May 10, 2014
Outside of Arenberg, Germany
I’ve been hoping to start a blog for a while. Yes, it’s been a long while that I’ve been wandering in the wilderness of thinking, planning, deliberating, deciding, motivating, re-deciding, and, ultimately, failing to follow through. It’s a familiar (and somewhat annoying) place to find myself, especially because I see myself as an energetic and enthusiastic person – you know, one of those people who can easily follow through on their intentions. So when I finally got serious, I realized the only way out of the wilderness of waiting was to catalogue, digest, and move beyond the fears that were inhibiting my ability to start. Included among them were:
- There’s vulnerability in expressing myself authentically. What if people (and by people, I mean you, dear reader) don’t like the me that you see expressed here? How does that impact our relationship in ‘real life’?
- I am used to doing things excellently. I don’t want to write anything unless it’s good. And I mean really good.
- I have both fear and excitement about the public and permanent nature of the internet. I’ve always been comfortable disclosing my thoughts and feelings to those around me, whether intimate acquaintances or new friends. But posting these things publically opens up a lot of questions that I don’t fully know the answer to: What’s the long-term implication of having all these things published? What if I inevitably grow, evolve, and come to regret my views? How is the complicated by the fact that I’ve shared them with you?
- And my strongest fear of all is my fear of judgment. What if you think I’m silly, stupid, or too much of a hippie? What if you think I’m too pragmatic, too intellectual, or not intuitive enough? That fear of judgment touches on a deep-seated need for approval, which is hard to battle.
I approached these as I approach any fears. I took each statement one-at-a-time and simply said yes to it. “Yes, I might write a horrible blog.” “Yes, people may not like me after they read my writing.” “Yes, I may be judged positively or negatively.” “Yes, I may regret what I write in the future.” I simply said “yes, yes, yes” to each fear until they lost their power over me. There is a lovely saying that “what you resist, persists”; when I stop resisting and simply let the fear be, I find it ‘passes through me’ and I emerge on the other side, unafraid and unharmed. The fears are real, the answers are uncertain, and yet I’m able to move forward with strength.
It took a solo retreat holed up at a cloister in Germany (yes, a real cloister with nuns wandering about) to finally say yes to each of these fears and dedicate the time needed to tackle the logistics of launching. But I’m glad to be here. And I’m glad to be in dialogue with you about all the crazy and important topics we’ll tackle together.
Thanks for joining me on the journey. I’m looking forward to your company along the way.