An excerpt from Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart by Scott Stabile
Author and Facebook sensation Scott Stabile’s parents were murdered when he was fourteen. Nine years later, his brother died of a heroin overdose. Soon after that, Scott joined a cult that dominated his life for thirteen years. Through it all, he became evermore committed to living his life from love.
In each chapter of his new book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart, Scott shares a personal experience that pulled him from his center and the ways in which he brought himself back to peace, and to love. While some of his experiences are extraordinary, like extricating himself from a cult after 13 years, most of the stories reflect on everyday challenges we can all relate to, like the weight of shame, the search for happiness, and the struggle to be authentic.
We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.
If you’re anything like me, you haven’t gotten along too well with your fear up to now. You two may spend a lot of time together, but I doubt you’re very friendly. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can create a different, gentler relationship with our fear, and by doing so we create a more fulfilling relationship with ourselves.
I’ve hated my fear for all the limitations it’s placed on my life. I’ve resented it for influencing my choices and pushing me to make cowardly decisions that have steered me away from rather than toward exciting possibilities and more meaningful realities. I’ve judged my fear a bully, a tyrant, the single greatest obstacle to my happiness. I had never considered that my fear cared about me or that it had always been, in fact, just trying to protect me, the only way it knew how. Don’t get me wrong. I still consider my fear a serious pain in the ass, but it no longer scares me the way it used to.
My fear is just a dummy most of the time. So is yours. It doesn’t mean to be, but it doesn’t know any better. Fear takes its job — to protect us — incredibly seriously, but it has no emotional intelligence with which to work. My fear wants to protect me from a difficult conversation with the same fervor it uses to keep me from sprinting into traffic. Fear can’t tell if it’s a mountain lion or a cute barista that has you all worked up. It deems anything uncomfortable as unsafe and, therefore, something to avoid. Rattlesnakes, job changes, new hairstyles — they’re all the same to fear: scary. So our fear ignites terror in our minds — a hellfire of what-ifs — to keep us safely in our comfort zones. More accurately, in its comfort zone. It’s not so much an enemy as an overprotective parent. And like any overprotective parent, fear has no intention of giving us our space.
I finally accepted that my fear had no plans to go away. That I would not, someday, suddenly become fearless. So many times, I’d stopped myself from taking action because I felt afraid — of rejection, of change, of failure, of the unknown. I didn’t ask the charming guy for his number, or didn’t get out of the unhealthy relationship soon enough, or didn’t submit my short story to the competition, or didn’t quit my miserable job. I let my fear prevent me from making positive choices, often telling myself I would make them when I felt less afraid — when I had become fearless about the decision. But I never became fearless; I rarely even became less afraid. So I stayed paralyzed in situations that didn’t serve my happiness, or I bypassed opportunities that likely would have benefited my life.
Can you relate? Have you ever held out on making a necessary change until you felt less scared to make it and ended up not making the change at all? Change will always be scary. Fearlessness will always be a myth. We can be afraid and still make courageous choices. Courage doesn’t even exist without an element of fear. It’s action with fear that makes a choice brave.
Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love. His inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following, including nearly 360K Facebook fans and counting. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, he lives in Michigan and conducts personal empowerment workshops around the world. Visit him online at www.scottstabile.com.
Excerpted from the book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. Copyright ©2017 by Scott Stabile. Printed with permission from New World Library.
"Life happens. Life in the flow."
We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.
"Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light." ~ Buddha
Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I'm not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.
"Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us." ~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder
Yoga is observation.
We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.
Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.
Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.
Yoga is love.
"Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls." ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.
Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.
"Follow Your Bliss. It's Your Spiritual Compass."