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feeling fear

Posted May 08 2010 8:45am

Friends, thank you so much to your responses to my letter to my 12-year-old self .  I loved reading all the things you would tell your 12-year-old selves.

La Gitane asked an interesting question – what would my 12-year-old self say to me?  That reminded me of a conversation I had with a colleague a few days ago.  We were talking about books, about what we used to read in our early teens and it turned out we both lived on a diet of Stephen King, James Herbert and rather gruesome murder mysteries.  We both commented on how we used to devour books like “It” and “The Shining” without thinking twice about it but when we return to them now as adults the scare the bejezus out of both of us.

This made me reflect on the sheer amount of fear and baggage we drag behind us as we progress through adulthood.   As kids we can happily get sucked into ghost stories but as adults we read them with more trepidation, noticing every unusal noise.  Well I do at least.

There’s fear and there’s fear of course.  The fear that kicks in when we are actually in danger is one thing, that’s healthy.  The fear of life in general is something else.  Every negative emotion finds its basis in fear; jealousy, anger, bitteness, judgement – the root cause is always fear.  Letting go of this day to day fear and allowing change to happen is hard and takes huge courage.  I spent two years being unhappy in my legal job but too afraid to leave the security of the salary and pension scheme.  When I actually took the plunge and quit everything turned out just fine.  Yes there were hard times when I wondered if I’d made the right choice, yes there was a period of adjustment, but ultimately when it came down to the fundamentals such as my happiness and health it was the right thing to do.

I’m not suggesting you all go out and quit the day job.  By no means!  But most of us have something in our lives we’d like to change but feel as if we are being held back.  Maybe it’s time to feel the fear and do it anyway.**

So in answer to La Gitane , my 12-year-old self would tell me to play more and not worry about things that go bump in the night.  Which ironically is pretty much what I told her.  Make of that what you will!

“It takes tremendous courage to walk [our] spiritual paths with integrity and honour.  No-one relishes the the thought of leaving familiar surroundings… but courage allows us to rise out of that fear into life.  It takes courage to step up to the plate and walk head first into our deepest fears.”

–Darren Main “Spiritual Journeys along the Yellow Brick Road” (p.111)

**Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is a book by Susan Jeffers.  It was the first “self help” book I ever read and is probably responsible for all this living in the moment yoga stuff I make a living from.  I highly recommend it!


Apologies for the rather heavy weekend post!  Himself and I are off to Birmingham for a couple of days for a break and to see the wonderful Flight of the Conchords.  I’ll be back Tuesday evening with a fun picture post, so I leave you with this.  I’m sure you’ve all seen it before but these guys never stop being funny.  Have a great weekend!!

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