You guys I recently had someone say to me something akin to—“I want to be at the place you are in your life: on my path, doing my thing and not feeling afraid of doing so.”
I had to say, “If you think I haven’t been afraid—you are wrong.” Her statement made me think of the illusions we have about the way people get to success. How it’s hard to know what success or a path to yourself really looks like because we rarely see the beginning of the journey for those who are living those lives out loud. By the time we notice them much of the messy stuff is behind them. (Not saying messes aren’t still made—but the beginning of the journey—the part that takes BOLD COURAGE and movement through fear is no longer the biggest perspective.)
So I wanted to rebuff the notion that you will get where you are going, or that it is even possible to get where you are going without fear. As I write this all of these pivotal (and SCARRY) moments I’ve experienced are flashing through my mind.
Like the time I walked into a shop that had a “PSYCHIC” sign and asked if they were hiring psychics. The woman asked me to give her a reading on the spot. Actually, let me back up. I didn’t actually experience fear when she asked for a reading on the spot—but I experienced a lot of it on my way to the shop! I mean this was my first time doing readings professionally—for strangers. I was about to walk into a shop and say essentially—“It’s time to pay me for this thing I do.” That’s a big deal for a person. Me included. And it probably was a big deal for every other person you know who seems established in their unique profession. And they didn’t even have to say, “I’m a psychic!”
It’s true, it took a bold leap of faith to follow the messages I was getting that I needed to start doing readings professionally for people. But it wasn’t a leap that involved fearlessness. I mean come on I’m a psychic for crying out loud—that’s not something most people I know say they are every day! So if you think I got to the place in my career where I am now—more than a decade into providing readings for people and the founder of programs that teach others to own their intuition and claim their empathic gifts— without experiencing any fear you are mistaken.
I also see in my mind’s eye the morning I was to co-teach my first weekend workshop (also about a decade ago). A friend of mine had a brilliant idea for a movement and intuition class and asked me to co-teach it. I was the intuition part— another woman was the body movement part. My role was to talk about my “Getting Answers” process and do readings in front of everyone.
I was all in! I loved the idea of this workshop. I felt confident in what I taught– I had been using the process for years– and in my ability to do readings. Still, the morning that I was to start doing readings I was petrified. Like for real, pulse quickening, fear running through my body. At first I thought it may be the energy of the participants—people are sometimes nervous about having a reading. And these people were to have theirs in front of all the other workshop participants! Still after I cleared my energy and set my psychic boundary I was still SCARED! That’s how I knew it was mine. I was afraid!
So I did all my practices. I meditated. I went for a run. And still I was shaking in my boots petrified before the start of the workshop. About that time I realized that there was nothing for it: I was going to be afraid. Also, of course, I was going to do it.
I did. And do you want to know what finally calmed my fear?
Starting. Doing it.
As I started my first reading, sitting on the floor with one other person in the middle of a circle of about 20 other people I felt my fear evaporate like smoke. I was doing it. And furthermore I knew how to do this and it wasn’t scary at all. It was just like every other time that I did readings before. I felt calm, connected with the Highest Good, and attuned to information that it would serve my client to know. Never mind, that we were in the center of a big circle of people watching us, all wondering about what their own experience would be like. Never mind that this was my first time teaching a weekend workshop.
My brain and body—doing what they do had been trying to tell me something. “You are about to step into the unknown—you are about to do something that you’ve never done before.” In my experience, that is the true meaning of fear. It is your body’s alert system—it lets you know that it would be best to stay alert—something new is going to happen. It’s not telling you NOT to do something. In other words, fear does not indicate a bad or a dangerous choice—it indicates a new choice or an untried choice. In my experience the greater or more fundamental change this is going to make to your life—the greater the fear.
I was petrified for three solid days when I realized I was going to have a baby. I mean like primal, crazy, blood quickening fear. I remember I kept having these terrifying thoughts about how I would be in charge of the car seat! I’m not sure exactly why the car seat! But it seemed so serious to me– so adult. (By the way, I was already 36 when I had my son – meaning well into my adulthood!) Fortunately, by this point in my life I knew what fear indicated and what it did not mean. It did not mean this was a bad decision or one I should back out of. It did mean I was about to do something I hadn’t done before. My body was giving me the alert. The HUGENESS of the fear signaled to me the size proportionally of the choice I was making. A knowing which proved true—the decision to have children (well, the having of them) changed my life in an all-pervasive manner. To date I can think of nothing in my life that has altered me so permanently on so many different levels. My fear indicated as much to me in its uninterrupted 72-hour stretch! It wasn’t just a fearful morning – like that before my workshop— or a racing heart on my way to reveal myself to others as a psychic— it was an all out internal scared shitless frenzy in my body for three solid days!
You know what else? My son just turned eight. Parenthood is not scary. It is SO many things—but I don’t find scary to be one of them.
Someone recently said to me “Saying you’re a psychic takes a lot of balls.” It made me laugh to hear it. But what I’m trying to say here is that if I can accept my profession as a psychic as my calling, and do it in front of many people at a weekend workshop all those years ago and for years since. If I can teach workshops and classes about intuition and empathic ability you can do whatever scares you too! You can! I know it.
But I advise you as you set out to claim your spot on the path your soul intended not to have unrealistic expectations of yourself. Attempting to be fearless is a total waste of your time. You will be scared. And that’s okay. Just don’t let it stop you. Being fearless? Impossible. Being courageous in the face of your fear? Totally doable.
You’ve got this. I’m cheering for you. Trust in the road you were meant to travel, awkward beginnings and all.