Feed your dragon

"We're going to feed our dragons," he said.

The six of us didn't know what he was talking about, but we were intrigued.

We'd just finished writing down what we aimed to accomplish over the next three months, which would act as the second term of Experience Institute's inaugural year. We listed three intentions on a whiteboard, subsequently enlisting support and accountability from each other.

Then, he asked us to write down what we feared might come between us and following through with our stated commitments.

These fears weren't far away. They quickly transferred from mind to pen to page and there rested in scribbled letters, more vulnerable than I'd ever seen them before.

We examined our fears, identifying which of them were rooted in self doubt, insecurity, or a harsh internal critique. This process initiated a new sense of freedom from their disabling deception.

"Now, we're going to feed your dragon," he said.

He shared a story from Tibetan folklore about a woman who approached a dragon that had been terrorizing the town. For centuries, the story has been passed along as a charge to face your fears by asking what they want. Their answers are much less terrifying than we might assume.

Turns out, this dragon simply wanted a lick of nectar.

We closed our eyes and visualized the work that we wanted to accomplish and then waited for the fears to show up.

In a meditative daydream, I approached my computer to begin writing, a cement wall came between my hands and the keyboard. Here stood my fear, like the barricade between Israel and Palestine, and there was no way around it.

My initial reaction was to angrily begin chipping away at it, but this method had never proven fruitful in the past.

So, like the woman in the story, I asked what this wall wanted.

"Paint me white," it replied, "and write all over me."

My self doubts, which are consistently a blockade to my forward progress, were asking to be painted and told.

Instead of feeding a vicious dragon, I transformed an ugly wall into a canvas displaying honest stories.

Face your fears and ask them questions. Their replies may surprise you.

Their answers may set you free.

...ramble on...

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