3 Quotes That Will Help You Confront Almost Anything

Finally confronted my fear of speaking. My table at the HMSA and Mom’s in Hawaii Mom-O-Rama event.

This year has been bursting with challenges most of which have been stuffed into the month of June. But I’ve never been one to turn down an opportunity out of fear. Instead I’ve bombarded my inner critic with positive verbiage from the likes of

1. Sue Monk Kidd on Super Soul Sunday, in which she says:

Well, you know, as I get older, I try to love the uncertainties more than I do the certainties.”

To embrace what we don’t know is one of our greatest challenges isn’t it? And yet when I look back-my wedding day, the birth of my son,  my grandmother’s funeral, this past Mom-O-Rama talk with Moms in Hawaii and HMSA have also been a life changing experience. It’s what makes life feel magical. Although I’m often full of anticipation and fear, I’m almost always grateful for the growth and opportunity it gave me.

2. Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art continues to push me to face my fears professionally.

The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear, then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist…

The pro keeps coming on. He beats Resistance at its own game by being even more resolute and even more implacable than it is.”

Pressfield teaches me that my goal isn’t to wait until I’m fearless. My goal is to understand that fear is part of the process. It’s to realize that part of being a professional is to accept the discomfort, plan, prepare and then even though I might feel unworthy, inexperienced and awkward and do my best anyway.

3. Glennon Doyle Melton teaches me, shocks me, and makes me laugh until I’m weeping as I read each highlighted passage to my husband in Carry On Warrior:
Every little girl is told at some point that the world does not want to see the ugly, afraid, secret version of her. Sometimes the people who tell her this are advertisers, sometimes they’re people close to her, and sometimes they’re just her own demons.

And so she must be told by someone she trusts that this hiding is both necessary and unncessary.

She must be taught that, in fact, some people will want and need to hear about her secret self as badly as they need to inhale. Because reading her truth will make them less afraid of their own secret selves. And she must be taught that telling her truth will make her less afraid too. Because maybe her secret self is actually her own personal prophet.”
Her words make me feel brave-not by doing anything amazingly courageous, but just by virtue of sharing my truth. It pushed me to express personal experiences that my normal introverted self would cringe at sharing. I’m so grateful for this. It helped me to realize that some people may not accept this gift of honesty with kindness, compassion or understanding, but it’s worth saying for the ones that need to hear it and will consequently receive it graciously.
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Inspiration to Confront Your Fears

{by Prawny via @morgueFile}

{by Prawny via @morgueFile}

I’ve been MIA because I’ve been dealing with something kind of heavy recently.

F-E-A-R.

It’s reared its ugly head again and all my defense walls are up. I’m ready to give up, throw in the towel and use every single excuse not to face it.

It’s so much easier to sit back and watch everyone around me grow more successful. It’s much harder to be in the ring wrestling with every single critic, self-doubt, and past insecurity of my lifetime. I wear it like a skin. And confronting discomfort is like sloughing that skin off. It’s painful.

But there’s been a lot of things inspiring me lately. Like the singer on The Voice that is uber talented, but doesn’t believe in herself. When she lets go of her insecurities for a moment, her melodious voice gives me goosebumps.

Then, there’s pro-golfer Michelle Wie who says in her interview with Self magazine and that I wrote about here, the game is 80% mental. It’s changed the way I envisioned success. Unless I tackle my inner critic, any talent I have or hard work I put in matters little.

Then there’s Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, which is always on me like the bible:

The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.

What Henry Fonda does, after puking into the toilet in his dressing room, is to clean up and march out onstage. He’s still terrified but he forces himself forward in spite of terror. He knows that once he gets out into the action, his fear will recede and he’ll be okay.”

If I am successful at defeating my fear, you will see me come June in a Hawaii event. Wish me luck!

If you would like to see me confront my fears and join me on dealing with your own through relaxing activities like meditation and sipping on tea, I’m teaching another workshop on Saturday, April 25th in Wahiawa. It’s soon so make sure to sign up here as soon as possible. You can also email me at bauyemura AT gmail DOT com.

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Confronting True Fear

{Etsy art print by SincerelyNoted.}

{Etsy art print by SincerelyNoted.}

We all suffer from bouts of fear. There’s your normal laundry list of worries (financial, relationships, career, health) and some not so common ones (birds, heights, etc.). Secretly, I believe a lot of our fears presenting as foes are actually friendly teachers in disguise. They help us overcome challenges and beef us up to be stronger individuals.

And most of the time what we worry about is so far-fetched that it’s pretty easy for a friend, therapist or religious teacher to point it out to us.

“What’s the likelihood of you really _______ (contracting the latest illness, getting killed by spiders, being alone for the rest of your life, etc.)”

Maybe statistic wise, slim to none.

But what happens if what you fear is your reality? What if what you’re worrying about has some bearings on the truth?

These are questions that hit me recently when I went from married to married with kid.

The fear that something could truly happen to that little baby you carried for 9 months and dreamed about even longer is excruciatingly painful. And while many times it’s like any other worries that run the gamut in your mind (not likely), what happens when there’s a real and true possibility that it could really happen? That’s the kind of odds no one likes to play with.

It’s the same thing if you’re dealing with a chronic illness or loss of a job. The fear of the unknown is painfully unkind.

