Facing fear: a conversation and discovery

Photo by Johannes Planio

Photo by Johannes Planio

All my heart wants to do is write, but I keep procrastinating and distracting myself with searching for stuff like a refillable purple pen so I don’t keep throwing out single use pens, and books, lots of books, because I love books and could drown in them.

The more time I spend searching, the sadder my heart becomes. I am not doing what it really wants to do. I am doing anything but, and the anything I am doing isn’t particularly meaningful even if I justify it with logic and reasons.  

I am scared.

Fear doesn’t want me to write that down. It becomes squirmy and slippery like an eel.

Fear doesn’t want to be inquired into. It has special protective powers like mind blanking. As soon as my conscious mind starts to inquire into fear it can freeze everything and wipe the slate clean. It’s a lot like being a deer in headlights.

Fear can try to disguise itself and hide but it can’t hide very well anymore. I have worked hard to cultivate my awareness and stand in my power so it can’t take over completely or for too long no matter what tricks it pulls.

But yes, here it is now, shaking and quivering around me. Every step I take closer to listening to my heart and writing what it has to say, fear gets louder and louder.

It pleads that I don’t do this, for I will be found out, people will know that I have nothing valuable or original to say and that I can’t really write. I will reveal myself as a fraud. And even if I do write, no one will want to read it anyway so I will waste my time and embarrass myself by even trying.

Fear says stay here where it’s safe, where you don’t risk failure, where you don’t expose yourself and make yourself vulnerable.

I pause and ponder, taking in all that fear has to say, and then I respond.

I can’t stay here and I can’t not do this. I have procrastinated and avoided the call of my heart for long enough and I have suffered.

I am parched and withered and dying a slow fruitless death docked to this wharf of safety but the waves keep lapping at me and the horizon beckons me to explore what lies out there beyond this safe mooring and I must go.

I may return and I may not.

I may find others to journey with me or I may ride the waves alone.

I may discover there are many people interested in the treasures I discover or I may be the only one who is interested.

I may discover riches or I may be lead into the realm of nothingness, just drifting in a sea of blue.

The bounty could be all or it could seem to be nothing.

None of this matters. All that truly matters is that when you hear or feel the call of your Soul, you answer and you go.

If you keep fixating on the world you see, if you keep trying to find your place within it, you will play too small and limited.

There is a whole cosmos of possibility within you. Say yes and discover it.

As for fear, well fear will take the journey with you. It may never leave your side.

It may always be the voice that pleads for you to return to shore where everything appears more steady and certain, especially when you sail into new unknown territory or face waves bigger than you’ve ever seen before.

But you can take fear by the hand and talk to it, reassure it that you’re here for the adventure and not the safe harbour, and remind it of the times you ventured into unknown territory and things turned out okay.

You may never be fearless but you may fear less and even discover how bold, and daring you truly are.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

Using the power of brave

My own photo taken in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy .

My own photo taken in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy .

Dear ones,

Today I feel called to share an excerpt from my coming-soon book, The Path We Make, about bravery and how to follow your heart’s guidance even when you are afraid.

The excerpt is set in France on day 14 of my journey as I left Tergnier to walk 32 kilometres to Laon. The Devil is the affectionate name I gave to my backpack, inspired after reading Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild in which she nick-named her backpack Monster.

 

With the Devil harnessed onto my back, I walked outside into the dull light and drizzle and headed straight into the bar next door for a café-au-lait chaude (coffee with warm milk). I added sugar and savoured its hot sweetness in quick sips. I wasn’t eager to walk in the rain but I had 31 kilometres to go today and I needed to get started. As I paid for my coffee, the bar lady spoke to me in English about my pilgrimage.

“Aren’t you scared of walking alone?” she asked.

“No. No, I’m not. Most of the time I’m in the countryside, and there is no one around. I make sure I am alert and aware of my surroundings. I’m more scared of walking on the roads. They can be dangerous.”

“You are very brave.”

