Dear Fear, Take a Hike

I’m really getting the itch to travel.
Just the other day I felt this close (*holds up fingers*) to being a part of Jennifer Pastiloff’s upcoming yoga retreat in Tuscany this July. I want to go so badly. It will be occurring over my 25th birthday (whoa, right?) and will be very near to Florence, where I lived in 2009.
Florence is also where I fell in love, in 2009, and where my life changed forever.
Enter: FEAR.
My mom really hit the nail on the head when she said, “They are amazing women you would be honored to go to the BATHROOM with them! Much less Florence!” I would be honored to hold these women’s purses while they peed. Yep, I said it. Whatever. It’s true. I’d be honored to sit and talk with them, to learn from them, to practice beside them, to run free in a foreign land with them, and let my soul be altered profoundly and irrevocably.
I believe I will someday. I know I will.
In light of my friend Katie Devine’s article on Truth <a href=”link url”></a> I am going to admit some hard truths right now. Le sigh. Here goes…
I’m afraid to return to Italy.
I’m afraid that the city where I left a sentient portion of my being will not difficult to return to, as a different person on a different path.
I’m afraid that my heart will break all over again going back to the beautiful city where I fell head over heels into the deepest love I’ve ever known.
I am afraid I will walk by the home I shared with my best girlfriends and fall apart, rather than look up at our fifth story flat and say, “How cool that I had the opportunity to live here.”
I’m afraid I won’t be able to eat my version of healthy in Italy.
I’m afraid Italy will make me fat, like those pictures of me when I did live there. I look fat, in my own eyes.
I’m afraid that the stress I will endure trying to plan out every detail leading up to such a glorious trip will take an immense toll on me.
I’m afraid I can’t just “go with the flow.”
Phew. That sucked. But there it all is.
I’m afraid of a lot, it looks like. But I somehow feel lighter. The tightness in my chest is loosening already, as I type. I already feel a little less afraid, just having unpacked my canvas bag of fears with this blinking cursor.
You know what else? I’d go despite all those fears. I’d still have a stomach ache, I’d still have the aching, sour sensation in my belly, the presence left by that “aren’t you afraid you’re stepping back out of your comfort zone?” voice in the dark corners of my mind.
Yes, I am afraid to step back out of my comfort zone. I’m afraid that everything I’ve carefully built will come tumbling down. Why is that? Why am I afraid to revisit my past as though it will take the wind out of my future’s sails? Why am I afraid to revisit Italy? Certain old friends? Even memories of who I used to be? Shouldn’t there be a more gentle blend between the person I once was and the person I’ve grown into? One came from the other, so how can I see them as two such separate entities?
In order to heal that separation of Self, I promise to never have it happen again. I promise that future me will be a beautiful, blossomed version of current me. Whatever growth, change and metamorphosis I endure in my future, I vow to always look lovingly on me. “24 year old, slightly fearful, spreading her wings, getting her footing” me.
Speaking of current me…I am a little down that I don’t yet have the awesome freelance writing job that I so dream of, and that will allow me to pick up and take off on yoga retreats around the globe when my little heart desires. But I suppose that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing now…getting certified with YogaWorks, and attending Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition this fall. Getting myself closer and closer to having the trio of credentials (English Degree, YogaWorks 200-hour Certification, Holistic Nutritional Consultant License/Education) that I so firmly believe will give me the material I need to build the dream that I have in my mind’s eye. The dream that I would be blessed to call a career. I want to become someone people really want to read, regularly. Someone people want to go on yoga retreats around the globe with (just like I’m trembling at the thought of getting to go on retreat with Jen Pastiloff).
It’s funny, I guess it all boils down to a fine balance between having patience, and learning to adore the phase you’re in right this very second. It’s the journey, not the destination. I’ve heard it a thousand times. How about living it? The truth is this:
The acquisition of those credentials won’t land me my dream job. Having the right attitude will. And I can have that attitude now.
