Or why it is that important to really punch fear in the face.
I’ve found myself thinking about freedom more often than not these past months.
Thinking about how do I relate to that concept.
Thinking about how utterly attracted I am to that loving ease of finding yourself navigating your life with that beautiful sense of freedom.
Because I’ve felt “free” in ways I had never experienced before lately, in ways I had never even imagined before, and I believe that it is something worth sharing.
The truth is, you never know how much your life can change in a year. In my past year, when it seemed like nothing happened, everything, absolutely everything happened and changed how I experienced life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I saw the light one casual day and decided that I wanted to live an inspiring and enlightened kind of life. Quite contrary, I just started to be more open to the idea of the potential of exploring life under different eyes. Very basically, I only allowed myself to walk with authenticity everyday trying to find answers and questions and comfortable and uncomfortable truths in my way. I only decided to walk slower, taking my time to admire the beauty around me that I had taken for granted for so long. I only allowed myself to think different thoughts at different timings. In short, I only allowed my life to simply start again…
Because, to be completely honest, I still start everyday.
Some days I still wake up and I can recognize old patterns of thoughts inside my mind. Some days I still wake up and my body is still attached to that hectic speed of “having things done” as quickly as possible.
Some days I still feel guilty and scared for risking so much with all the changes that I am consciously making in my life right now.
But, guess what? The difference is that now I stop, and breathe, and I don’t let those thoughts stop me, no matter how powerful or persistent or savage they may seem.
I observe those wrongful thoughts and show them the way out when I am ready.
That’s my start, the start I am willing to take every day, the start I believe it’s worth the fight, the start that encourages me to be better, even when I feel at my worst.
That might seem like a tiny, almost imperceptible change, but it has really made all the difference and has allowed me to jump into the land of the unknown.
I recently read “START”, a brilliant book written by Jon Acuff that basically explores the value of that first step – or start - towards an awesome life, and it basically made me reflect on the power of those moments when we basically let ourselves begin again, on those moments when we face our fears and allow ourselves to be free and simply start, again. I can’t thank my fabulous coach enough for recommending this gem to me because it came at the perfect timing. To be completely honest, I found it extremely exciting and empowering because once you are aware of this subtle switch life can become simply more fun and enjoyable. And who isn’t down for more fun?
So here I stand to say that I am proud of my humble “Start”.
I don’t feel trapped to a job that I don’t like but, very differently, I find myself exploring new ways of creating a balanced and meaningful life that I believe would be the perfect fit for me – and no one else.
I don’t feel in need of anyone to complete my beautiful solitude. Instead, I’m welcoming my alone time as an opportunity to discover what I really long for. This doesn’t mean that I am unable to connect. In fact, I’ve never connected with other souls with the intensity and truth that I do now. This just means that I share from a place of abundance because I cook my own fulfillment home and, sometimes, the outcome is so delicious that I need to share it with other souls - and it is only more beautiful this way.
I don’t feel trapped or extremely attached to a certain country or continent, I rather find myself enjoying every inch of the places I get to visit. I don’t feel like an outsider of the places I travel to, and neither I feel like an insider of my own home. I’m just a continuous discoverer that has built a capacity to see familiar and unfamiliar things under different eyes every single time.
I don’t find myself married to a certain career only because I decided to spend some period of my life working for it. I am proud of the effort I put into making all that happen, but I don’t believe that it’s wasted or ruined only because I am not having a predictable job title to add to my social media profiles. My dream job basically didn’t exist (which might not be the case for you) so I have decided to craft my own – and it feels intimately fulfilling.
I’ve embraced change. I’ve embraced new tomorrows. I’ve welcomed with open arms how fluid my life is starting to feel, how interestingly meaningful in its own chaotic movement, how outstanding in showing me its reasons behind unanswered questions.
And there are still some days when this infinite freedom turns out to be utterly scary.
Days when I am not as okay with not knowing all the answers.
Days when my self-healing practice doesn’t seem to be enough.
Those days I know it’s just fear knocking at my door.
So I’ve come to accept my fear as a fluid concept as well.
The way it comes and visits.
The way it leaves like it wasn’t there before.
The way it tells me to dream smaller.
The way it tells me to quit.
The way it tells me to settle for the comfort of the ordinary.
The way it tells me just how dangerous my freedom could become.
And fear might be wise and cautious, but it’s also utterly inconsistent.
I’ve caught fear lying, being dishonest and unfaithful to its own wicked mantras.
I’ve caught fear wanting me quiet and still while I had so much to say.
I’ve caught it undermining my moments of brilliance.
I’ve caught it planning its own trick of self-revenge.
It’s possibly the best liar I know.
So I wave fear hello when it comes and see how fluid it becomes the minute I call it by its name.
And I breathe.
And I start again, and again, and again.
And freedom welcomes me home, again.
With that sense of ease and excitement present on equal amounts.
With that wilderness and plenitude that can fill up entire rooms.
Making me feel freshly alive.
Bringing me back to my true self.
I believe it is very important to stop and react and start calling fear by its name whenever it tries to trick us, because recognizing it at its early stages is the very first foundation of a brave and wonderful life.
Anxiety, in many ways, is made out of fears.
Unhealthy, untamed and suffocated kind of fears.
The kind of fears that were never called by their own names and so they left you hurting and bleeding.
Like those that tried to haunt you in your sleep even when your life was running at its perfect beautiful pace.
Like those who convinced you to not jump on the next adventure.
Like those who kept you offering your energies to that person that didn’t deserve you.
Like those who made you lose sleep for days for that test that was not that important after all.
Like those who made you settle for a job you didn’t like just in case you couldn’t find something better.
Like those that made you spend time convincing yourself that you were not brilliant enough or capable enough or wise enough or interesting enough.
Like those that told you for years that you simply couldn’t dream big.
The amount of “yes’s” they made you left unsaid.
The several “no’s” they made you repeat over and over again.
Because fear normally comes in the shape of “NO”:
You can’t, you aren’t, you couldn’t, you shouldn’t…
While freedom is normally present with a huge kind of “YES”:
Absolutely, let’s do this! I’m with you!
I wonder how many times in my life I have missed that yes and how many times I said no because I was just scared.
And don’t want to do it again.
And I don’t want you to do it to yourself either.
Because the truth is, we deserve so much better than that.
We deserve to start, fearlessly.
If there is something I would advice to someone (and that I would repeat to myself over and over again) is this:
Dare to be free.
Dare to be brave enough to call fear by its name.
Dare to battle your own fears and accept your own infinite possibilities.
Once you have tasted real freedom in your mouth, there isn’t really a way back.
Once you have tried how insanely interesting life can become, you would never want to come back and watch it seated at the comfort zone.
So dare to simply start, as many times as you need, as messy and imperfect the first moves might be, as complicated and scary it might seem at the very beginning.
Dare to trust yourself in the process and to allow the answers you are searching to come at their own pace.
Most importantly, dare to be brave enough to love your beautifully free self, because the sweet truth is, all the rest will just follow.
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How do you cope with fear yourself?
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