That is not a word that I would use to describe myself. It’s not that I’m not brave; it’s just that I don’t always feel brave. I’m far from fearless. When I started seriously contemplating this pilgrimage after I was made redundant, all my fears surfaced as ‘what if’ statements. What if I didn’t make it? What if it was a huge waste of money? What if I were injured? Over the years, I have discovered my own unique dance with fear. I feel it, I back away from it, and then I dance up to it again, allowing myself to feel the fear a little more before retreating. I repeat this dance until I am ready to take that final step into what is unknown, uncomfortable, scary or painful. There are people who take a flying leap right into or over their fear, but that’s not me. I dance with it until I am ready to act. Brave is the power I summon to take that final step. I have learned that my authentic desires are more powerful than my fears. Therefore, instead of focusing on my fear, I focus on my dream and how it would feel to live that dream. This way, my desire grows stronger than my fear, and it makes the decision to take that final step much easier. This was how I decided to embark on this journey in the first place. I summoned the power of my bravery to make the decision. Everything else was just walking, faith and resilience. Still, I appreciated the bar lady’s kindness. I thanked her, said goodbye and walked back out into the rain.

Deciding to go and walk the whole Via Francigena pilgrimage route alone from Canterbury to Rome was one of the boldest, bravest choices I have made in my life.

 It was the choice, that is, making the decision to go, that I wrestled with as the protective and fearful part of me told me all the reasons why I shouldn’t go and do something as crazy as walk 2000 kilometres alone across the other side of the world.

It could have turned into an epic battle of the mind demons but it didn’t.  I listened to the voice of fear without shaming it, and then listened to the voice of my heart that yearned strongly and lovingly to go and walk this path, come what may.

I chose to listen to my heart.

After I made the decision to go and walk, the fear didn’t go away but excitement and the strength of my heart’s longing and knowing carried me forward despite the fear.

Sometimes the heart yearns for us to act in ways that is illogical and frightening to our mind that just wants to protect us and keep us safe. The mind will judge and reject anything that is uncertain and risky with an unknown outcome or the possibility of failure or looks at odds with current reality or our limited picture of what is possible.

I continue to learn from my own life that letting the voice of my fears direct my choices in life usually leads to suffering, sadness, staleness, smallness and the merry-go-round of inner conflict, whereas listening to my heart takes me on a great adventure to discover myself and life in ways I never knew was possible when I was held back by fear.

The step through fear doesn’t necessarily get easier. Fear doesn’t go away. To be brave or courageous requires a certain fierceness not fearlessness, and a loving commitment to choose your own heart again and again.

These times call for us to live with great courage, to slow down, become quiet and tune inward to be able to hear the voice of our heart that speaks in quiet and subtle ways, as well as to be able to receive its guidance and messages, especially when it looks different than what you’re used to or doesn’t make sense from where you currently stand.

I hope that sharing the story of my dance with fear helps you to tune into your own heart and all the courage and sensitive wisdom it contains to guide and direct your life in miraculous ways.

With love and courage

Kym xx

PS If you would like support and the safety of sacred space to explore your own dance with fear and doubt whilst cultivating your courage to say yes to the ideas and callings of your heart, I’m here and I’m currently offering free 30-minute discovery sessions. Please reach out to me.

The urgency of now: a call to courageous action

Photo by Tim Marshall

Photo by Tim Marshall


Dear ones,

Can you feel it too? This urgency that is in the air. Maybe it is more pronounced here in Australia as we have a significant and game-changing Federal election looming, but I suspect you may feel it too, no matter where you are in the world.

The voices of the innocent, our children, are calling for us to take action now.

They school strike for climate change led by an incredibly fierce young soul, Greta Thunberg. She has been meeting with political and world leaders not only demanding they take action but also calling them out on their short-comings to date in very clear and direct language so that there can be no confusion.

She tells us that our house is burning down.
Our leaders don’t want to do anything because it would make them unpopular.
We should be panicking.
Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it.

I listen to her speak and I cry. I know she is right and I know that I have also been walking around in the bubble of it not being a here-now problem, when it really is.

With the upcoming election, there is a part of me that would prefer that I put my head in the sand on election day than cast a vote in a system that is a tragic-comedic battle of power between parties rather than truly putting the needs of the earth and its citizens first. The political system must change.

