Returning from our holiday in South America, among the mail was a touching letter from a former Yoga student. She wrote of her up coming gender change. Her letter explains
“In the New Year I will start my medical transition using hormone therapy. I will start taking testosterone to replace my oestrogen which will make my body undertake a male puberty. This will lower my voice and allow me to grow facial hair but what ‘s more it will allow me to live honestly to my gender and myself.”
After all what does Yoga mean? The word and the practice. Union of body Mind and spirit. And until this occurs ( and it is an ongoing journey,rarely are we ever completely in balance.) how can we say we are a whole being. As I read and reread the letter my heart went out to her, this journey will take much courage. Her letter continues where by she explains how her decision had caused her much anxiety, finishing with how she hoped this hadn’t changed my view of her and could we continue with future letters.?
I have thought much on this and how to be helpful. The letter speaks of hoping for acceptance, of receiving counselling from a gender specialist. Thinking on her fears that brought me to my fears and then Universal fears and finally ways to overcome them.
I believe the way to overcome fear is to go to its roots, once you have faced it, talked to it, and brought it into the light. You can pull it up, planting new love where fear once grew. Dennis Waitly in his book “Seeds of Greatness” www.waitley.com
explains Fear as False Education Appearing Real.
“He goes on to say in my experience, there’re three dominant fears, beyond the fear of death, which is the greatest fear among non-spiritual individuals;
Fear of rejection, which is being made a fool or failure in the sight of presence of others.
Fear of change, which is charting unknown waters, being first, breaking tradition, sacrificing external security.
Fear of success, which is an expression of guilt associated with our natural desire for self gratification.”
Denis Waitley explains ”the fear of rejection begins early in child as we encountered the first “No” In our natural exercise of curiosity to explore and gratify our own needs.”
If raised in a nurturing family environment, children also experience two other most important steps in their healthy development toward adulthood. They develop their first meaningful loving relationship with another person, usually the parents of the opposite sex which is natural.
…and they establish an ownership of objects and special places all their own.
This building of identity of- possessing value- is an important ingredient in the quality of self-esteem.” When we have self esteem we are more able to diminish our fears and live life in balance.
Fear of change: On the face of it this does not sound like much of a fear. And yet it is A deeply ingrained fear. We all have A comfort zone, in fact many comfort zones and these are often hard to earn . We often grieve at our losses. The loss of childhood,and it’s innocence, in the darkness of winter we grieve the loss of summer, even these changes seem to rattle us. Job loss loss of a loved one leaves us stripped raw. but loss of gender, the sex we were born to. The world sees us a female /male. how different life will need to become on so many levels before she reaches this place of change.
Change is to become different to arrive at a fresh phase.
And yet change we must , a man or woman who will not and cannot change -is nothing -does nothing and becomes nothing.
Fear of failure;
If you find you are wishing your life otherwise than it is.If you spend time looking back at past problems,( failure reinforcement) and imagining similar performances in the future (failure forecasting) e.g. I can’t imagine myself successful, it is because you are controlled by rejection and accepting standards set by others. And so we set ourself up for failure by setting our goals unrealistically high, not believing that our dreams can come to reality, and not preparing enough for our achievements.
Dennis Waitley tells us “Then, the gift of value is the absence of fear. People who live with fear grow up standing at the end of every line. People who live with praise learn to stand alone and lead their parade, even if it’s raining. People who are given challenges and responsibilities grow up with values and goals…… People who live with optimism will grow up thinking they were born to fly!”
To my past student and others who walk the path of changing gender. I wish you the gift of patience as you walk this new path. Remember your courage will be a torch for others.