You might think you need money, time, or maybe even miracles to realize your dreams, but according to experts leading last night’s “Opening Up” workshop in New York City, you have to start with a list. The event, which was part-yoga class and part-life coaching seminar, was led by Anusara yoga instructor Elena Brower and Handel Group life coach Laurie Gerber (and hosted by our friends over at Well + Good NYC), both of whom strongly advocate making a list of your fears, in order to realize your dreams. It might sound hokey, or like a waste of your time, but whether you’re trying to start a business or find a soul mate, Brower and Gerber say you have to start by admitting what makes you afraid.
“What’s fear got to do with it?” you ask. For most of us, this isn’t an obvious starting point, but Laurie Gerber, who’s Handel Group life coaching methods we’ve tried (and loved) here at Blisstree, says it’s absolutely necessary; on the other side of your deepest fears are your biggest dreams. She encouraged workshop attendees to come up with a list of all their biggest fears, then dig into how those translate into their biggest dreams. Afraid of telling your boyfriend you want to get married? Your dream is probably to get married. That example is pretty obvious, but other ones aren’t so glaring, which is why it’s worth coming up with your list. Tedious? A little. (Or a lot, if you’re not a fan of writing.) But what you come up with can be surprising.
You might also ask what yoga has to do with all of this. Elena Brower is best known for teaching kick-ass Anusara classes at her own studio, Vera Yoga, in New York City (and occasionally to thousands of people at Flavorpill events like last year’s Yoga at the Great Lawn), has also been on her own life coaching journey, working with the Handel Group one-on-one herself. Her style of yoga is all about getting into philosophy, so it makes sense that her teaching includes a lot more than just back bends. In fact, her blog, Art of Attention, explores all kinds of philosophy, frequently getting into what she’s learned through Handel Group life coaching. (And, coincidentally, she frequently contributes to The Daily Love, which we featured earlier this week.)
So where should you start? Get out a pen and paper; it’s time to make a list. Gerber says it’s important to get specific (dig deeper than “fear of failure” and specify what exactly you’re worried about failing at). Once you’re finished making that list (warning: this could take awhile), it’s time to come up with all the positive things that might happen if you could overcome your fears. With that as your guide, it should be easier to come up with a plan of action (though nobody said this would be easy, to set the record straight). Here are a few words from Elena Brower to make you motivated to start your own list, posted earlier this week on The Daily Love: