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Confidence as a Conduit of Consciousness

Updated: Apr 6

golden stream of energy

Like the slogan for Coke from the 70’s, “Things go better with Coke.” In the Tantra, the slogan is “Things go better with confidence!” It’s much healthier for you too.


The definition of confidence includes the feeling of one’s power and the reliance on one’s ability to succeed. It also means faith or belief that one will act in the right way. It’s the quality or state of being certain. It’s certitude. The etymology of confidence comes from the Latin “confidentia” from the verb “confidere” to confide. The Latin prefix “con” usually means with or together in combination, but here it is an intensive prefix meaning “completely.” The verb “fidere” means to trust. So, confidence means to trust wholly and completely.


person jumping between 2 cliffs

For me, and for most people I know, confidence doesn’t come naturally or easily. Plagued by doubt and unworthiness, I had to overcome my lack of confidence. It has taken me a long time to grow the feeling of being good enough, being whole and complete in who I am, and to release my incessant striving for perfection that can never be achieved, and which always leaves me feeling less than or like a failure.


I was never more aware of the work I needed to do around confidence than when I began taking piano lessons. I was eight years old. I had some talent and I loved playing the piano. In grade school, my piano teacher liked to enroll her students in regional competitions. When asked, I said I would try it. But in my first competition, I choked. Playing in front of four judges was the most nerve racking thing I’ve ever had to do. I was so nervous I could hardly keep my fingers on the keys they were shaking so much. When I finally managed to partially steady my hands, I would almost always forget the notes I had worked so hard to memorize. I couldn’t finish most of the competitions I entered because I just clammed up. It was humiliating and embarrassing.


boy playing the piano

But my teacher kept entering me into competition after competition until I finally said no. Then in high school, something shifted in me. I write about it in my book. It seemed like there was one girl who always won the competitions, Karen Kleinheuizen. She came from a musical family, and she was good. After losing to her for about 6 years, as a junior in high school, I finally decided to get serious about beating her.


Honestly, I didn’t really care about the music part of the competition. I just wanted to have victory over Karen Kleinheuizen! I changed teachers and began studying with a college professor who changed every single thing about my technique. I practiced steadily six hours a day for six months until the day of the competition. I felt very confident in my abilities because I worked hard for it.


I’ll never forget the feeling of power as I sat down on the piano bench at the competition.


Steady in my heart, relaxed, yet alert, I felt the depth of support from my teacher and my family who supported me for months of continuous practice. At the competition, when I began playing, I felt as though a bigger energy swept down and moved through my fingers and heart. I loved the piece I was playing. I felt the music flow through me. It was effortless. I was so focused and plugged in that nothing could have distracted me. Not nerves, sounds, judges, and certainly not Karen Kleinheuizen. And to my amazement, I won the competition! Yahoo! All of my hard work paid off. I was ecstatic!


What this experience taught me more than anything else is that I can do anything I set my mind to. And that I have to put in the work and the focus, and find the teachers and mentors to guide me.


As in music, I didn’t have much confidence teaching yoga either. Being in front of the public was so daunting to me. I’m an extroverted introvert by nature. I had to overcome my fear of being seen, judged, and rejected. With years of experience and tons of support from mentors, colleagues, friends, and students, I was finally able to overcome my fear and doubt and just be myself.


Confidence is the conduit for self-love. Consider your central channel in the subtle body, the Sushumna Nadi, “She who is most gracious.” When we have doubt or fear, or when we cling to the past, resisting change, or when we worry about the future, energy leaks are created in the central channel. In addition, the chakras gather up psychic stress that forms when you resist or stuff your feelings, not allowing them to flow. Fear is invasive and can take over the subtle body. Fear is a contractive emotion and a coercive agent to the heart. It keeps us small or ready to dash or dig in and fight.


seated body with chakras down the center

What’s needed is to embrace the doubt and fear without letting them stop us from following our heart. Breathing really helps to change this habitual patterning of the mind. We need to become aware of when we contract and then practice letting go. When we have shortness of breath, we need to practice breathing deeply. Anything we can do to interrupt the learned and sometimes ingrained behavior of protecting ourselves from danger when there’s actually no danger at all is a worthwhile practice.


We need to replace doubt, confusion, or indecision with confidence.


Confidence comes from a belief in yourself, in the spirit, and in life. The fuel for confidence is the belief that life has your back, that everything in life is for your awakening. Things go better with confidence because you feel whole, complete, safe. There are no holes or leaks in your energy field.


Lack of faith is a leak. Expecting the worst is a leak. What if we expected the best more often? Life gets easier with confidence because you’re no longer fighting yourself or trying to prove yourself to anyone. You just are and you’re okay with that. You are already enough just as you are.


Confidence is sourced from a deep sense of self-acceptance that’s unaffected by perfectionism or any arbitrary or external standard placed on the self. When we meditate and tap into the universal source place deep within, we let go of conditioning and all of the inner voices that shame us and tell us that “we better watch out,” or that “we’re destined to fail.” These are the negative swaying lies we tell ourselves way too often.


man meditating at the beach

Source consciousness is like an underground wellspring of infinite, renewable energy that surges and flows eternally. Lack of confidence only arises in the face of judgment or comparison to some unreasonable standard outside of ourselves that has no relevance on our unique individual sense of worth.


We are all masterful and unique creations of spirit with our own unique quirks and perfect imperfections. We are all gods and goddesses in drag waiting to come out of the closet!


Tantra celebrates diversity. It celebrates your uniqueness and your capacity to grow yourself and evolve. In Tantra, we evolve from love to more love, from perfection to even more perfection. It’s all good.


May you tap into the infinite wellspring of source consciousness to bring forth the confidence you were meant to enjoy.


For those who haven’t yet joined, the Ashaya Membership is one of the best support tools for building confidence. Twice a week, we tap into the infinite wellspring of life to renew our belief in ourselves. We embrace life that upsurges with the inner state of confidence guiding our way forward to live our dream beyond our wildest imagination!


I look forward to seeing you on the mat.


Namaste,


Todd



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