The question switches from, “How likely is this to happen?” but,”What happens when it does?”

Dealing with Real Fear

When you’re actually confronting what scares, all worries stop. There’s just you and the fear. It is true moment-to-moment living. In your wildest imagination, you could twirl with the possibility of what-if back and forth in your mind. Worrying can feel like a full-time job. But when you’re face-to-face with what’s freaking you out, there’s only one option: react or respond.

How you choose to deal with whatever scares you is a true testament to how you perceive your life. Do you feel like the world controls you? Are you living life as someone empowered or in fear?

I was watching Pastor Joel Osteen talk about choosing peace even in the midst of chaos; that when the waves are rocky above the ocean, there is still stillness at its bottom.

Sometimes I forget that life doesn’t always require action. The most powerful thing we can do at times is to have faith in doing nothing. Things generally work themselves out after we’ve 1) done everything we can 2) surrender. We like to think we can control everything in life. Letting go can seem to be the least attractive thing when we’re controlling by nature. But sometimes it’s the only way to get through whatever scares us.

The single best advice I can give you is this: Walk blindly through your fear, naked and vulnerable, but powerful because you have love and faith as your greatest weapons.

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Getting Back Control of Your Life

{photo by The Inspiring Bee}

In life, there is no room for bench warmers. There is no tree with which to hide, no tunnel to escape from, no magic invisibility cloak to help you vanish into thin air.

Perhaps that’s why we lean towards books and movies of fantasy and fiction. When life gets hard, we can’t just disappear for a moment, retreat within and return when we’re strong again. So we watch wistfully wishing we could momentarily catch our breath.

When life gets hard and we’re weary from the fight, the desire to “sit this one out” is great. How do you keep going about your day, maintaining work, chores, your daily tasks when a huge surmounting issue is weighing heavily on your shoulders?

I’ve worn that heavy cape. I’ve felt the crushing pull of not knowing, where you have two choices and neither are ones you would choose. And in that fear, I know that there is only one thing that can help me get through it.

Dig a hole through that tunnel. Find a way to walk through the fear on your own terms. If illness, loss, or some other impending doom is on your way, don’t avoid it, or succumb to the grief the way we’d suffocate under a wave. But find a way to feel like you have control.

For me, this means writing. Only in the process of writing can I completely lose myself to the words. I can forget whatever fear I’m about to face. I can let go of worry. I can forget about the worst scenario. Surfing the internet won’t help. Talking to others may not help. Sometimes the only thing you can do is to let go into the thing you truly love and find joy in this moment.

If you’re in the process of facing yours fears and you’re sick with worry, I hope you will carve a space for your gentle soul. Find a place where you can cry, where you can feel the wind on your face, where you can hold yourself with love and light and remember that regardless of the darkest shadows that want to linger, weight on you and drain you, you can CHOOSE how you will live your life. It may be a small choice. It may be choosing to walk instead of drive or draw instead of write. But if we can find a way to take control of what we feel we have no control of, we will again find the strength and courage to keep going.

 

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Facing the Things You Fear Most

 

H-A-P-P-Y                                          H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N! 

{pinterest photo. from reddit.com.}

In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a scaredy cat. I’m scared of oogly googly things like spiders, snakes, cockroaches. And I’m scared of loud noises like fireworks, balloons popping, gun shots and suspenseful movies.

I think in my former life I was a rabbit. I startle easy and like to be in quiet places.

But of all the things there are in the world to worry about, the thing that scares me most is not fulfilling my purpose.

It’s the thing that keeps me up late at night, that inspires me to keep working, to look for clues, to hunt down any inkling of desire I might have.

Because as you know, just when you think you know everything something changes to prove you wrong. 

I once heard that you’ll never stop wanting until you’re dead. That hopefully means we have a lot of wanting left in our lives. It means that there is no age limit on dream-seeking. That the only thing keeping you from pursuing your dreams is the limitations you create in your mind.

Yesterday, I was in yoga lying down in corpse position {ironic name} when these lines popped into my mind:

 

i am just a small spirit,

spinning, pulsating brightly through the limitations of this flesh covered body.

as an entity it is strong,

together with my soul it is powerful.

i extend a light through its fingers and twinkle its toes and experience what it’s like to be sensitive to sound, vulnerable to pain, and to feel both connected and disconnected at once.

it is fear and pain,

pure awareness abound.

a blessing to be awake, a gratitude to experience what it is to be alive.

it’s when the intensities too great,

when the light from spirit is low,

that’s when i long for respite,

to retreat to the sweet pleasantries of nothingness

to crawl out of this weak, all feeling body.

but it is with knowledge, with unexpected strength,

a treasure trove of goodness despite pain, despite discomfort, despite fear

that i keep my light flowing, courageously extending my glow, my energy,

my inner brilliance,

though it wax and wanes like a candle fragile to the wind,

i take the chance

because i remember

that in the end

it is worth it…

That poem was melding in my brain and it just rolled on out. To me, it means: Yes. Life is scary. Life is uncomfortable, awkward, painful, devastating, and disappointing. But it is also beautiful, hopeful, exciting and gives us the opportunity to grow, to feel and to change.

As you prepare for your Halloween party, fixing up some sweet treats and getting into your costumes, I hope you’ll remember that. Maybe the things that scare us are not so scary after all. Maybe they are just lessons waiting to be learned.

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