“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
“The heart pointed to the brain and said with great disdain, “Those who live their lives in here live the lives most full of fear.”
Our family recently escaped our homestead for a few days of outdoor exploration in the Sierras. California is vast and there is so much we want to share with the kids from our first stay here and so much more we have yet discovered. After almost seven years settling down here… it was about time!
It seems like trips always have a transformational aspects to them. This time is especially apropos as we are both, my husband and I, at a juncture in our professional lives. Needless to say, the trip was all we needed to create deep reflections and conversations upon our return.
Returning to my true nature is the endeavour of the summer. I got lost in false assumptions about how to direct my career and need to reset. I already have more than I can handle and it feels a bit overwhelming. I know once the teachings from the mountains will set in, I will be back on track full of energy to step up to the plate. Still, I wish summer was six month long.
I started a somewhat dear and big project to tidy up the entire house (Yes, from the book The life changing magic of tidying up The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing from Marie Kondo, more soon on my experience in a future blog post). As a mother working from home with two children on school summer break, I need to adjust the suggested pace and do it a bit everyday rather than a one- day-do-it all deal. The wardrobe work has paid off and I felt great yesterday night. However, tired and pensive, I am still in that doubtful place, wondering how the next chapter of my life will unfold and feeling unsure about how my gift can help others, how to share them and where to begin.
As I am starting anew I asked for guidance and felt grateful this morning with the sign I received. While meditating, I was suggested to read one of many, many books in my bookshelves waiting patiently to deliver their teachings to me. The Places That SCARE YOU A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chodron was calling me. In the first ten pages alone, I found enough to feel the need to write this post. I think it says a lot.
Upon reading those few pages, I realized that for most of my life, I based my actions and decisions on being fearless. Fearless in the sense of not letting fear dictating my life. You see, my parents have lived most of their lives on unachieved dreams, financial lack, self-responsibility denial for their fate and health. I wanted the opposite: a vibrant, healthy and fearless life, and was determined to do all it takes to get there. Of course I can say that most of the time I do not let fear get in the way but is this enough to affirm that I am I fearless? I believe now that all these years, what I wanted most was to be courageous but I did not see the nuances between this and fearlessness. As the quote from Georgia O’Keeffe suggests, it is more about jumping and trying that matter, despite the fear. Succeeding, aka attaining our goals in a defined way and timeframe is not even part of it. In fact, in my humble opinion, trying despite our fear IS succeeding.
From now on I decide to live courageously and working towards what Pema Chodron is describing as a warrior of courage and love. I am letting my heart decide and my brain will follow. As quoted in her book this question is guiding my journey on this earth: ‘’ Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly or do I choose to live and die in fear? How about you?