Fear is a funny thing….both ha-ha funny and strange funny. It sneaks up on me in ways that I had never expected and in circumstances I had never considered. I have been able to laugh in its false face, once I have been brave enough to pull off its seemingly sneering mask and perceive it for what it is…an attempt to allegedly keep me safe, while limiting my horizons. I use the acronyms False Evidence Appearing Real and Forgetting Everything (is) All Right when supporting others in leaping past their own trepidation and hesitation.
Yesterday, I was called on to face a fear that seems silly, but once I did it, there was a sense of triumph. I had taken my Jeep in to get serviced since I am going on a long road trip to Canada on Sunday to speak at The Grail Lady Faire at Grail Springs; my first international conference. After the usual oil change-check tires-fill fluids routine, the smiling man behind the counter asked when I was leaving and informed me that the ball joints were shot and needed replacement. He advised not even driving around locally, let alone an 800 mile trek. He knew the work would be complete in a day or so. Fortunately, my son was off work yesterday and I could borrow his car to get to my new job. Here’s where the ‘gulp’-y thoughts came in. Adam’s car is a manual transmission and I hadn’t driven a stick shift for at least 15 years. The monkey mind started in immediately…”What if you stall? What if there is traffic behind you honking at you? What if you grind the gears? What if you burn out the engine? Holy smokes, woman….get it together.” When I raised those fears to my son, he sagely (he’s getting so good at calling me on my stuff:) asked “Weren’t you nervous about leaving your full time job? Aren’t you nervous about speaking in Canada? Don’t you sometimes get nervous doing new things?” And so, yesterday, on a scorchingly hot Pennsylvania day, this 53 year old woman, was riding top down (his Nissan is a t-top), feeling the breeze on her face (I put on lots of sunscreen for the 20 minute ride to my part time job at a drug and alcohol counseling center), shifting gears like I had done it forever. Sense memory had kicked in and I actually found it easier to do than when we had our Jeep Wrangler in the 1990′s. I didn’t stall, I heard one grrrrriiiinnnd when it wasn’t fully in third gear, no one honked at me and I felt a sense of freedom that had me laughing with delight.
It may sound silly, but taking those kinds of leaps are my growing edge these days, as I am incorporating new experiences along the way to finding my freedom where lies everything I want.
Wishing you Strength, Courage and Wisdom http://youtu.be/u6P4jI8t-0I India.Arie