But I know that turning away and choosing non-participation won’t help.

I also know that I chose to be here on this planet at this time to be part of the healing and the solution, to aid the return of the divine feminine and reverent living to this planet.

If you’re reading this, then I know that you are too.

We each have our own unique role to play.

Given the urgency of these times, it feels right to share my poem, The Invitation, with you again.

 

It’s time to start listening to that quiet voice of wisdom within.
It’s time to cultivate the courage to acknowledge and follow your soul’s guidance and forge your own unique path.
No more avoidance, ignoring, procrastinating or holding back.
No more pretending that you haven’t been chosen for your soul’s mission.
The fear won’t go away but as you build courage your ability to hold the tension in your body will grow so the fear will seem less.
As you follow your heart’s callings, deep joy and aliveness will be your new companions.
As you say yes to what’s true for you and no to what’s false, you will strengthen your inner compass and your connection to your soul.
The world needs your soul’s medicine, your voice, your gifts, your courage, your ideas, your fully expressed essence, your truth in whatever form it takes to express you.
Your soul needs you to come home and whole, to be fully you in this world.
Stop comparing. Stop looking outside of yourself for where you fit in. You were never born for that. You belong because you were born.
Stop trying to fit yourself in a box, that’s way too limiting. Take up space. Create your own new shape.
Your life has lead you to this moment.
Now is the time to say YES.
Now is the time to start your real work in this world, untaming and becoming wildly yourself.

Dear one, the world really needs your soul’s medicine, your voice, your gifts, your courage, your ideas, your fully expressed essence, your truth in whatever form it takes to express you.

If you need some support to heal fear and doubt, to cultivate your courage, or to clarify your gifts or ideas, I’m here. Please reach out to me. I offer free 30 minute discovery sessions.

I have also created an A4 poster of my poem that you can print and put somewhere you can see it and read it anytime you need some encouragement. You can access it here. Please feel free to share with anyone you know who may also need the encouragement.

By healing ourselves, we contribute to healing the whole.

With love and courage

Kym xx

Don’t hold back, your inspiration is the medicine we need

Don’t hold back, your inspiration is the medicine we need

Out of nowhere, inspiration flares as you receive an idea about something to write, paint, create, dance, make.  It lights you up as excitement and possibility surge through your body.

Then one of two things happen:

  1. Your mind interrupts the flow with all the reasons of why it is a stupid idea:

    It’s unoriginal, a waste of time, a waste of energy, a waste of money;
    It won’t lead anywhere or to anything;
    No one will be interested in it;


    OR

2.     Some other part of your life gets in the way. 

Read More

Ending this fall of silence

Ending this fall of silence
"Silence is a source of great strength." — Lao Tzu

As we transition seasons from Autumn to Winter here in Melbourne, the remainder of the deciduous trees are in the final stages of surrendering their autumn dresses of lemon and lime, and tangerine, wine red and paper-bag brown. And I feel ready to surrender the silence that unexpectedly enveloped me after I fell.

I spent 1.5 weeks on crutches and 3 weeks applying ice for two hours every night to reduce the enormous swelling. An x-ray confirmed it wasn’t broken. However, I tore the anterior talofibular ligament in my ankle almost entirely apart. As you can imagine, this isn’t ideal for someone planning on walking thousands of kilometres. The healing has been steady but slow. And the fall triggered realisations that caused me to surrender plans made:

Read More

Stop procrastinating and go for your dreams!

Stop procrastinating and go for your dreams!

After hours and hours that add up to days and days that add up to many weeks of work over the last six months, I have finally completed the manuscript of my book. Lovingly and diligently, I have edited, re-edited, re-edited then re-edited until I have a piece of work that feels authentic to my story and my voice. It is something I am proud of.

There is one more step to complete before I can send it out to publishers. Having researched potential publishers and their submission requirements, they have one thing in common: they want a synopsis, a summary of the book in as little as 300 words. 

How on earth do I summarise 90,000 words into 300?

I have a habit of putting things in the “too-hard” basket and so began a period of what I call, synopsination -  procrastinating on writing a synopsis.

So why was I synopsinating and how was I going to move through it?

Read More