Last night I had the absolute pleasure of watching Liz Gilbert speak on stage. If you’re not sure who I’m talking about – she is the one who wrote Eat Pray Love and is responsible for some of the most popular Ted Talks – like this one.
I am reading Big Magic, her most recent book and loving it.
I just wanted to be in her presence – I was a little star struck actually. I have admired from afar for so long and then there she was – in the flesh!! The conversation flowed from topic to topic but it was her comments on FEAR that really resonated with me.
Fear, that old chestnut.
I’ve become pretty good friends with fear, the past year and half, since establishing a business. Fear has been with me every step of the way. I love that Liz lives a life with fear by her side too – but she doesn’t let it drive the car. She parks it in the backseat and says “hey – thanks for being here and wanting to keep me safe – but you don’t get to decide where I’m going today or how fast I drive or who jumps in the car with me”.
Fear is a companion, but she’s the boss. I love this!
I can remember getting the first professional photos done for my website. I was gripped with fear. I mean – I was almost vomiting with fear!
Fear that I was too ugly, fear that I was getting too big for my boots, fear I was wearing the wrong top, fear no one would like me anymore if I didn’t present with a sweat moustache and dirty clothes. Fear that spending this money was a waste, fear that my business was going to bomb anyway, fear that no one would ever visit my website, fear that my kids would be a nightmare to photograph, fear that my husband thought I was up myself, fear the going ‘pro’ would mean I wasn’t authentic anymore.
Fear fear fear fear fear. It was never ending.
But I did it anyway.
The fear is there as a constant companion but I’m learning to know the difference between fear of mortal danger and fear because something feels new and scary. If you have creative tendencies you’ll know what I mean! Fear can keep us stuck, and safe. It can see us not smash through barriers that we could and SHOULD! Fear is that little voice that says – sit this one out, back in your box, it’s never going to fly.
So, sitting there listening to her talk about how she manages fear (and not the other way around) was so amazingly delicious (aside from the fact that Mia Freedman was interviewing her…..what the!?) and I couldn’t help think about food.
LOL! OF COURSE!
I thought about how scary it can be to educate yourself about food. How scary it is when you realise things have to change and you desperately don’t want.
How, on the other end of the spectrum, fear of ‘unhealthy’ food is making life miserable and stressful. Fear abounds!!
How does fear play out for you, with food? Are you fearful of getting fat, poisoning your kids, making the wrong decisions, scared of being lazy, or perhaps scared of being criticised?
The lesson I learnt last night from the divine Liz Gilbert is to park that fear in the back seat.
Say “thanks Fear for showing up and reminding me that there’s preservatives in this white wine but it’s not going to kill me and I will drink it with joy tonight”. Or “thanks fear for reminding me that the sugar my kids have eaten today is not within the realms of ‘healthy’, but they are still here and tomorrow is a new day. I do not need to feel fear around this right now”.
PARK THAT BITCH! Let fear be your companion but don’t let it drive the car.
Liz Gilbert is like a wise elder – she’s balanced and poised and worldly and smart and – well the best word is WISE. She’s who I’d take advice from. She’s lived.
Again, in the context of food – I look to the wise elders for advice too. People like Jude Blereau – who has balance and perspective and is not fanatical. I am careful of who I take advice from in this food and health space. I want people who have lived, who have tried many different things and found a point of balance.
One day, when I grow up, I hope my kids look to me as a wise elder. And that will require me to live fully. To acknowledge my fears, thank them for their time and dance on!
Is fear holding you back at all??
PS – this is me with the stunning Sonia from Natural New Age Mum – was so awesome to hang out!