Sunday, February 26, 2012


Another one of those photos I received in my email. It says:"Balcony floor 103 in Chicago"

And this one: "From the outside it looks like this"
One of my fears (and I have many) is a fear of heights. Fear of snakes, fear of dying, fear of flying, and on and on. I know they say the best way to get rid of your fears is to face them head-on. And I am trying, believe me. The older I get, the closer I am getting to that second one: fear of dying. And that old saying "there is nothing to fear but fear itself" is so true. Yet, I'm not so sure if I would climb up to the floor 103 and stand on this balcony. Would you? Isn't Chicago called "the windy city?" And doesn't wind make buildings sway?? I'm not so sure about this "facing it head-on" idea.  But, how do I make piece with myself and my "unique expression" in this world?

In reading "Awakening Joy" last week I read a passage about Agnes de Mille relating a conversation she had with Martha Graham in her book "The Life and Work of Martha Graham." It goes like this:

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."

If I can understand in my older age that there are many attempts in my life to run away from the feeling of emptiness, then I can repair what is in my background. Self-judgments, fears, emptiness, loneliness...these are all aspects that contribute to the fears. Things I do to compensate for them are destructive . And running away from them doesn't make them go away.

"Happiness cannot be found through great effort and willpower but is already there in relaxation and letting go."    -----Lama Gendun Rinpoche


  1. you know i jumped off a cliff...rappeling a fw years back...but that view would still mess with me...we can fall into destructive habits due to our fears...

  2. I love the quote from the Awakening Joy book (though I would personally have to argue with the "only one you in all time" part of it). But there is definitely only one of this particular lifetime. I am so with you on all of those fears!

  3. I have a fear of heights and I will say that while I don't fear it, yet, I do think about how strange it will be to die one day and just have it all be over.

  4. What a profound thought provoking post. I also would never go out on that high balcony. Fear of heights, snakes heck even spiders. Fear of the unknown I guess. Facing our fears is the challenge.

  5. Uma---I can see what you mean regarding "all time" especially if one believes in reincarnation. I took the quote as being that essence of you...that thing that incarnates with you as you go from one life to another...our soul, our being, whatever it might be called. Is this how you understand it too?

  6. Teri that is how I understand it, or wish to understand it. and it is truly uplifting to think of that. It is definitely a freeing idea. I am going to try to carry it around with me a bit, see if it slows down the self-critical stuff and opens up possibilities. Great post.

  7. I'm afraid of heights too and actually to go out on that balcony might be a good way to face that fear. Better than jumping out of a plane I would say :)

  8. thankfully i don't really have any fears that stop me from doing anything....and i would love to stand on that glass balcony in chicago. it's on my list of things to do.

    BUT WAIT. mice in my more then one....well that pretty much freaks me out !


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