louder
- A sudden feeling that you are going to fall down right now
- Mind not ready to assimilate any instructions – You will look down when you are told to not look down!
I saw these either in me or in another friend of mine. These were stopping me to get to the edge. This is when my breathing techniques and teaching came in handy. I had to calm my mind to take in any instructions. Otherwise it is caught up in the whirlwind caused by fear. I consciously closed my eyes and started to slow down my breathing to calm myself down. I started to do until my mind started to listen to my intellect to calm itself. Once the breathing came back to normal, I started to notice the sensations in my heart region. This the region where emotions like love, fear, hate arise. I calmed my heart beat with deep breath in and out. This stopped the shivering inside me. Then I told myself that I would go to the edge – one step at a time. I imagined myself at the edge and how I would enjoy it. Then I opened my eyes and started walking towards it. Went as far I can and joined my friends there. It was a wonderful experience to be there.
Our breath has got so much power over our body and mind. If only we know how to harness it, it can help us in any situations we face. If you have the fear of heights, try using your breath to calm you down and then start telling your mind that you can do it and take it step by step.
Just for your eyes only – I still had the jitters when I recollected the height of the grand canyon and me walking towards it while writing this post!