Posts tagged ‘authentic self’

September 18, 2012

Facing Our Fears

A couple of years ago I wasn’t afraid to write.  At that point in time I didn’t think of myself as a writer.  A year and a half ago I started this blog on a whim and quickly fell deeply in love with writing.   To my amazement others started to give me feedback about my writing, complimenting me and encouraging me to write more.  My subject matter has changed over the past year and a half.  My goal was to write about everything pertaining to living a healthy, mindful and sustainable life.  The beginning was in the woods, then it went to the garden and all things related to gardening, then some food, and most recently, life.  More specifically, mindful living.

I realize to some of you when I say “mindful living” you might not know what I really mean by that, or maybe it makes you shift a little in your chair or makes your stomach tighten because it makes you uncomfortable.  It was like that for me at the beginning as well.  I wasn’t really sure what it meant, but the little I did know, I knew I wanted to know more.  With the current (mindful living) journey I’m on, I realize every day that there’s less and less that I know and more and more that I want to know.

It’s kind of like this, you’re having a conversation with a friend, catching up, and they bring up a subject that you don’t know anything about.  You ask a few questions, learn a little and become intrigued.  You go home, pull out your trusty laptop, log onto the world-wide web and start searching.  With each search you learn a little more and at the same time, it opens a door to even more information, more levels, more layers, more to learn.  Well, my current mindful living journey has been much the same.  I’m trying to be aware and present with everything I do and what I’ve found is that once you’re aware, you become even more aware of other things that you could be aware of.

This morning I went for a walk, just like I have nearly every morning since I started the new challenge.  The first few days out I was just glad to start a new, healthy habit.  I was looking around at my surroundings, trying to be present on my walk.  After a couple of days I realized I wasn’t paying attention to my breathing. I took note to be more mindful of my breathing on my next walk.  I focused on my breath, taking deeper breaths, filling my lungs instead of short shallow breaths.  I tried to pay attention to how it feels when I do that.  Then I realized I wasn’t paying attention to my body.  How was my form?  Were my shoulders tense?  Was I really using my muscles while I walked?  Could I feel my feet hit the earth? So the next walk I tried to pay better attention to that.  And so it has gone, with pretty much everything throughout the day.  Each day I open my eyes to something new.  Some new observation.  Some new way of being mindful.

So what does all of this have to do with facing our fears?  Well, as you may or may not have noticed, there was a considerable gap between this post and the last.  Somehow, receiving the nomination for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award made me paranoid, self-conscious and afraid to write.  I tagged it “writers block”.  I started a few posts along the way, thought they were crap and trashed them.  It’s funny isn’t it?  I received recognition for what I was doing and it made me afraid to continue.  The more posts I write, the more readers I have following, the more concerned I get that “they” (you) won’t like what I have to say.  It’s easy to write when nobody is watching, but much like when I was in dance when I was younger, the bigger the audience, the more nervous I was to perform.  I had to live by the “Dance like nobody is watching” mindset.

As part of this mindful living journey I’ve also become more in tune with my inner voice, higher self, authentic self.  I’ve been trying to listen to it and let it guide me.  This voice has been telling me to continue to write.  I kept telling it, “I can’t.”   It in turn told me, “Yes, you can.”  So I ignored it.  Ignore it and it will go away, right?  But it doesn’t work that way.  If you ignore the signs, the signs get bigger.  Just before eating lunch today I read a blog post titled Outside the Door: Indulging Creativity on the blog We Bare All.  I love reading about creativity, creative things to do, so I started reading.  Before I got very far I realized… Crap.  It found me.  A whole post by another blogger, a writing teacher, telling me to write.  I’d been had.  I’d been duped.  But in the back of my mind I knew she was right.  It’s time.  Time to get out there.  Go out on the stage.  “You never know how many will hear you, how many you may touch, but if you don’t write, if you don’t do what you were called here to do, you will never know.”  So here I am, writing.

Whether you’re a writer, an actor, a performer, a teacher, a tutor, a mother, a friend, or a mentor, do what you were called here to do.  Listen to the voice inside your head trying ever so hard to guide you to be who you were brought here to be.

Fear holds us back, prevents us from achieving our authentic selves.  Even when we’re scared, especially when we’re scared, we need to listen, let go and face our fears head on, because chances are, “the worst thing that could happen” in our mind, won’t.  But if we don’t listen we’re cheating ourselves out of becoming who we are meant to be.  And if we take those risks, we just never know where they might lead us.

Wishing you peace and courage to follow your dreams.