Surviving Terror – A Personal Story

by Elsie on April 20, 2013

a story of strength, hope and power guided by yogic principles

Indomitable: Incapable of being overcome, subdued, or vanquished; unconquerable.

From my childhood…

I remember fear above any other emotion, although its just now that I recognize it as fear.

I remember the way fear and anxiety felt in every part of my being. I also remember terror and fearing for my life, even at the tender age of eight.

I remember the way terror crawled on my skin, and the panic I felt when it once again became nighttime.

Darkness made me feel nauseaous. In truth, the decent of the evening made me feel nauseaous.

The events of this week have compelled me to open up about some stuff that I don’t really talk about let alone write about.

I was born in El Salvador, San Salvador in 1972. We moved to this country on July 2, 1981. El Salvador was in a civil war from 1979 to 1992.

I experienced everything that one would surrounded by war, except actually being injured myself. There were at least two distinct times when my family or myself were in mortal danger.

From seven to nine years old, I had a third parent albeit an abusive one – war.

This parent was the one that instilled in me how your senses affect your nervous system and illicit a physical reaction.

This parent was the one that uncovered immortality to me as well as the deep knowledge that at any moment I could be left alone.

This parent taught me the normalcy of semi-automatic weapons and military everywhere: grocery stores, schools, movie theaters, etc.

This parent made seeing mutilated bodies living amongst whole bodies as a common occurrence.

This parent, although in my life only for couple of years, had a profound influence on all parts of my being – for years.

from war torn country to an empowered release of fear and terror via yoga

I tell you this because although I was absolutely positively guided by fear and anxiety for decades of my life that is no longer the case, and I’ll share with you two incredibly simple ways to snag fear and anxiety and put them in their place.

I didn’t get over it I was able to transform it and meet my fear with something greater, so that I now make decisions (or not make decisions ) that are not stemming from that darned four letter word: F.E.A.R.

There were two massive tragic and violent incidents this week – Boston and Texas. Both those blew loudly, ripped things to shreds, disintegrated bonds and left many in pieces.

The Whole exploded.

Even if most of us happened to have been told the story only via mouth to ear, our bodies would have reacted to the sheer tragedy of it all. Now days because of our technological advances, whether we were there or not our senses are kidnapped by the violence.

The power of our senses is often overlooked, and let me share a little bit of insight: everything that you see, smell, taste, touch and hear impacts you at a much greater level that you know – everything.

My parents did the absolute best they could do to keep our family safe and whole, which is one of the reasons that we moved to the United States leaving everything behind and starting over from scratch.

They made mistakes, as all parents do, but one thing that they did very well was to limit our sensory intake, particularly via the media.

I didn’t watch a PG movie until I was thirteen years old. Can you believe that? THIRTEEN! And you know what it was? Big Bird’s Big Adventure. I remember the day that we went to the movies as a family to watch that film.

Yes, times were different then, and I happen to have been a pretty good girl and didn’t really have the desire to go out and consume things I wasn’t supposed to. As I’ve shared before, I was also pretty much a loner so the inadequacy of being a teenager going to watch a Sesame Street movie with her family was completely lost on me – thank heavens!

Give yourself SPACE. Tear away from images, sounds and all around experiences that violate your soul.

Immerse yourself in beautiful things, sensual experiences that remind you of the sacred living within.

This can be as simple as going to a museum, sitting quietly in a church or other sacred space, listening to classical music, or watching a beautiful movie. I love to watch Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice. It’s so lovely!

Take time and responsibility to empower and brighten your inner body.

This is a hard one to explain via written word. It’s a hard one to explain even in person! It requires practice.

Stop reading right now. For only 5 seconds. Close your eyes and feel the inside of you. Feel the space inside of you.

Does it feel like space?

Is it a feeling you would classify as expansive?

Do you feel heavy and compact?

Do you sense brightness and bouyancy within?

Or do you feel more inertia and heaviness in your upper body?

My inner body is my invisible shield. The one that keeps me safe. The one that keeps evil out and repels it. We’ll get deeper into that soon.

For now I share the latest episode of Elsie’s Yoga Class (that’s a direct link to the MP3 for you to download) where I offer a bit more insight about the inner body and how it recently kept me safe again this time from mortal danger involving being robbed at gun point.

Immerse yourself in beauty and work on brightening up your insides. It can be done, even in the midst of the horrific. I know.

Have a blessed weekend.



PS: If you are sick of the way you feel and are over making decisions (or not) based on fear join me doing the Yogidetox. You’ll deepen the understanding of what I mentioned above in spades! The detox IS NOT ABOUT FOOD!

PPS: If you sign up by APRIL 21 2013 will get unlimited text/email support from me through the process + a one hour support session. Do it. Let me know when you purchase and we’ll get rockin’

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

okei (UK) April 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm

This blog touches on something so important with the media and sensory overload today, the desire to know, to be connected, when really we need to simplify, know our true duty and connect with the heart. Beautiful reminder!


Amanda April 22, 2013 at 3:46 am

Beautiful class, Elsie. Thank you!


Sanjay Kapoor April 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm

I know of a great mantra song that can help to overcome fear:

It’s great to feel one’s inner space but I find praying to the Durga/Devi energy to be very helpful for those of us for whom philosophy doesn’t always do the trick


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