What Does It Mean To Be Afraid?

By Joe Hawley, Founder at The Härt Collective

So, what does It mean to be afraid ? 

A simple question. A personal question. A powerful question! 

Do you know your fears? Have you explored them through the depths? 

Our fears live in the unconscious realms of our psyche. Imprinted from past experiences. Designed to keep us safe. They lurk in the shadows. 

Fears don’t make themselves known so easily. They don’t want to be seen. Our fear shows up as worry, doubt, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger and overwhelm. We may fear being hurt, rejected, abandoned. We may have a fear of failure, success or uncertainty. We may fear losing control. And the most universal fear we all share collectively is that of facing the unknown (aka Death). 

How do you notice fear when it shows up? I bet you notice subtle shifts in the sensations of your body. An accelerated heart rate, sweaty palms, a lump in your throat or tightness in your belly. It may show up as a debilitating anxiety, stopping you in your tracks. Fear communicates with us through our nervous system with what’s known as a fight, flight or freeze response. And as studies have shown, the nervous system, if not allowed to fully feel and release the energy from a fear response, stores that unprocessed energy resulting in dis-ease and stress. 

Fear is designed to keep us safe. But it also holds us back from that which we desire. What if you could alchemize your fear into freedom, truth and love? And what if you could do it by simply moving the energy through dance? 

I’ve been through countless healing experiences on this life journey. Everything from plant medicine retreats, breathwork ceremonies, somatic release techniques, yoga, traditional talk therapy and so on. All of it’s served me in its own unique way but none as profoundly as Ecstatic Dance. 

DJ Jordan Rahme

Ecstatic Dance, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is an opportunity to freely move the body intuitively with the intention of releasing and moving any residual energy. I love to dance, but struggled to move my body to music, mostly out of judgment of what people might think. “Am I doing it right? Is anyone watching me? What’s that person doing over there? That’s weird.. Am I weird?” The stories would overrun my mind, leaving me not wanting to move at all. And then I did my first ecstatic dance and it blew my mind and opened my heart. I closed my eyes, connected to the music and moved my body intuitively. As stories came to the surface, I was able to release them in real time. I was being vulnerable with my movement, expressing myself freely and connecting to an aspect of my body's intelligence that felt like a trance state. I dropped out of thinking and connected to feeling. It was beautiful. 

I’ve done a multitude of these ecstatic dance experiences over the years and have come to love them. Because of this work, I’m able to freely dance in front of anyone at any time because I’m able to let go of the judgment. It’s been profoundly liberating. And it’s why I’m so passionate about facilitating these types of healing experiences for all of you! 

Co-founders and hosts, Joe Hawley and Ben Harris

Which is why I’m excited to announce that we’re putting together an Ecstatic Dance through The Härt Collective here in Austin, TX on May 19th. This is going to be an absolutely transformational experience. Alongside my co-founder, Ben Harris, and one of my favorite DJs in the game, Jordan Rahme, we’re putting together a LIVE DJ ecstatic experience that is going to change the game! 

DJ Jordan Rahme on the decks

With the launch of our new course Fear Alchemy, we’re focused on alchemizing our fear by moving it through dance. This experience will include a workshop to identify your fear followed by a LIVE DJ set to alchemize it through movement! 

I’ve never seen it done quite like this, it’s going to be epic. And I’d love to see you there! 


Here are all the deets: 

Live Beyond Fear: An Ecstatic Experience

May 19, 2022 - 6-9pm

The Sunset Room 310 E 3rd St, Austin, TX

Please bring a pillow to sit on

Cost: $55

*All attendees are invited to enjoy 1 month free access to the Hart Collective Inner Circle Membership   AND a 20% discount off of the Fear Alchemy Course.

Reserve your spot now! 


With love and gratitude, 

Joe Hawley, Founder 


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