I can adore the phase I’m in. The “I barely have enough money to live off of but I’m chasing my dreams with reckless abandon crying onto my yoga mat, my mom’s shoulder and the very cursor I see blinking right here whenever things don’t go right” phase. The “I’m becoming a yoga teacher and I have a college degree and I’m sick and effing tired of ringing groceries for a living but it’s fueling my reckless abandon dream chasing” phase. The “where am I going to live and how will I support myself through Bauman this fall and will I do well and will I be able to use my education to help people heal their bodies and minds through yoga and holistic nutrition and write about it too?” phase. That one’s a question and the only answer I have for it is “chill out, you can’t peek at the last page of the book, it doesn’t work that way.”
I’ve talked before about looking at one’s current stage as a “novice” stage. I was referring to my teacher training program when I called myself a novice in my very beginning stages. A novice phase is beautiful. One to admire and embrace because, one day, I will no longer be a novice. I will always be a student, ever-learning, but I will no longer have that wide-eyed, soaking-it-up-like-a-sponge essence. I will look back on it lovingly.
Maybe, just maybe, I can do that here, too? Do it now, with this “chasing my dreams” phase? Look at this phase lovingly and kindly and say, “Hey. You’re going to get there. Manifest it. You’re going to feast on these most incredible visions, writing and leading yoga retreats and spreading the knowledge of how to be well through holistic nutrition. It’s your path, and it’s going to be how you make your living. Someday you’ll read this again and say, ‘Aw look how sweet and insecure and effing afraid I was…I wish I hadn’t wasted so much precious, valuable energy being afraid. I wish I had taken that novice enthusiasm and channeled it towards fearlessness. Towards love. Towards adoring that very phase, right that very moment. Because I’m here now, and it’s so beautiful. I made it.”
So, how ’bout it? How about writing a little letter to yourself, from yourself, the Self that has accomplished the dreams. That just felt pretty damn good, for me. Maybe give it a go. I’m going to take my future Self’s advice.
I’m going to direct this nervous energy towards embracing, with both arms and all ten fingers (maybe even wrap a leg around and squeeze with my toes too) this phase. This “I don’t know what’s going to happen” phase. I’ll pretend like I do. The mind doesn’t know the difference, it just sees the vision, sees the image. That’s how manifesting begins. Have you ever seen or read The Secret? I’ve been channeling that energy since I first saw it at 15. Manifest. Manifest. Manifest. Read what Jen Pastiloff writes about, her whole company is called Manifestation Yoga. And look at her, living her dream. The idea of manifestation, visualizing and bringing dreams into reality, is real. Concrete. It happens. But it only happens if you actively practice it.
So, fear, take a hike.
I know fear will come back, like a boomerang, but I’m prepared to answer it differently from here on out. I’m prepared to take the big eraser of life and smudge away all denial, all mistruths, all loathing. I am committed to loving this phase, to loving myself, and to forgiving my past. I am committed to paving a solid path to my future, so that any missteps will not be due to cracks and dips in the pavement. It’s my one job in this life, to create a smooth path to walk, and it’s up to me what that foundation looks like.
What a gift. What power. What an opportunity.
I will waste no more time being fearless. I will challenge all those demons…and I’ll see that nothing bad happens. I don’t fall apart, I don’t disgust myself, I don’t lose everything I’ve become. By facing demons I learn to trust myself…I’ve never trusted myself. Again, I’m a novice. Love the phase…embrace it (maybe even with all ten toes). Ride it out. Because we will never, ever, ever again be where we are right this very moment.
Because how will we ever love the place we are if we didn’t love the road that got us there?
image courtesy of

5 thoughts on “Dear Fear, Take a Hike

  1. Seems to me that you have already started your freelance writing job. Life journey is made up of many forward steps. Keep walking it will all fall into place as the Creator & universe has written. I got a $50 to help start your Italy trip fund. One way to move a fear is to walk right through it.
    Blessings & Namaste

    • What an incredible compliment. Immense thanks for such a profound reminder/comment.

      You are incredible. Such kindness, wisdom and generosity. Unbelievable. Here’s to walking right through it!!!

      Namaste, Om Shanti

  2. Thank you. Its taken me a while to learn to be kind. Not to others, that one my parents taught me as a youngster, but to myself. Sometimes, the hardest lesson to learn is the one that helps us out the most.
    I really appreciate and enjoy your posts. They always strike a cord in me. The openness, honesty, revealing of your inner workings & thoughts is a testament to your transparency.
    Keep walking, your moving mountains without even seeing them move 🙂

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