DANCE YOUR FEAR: A card from the deck of transformation included in the book Creative Awakenings:EnVisioning the life of your dreams through art
Dance Your Fear!
Friday is the kick off event to launch my long-awaited book.
I am still not even sure I will have books in hand, but I am holding a positive
intention that it will all work out just fine. Walking the razors edge is not something
I am unfamiliar with. Stepping out in this way is actually one of the most
vulnerable things I have ever done and I will admit to you beloved
readers…that yep…there is some fear!
Since moving to Colorado 20 years ago, there have been so
many moments of "feeling the fear and doing it anyway." At first it
was very traumatic. I was overcoming years of negative programming so it was
literally paralyzing to step into the fear, but after years of taking small
baby steps-which actually felt HUGE to me-and with pretty good results, the
fear has diminished from lock-down hyperventilation, to a tummy knot in my
solar plexus; my temperate reminder that I am about to engage in some daunting
behavior. I call this my "early warning system." Instead
of telling me to stop everything and run for my life, my early warning system
lets me know, that something beyond what I can see right at this moment is just
around the corner and even though I can't see it and it may still feel as if I
am looking into a BIG BLACK VOID, I now have a deep inner knowing that most
times the risk has been met with positive rewards. When it comes to taking
risks, whether large or small, what I have learned to do is Dance my Fear!
Yesterday with a dose of encouragement from my dear friend
Hilary Back, I decided to hike the Highlands Bowl. With a summit elevation of 12,392
ft, it is a formidable task for this Feisty Female™. It was a gorgeous bluebird day and the snow was in good
shape, but that did not stop the early warning system jitters from kicking in.
As we rode in the Cat that took us to the trailhead, I
looked around at the 15 or so other hikers. Most had huge smiles on their faces
and for some it was their 2nd or 3rd hike of the day! I am not quite that hard
core. I noticed that my Venomous Toads (my name for the nasty voices in my
head) had kicked in and they were doing the happy dance, sharing with me all
sorts of extraneous information-none of which was helpful in the moment.
As I started up the trailhead, skis strapped on my back, I
decided it was time for me to walk my talk and Dance MY Fear. Dance Your Fear is one of the 24 transformation
cards enclosed inside my book Creative Awakenings. The card reminds you that
there are two kinds of fear, real and imagined. As I put one ski boot in front
of the other, climbing toward 12,000 vertical feet, looking only at my feet as
they stepped into the tracks of others who had hiked before me, I could began
to sort out what was REAL fear and what was IMAGINED fear. I can get some wicked
moments of vertigo, so my process when hiking on steeps is…don't worry about
where you are going…take one baby step forward at a time. Sure, this hike was
a risk, maybe even a big real fear risk, but after 2 successful hikes the
previous year, I knew it was not outside the realm of possibilities. What I did see what how much
IMAGINED fear the Venomous Toads were creating for me, and that is exactly the
place I know I run the risk of shutting down and returning to the comfortable
land of things safe and familiar.
To be sure, I stopped and let people pass me on the way
up. I even took a hit off my inhaler, heck, with exercise-induced asthma; I
should have no ego about this, although that is exactly what can get in my way.
EGO! How much of our fear is wrapped up in that 3-letter word?
When I reached the top the view was simply
breathtaking and the metaphor for the week ahead did not escape me. I realized
that this was literally one of those epic moments. Epic in the sense that it
feels sometimes like our culture invites us to constantly climb higher, reach
for more or look over to the next mountain we can climb. Very often we are
standing in the light of an enormous success, reaching the pinnacle, but we
don't take the time to really soak it in and look down at where we came from.
As I step into the launch of the book this coming Friday-although I may feel
vulnerable-I realize that this is one of those larger-than-life moments and I
need to take some time to celebrate this huge life success.