Are you ready for this?
The day I realized that my fears where just a melodrama in my mind and thoughts, that was the day I found freedom. And then the next day, I had to relearn it.
And then the next day, again, I had to relearn it, and so on. There have been many moments in my life where I let fear take over, and looking back, I have laughed at all of them. It is quite crazy how we can get so caught up in our thoughts and mind, worrying about something that we have totally made up within ourselves. One of the obstacles that I had to overcome in moving to India was my fear of being heard and chanting, most of all. It might sound quite funny, but it was a real fear.
So, I had this story that I carried around, it was like a family joke. That singing and chanting just was not for us, or in our genes. We would gather for birthdays and cover our ears, it was so bad, just noise! It was a thing we could all just find humor in. Even in high school, the only bad grade I ever received was in chorus class, a D+, and the teacher let me retake the solo singing test, where after days of practice, still I only received a B-. Nonetheless, it was something we all laughed about and took lightly.
But when I moved to India, I knew I was going to have to chant and possibly start leading the puja, which is a sacred morning ritual where you offer all the elements to whichever expression of the divine that you choose, and tune in with the four directions while chanting mantras. It is a beautiful way to start the day and I really enjoy being at puja. Well, one morning after teacher training had finished, everyone was leaving the centre for a few days, except for me. They just said lightly, ok Corrin, you can take over leading puja for the next week. My eyes were wide open, my heart beating a million times a minute, and my body sweating with anxiety. I said, “but I have never been taught the puja and I don’t know the mantras or melodies.” She said, “it’s fine, you will figure it out” and left.
So all left, except me, and some new graduates from yoga teacher training. I finally received a recording of some mantras, not all, but some, and began to practice. I spent hours in the yoga shala, chanting out of melody, asking all to join me in the practice. After the day was closing, I surrendered. I do not think I slept all week, but I did my best. It took me quite some time to start to relax around the process of leading puja, but I love it now. Even when Guruji looks at me with a smirk on his face, and a little laughter, and says “you can improve,” I say, “well, at least I have the right attitude and devotion, the chanting is coming along. “
Now, I cannot go a day without this incredible ritual. It has given me the authentic power of a devotional goddess. It pours love into me and the knowingness that I am invincible. I experience this the second I start gathering the supplies to set up. It is one of those practices that the more you show up to it, the more it will give to you. Transcending fears is an incredible gift and awareness to have. There are days where it rises, and I still have to take out the sword and slash it down and laugh about it, but now it comes with such ease, love, and grace, I feel that I can do anything. These obstacles are gifts from the divine.