I recently came across this quote, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” When I read this quote, it suddenly dawned on me, that the majority of people I know, including myself, do not always see how brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous they truly are. We often sell ourselves short. I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but I know for myself, I struggle in the confidence department. I can encourage everyone else in the world to try new things, believe in themselves, and so on and so forth. When it comes to me, the game changes. I am human. Therefore, I too allow my insecurities to scare me from time to time. Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to have strong people surrounding me who say, “What are you so afraid of? You can do this!”I am so thankful that I gave myself the chance to overcome fear. For me, fear comes from the unknown. If you have never tried something, then your fear may keep you from possibly falling in love with a whole new side of yourself that you have never exposed.

Paddle Yoga, for me, is that fear turned into love. Ironically enough, I had a fear of being out on open water. When you step out onto a paddle board and glide out onto the sea, you are a part of the ocean kingdom. My fear has definitely transformed into respect. I no longer fear the ocean, but more so respect it as an entirety and all that resides within. When WE paddle out, we have the opportunity to experience the life that is happening all around us that our fear keeps us from exploring. I will never forget the first time I saw this adorable HONU, sea turtle, swim by my board and peak his head up and out of the water. I swear, he looked right at me. It was at that moment that I realized he too was afraid, and we had this mutual respect for one another.

The ocean has revealed a world of understanding and humility that I am eternally grateful for. We are all brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous. We just have to believe in ourselves. We must muster up all the courage we have, or fake it until we make it, in order to escape from fear. Give yourself the opportunity to fall in love with the beautiful YOU.

-Leah Vernon


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