I recently watched an interview with Shonda Rimes, a writer for some popular TV shows. Last year she wrote a book titled “A Year of Yes”. One of the things she talked about was how she had previously declined invitations for unique and meaningful experiences, large and small, because of her fears. So after a lightbulb moment talking with her sister, she decided to say YES for one year to the things that scared her and it changed her life!
Well, this sounded very scary to me, but I could feel the truth in this. I also felt IT was speaking to me. Not being one to just jump right in, I decided I would start with small things that I was afraid to do. So I’m tuning my radar to be sensitive to my fears so I can identify them. For me this is usually felt inside my body.
My first tiny challenge came a few days ago. I was so grateful that it was small. It was my day off and instead of exercising indoors, which is what I usually do, I felt called to take a long walk outside in my neighborhood. It was midday and I had not showered yet. I thought “what if I run into my neighbors? What if they see me in this ungroomed state? Will they judge me? Will I judge myself?” I felt the power of a small fear keeping me from something that I wanted to do and so I decided I had to do it. I wondered what kind of lesson could come from such a small step.
I took my walk around my neighborhood, said hello to a few neighbors, waved to a few of them in their cars and I was done. Well what had I thought was so scary about that, enough so that I was willing to let it stop me from something I wanted to do on my day off? It seemed silly when I was finished. Aside from realizing the pleasure of a walk outside on a beautiful day, I didn’t see any lesson that I learned. However, the rest of the day unfolded in ways that were wonderfully unusual and meaningful to me. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was the outcome, payoff or consequence of challenging my small fear or just chance.
There’s only one way to find out, and that is to repeat the experiment and see what happens. The current fear that is tapping me on my shoulder, says to open up my blog space for discussion. Ask people what is on their minds, what would they like to talk about, share, or ask? The fearful voice inside says “who do you think you are doing this?” And the kind and loving voice inside says “why not put it out there and see what happens? It could end up being a place for people to support each other.”
So, if you have something on your mind you’d like to talk about, whether it’s a fear, a concern or anything else, if it feels right to you, you are welcome to write it in the “Leave a comment” section after my blog. You can be anonymous or use your name, whatever feels comfortable. We all share the same (human) feelings at one time or another. Isn’t that one of the things that connects us to each other?
Do you feel fears arising just thinking about acknowledging your fears? What are they saying? What is their message? Would it be possible to take one tiny step into your fear and see what happens? If not today, maybe tomorrow or another day. Remember, there’s nothing more important than being kind and gentle with yourself. You will know when the time is right for YOU.
With love, Jackie