Fearless Freedom

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I decided to do a little experiment with this post, and include a recording of me reading it. Some people love to read, others love to listen. So to all those listeners out there, this is for you. Click on the bar below to play. And for others, read on!

 

I write it in bold across my diary.

I say it in my head, out loud, repeatedly.

I let the words rest on my heart, to move me.

It was one of my yoga teachers, Cara, who planted them there last Saturday. ‘Fearless Freedom’, she said, ‘they are our words for the year’. Our practice together was an exploration of what it means to move from that place- with an intention to flow with grace and ease; to let go of what we know to discover what we don’t; to act through power with an unfaltering, unquestioning belief in our capacity for joy and our right to it from the inside out. Our practice was our offering. Our practice was prayer.

They are two beautiful words. Fearless. Freedom. Together they pack a powerful punch. I have been sifting through the words over the last few days and it feels like they are here to stay. As signposts; as maps.

I am making some big decisions at the moment, those big life altering ones, and fear has been visiting, frequently. It is the kind of fear that keeps me small; the fear that makes me doubt myself and the fear what swells procrastination to the point that it too becomes powerful.

So what to do?

‘Fearless Freedom’, I say again to myself. What would ‘Fearless Freedom’ look like right now? What would Fearless Freedom do?’ It is as if Fearless Freedom is personified, taking a life of its own. I learn that it is a warrior at heart. It knows its own answers. It locates the cracks of courage within, sounds them out so as to amplify them, one little step at a time. Courage comes when given space to rise.

The question alone is the key. ‘What would ‘Fearless Freedom’ do?’ By asking it, I am finding that the fear itself is diminished and possibility is allowed back in. You see, the questions we ask of ourselves make a difference. We ask bigger questions so that we get to expand into them. The bigger the question, the bigger the response. Then, with warrior words alight within our hearts, there is less room for procrastination, less room for the small, questioning self. Words matter. Questions matter.

So, when I ask myself, ‘What would Fearless Freedom do?’, my inner self talks to my outer self, telling me it looks something like this:

It means writing the email to the person you admire.

It means asking for help.

It means saying no when your gut tells you so.

It means saying yes, over and over, to the dream, the vision, the place of possibility.
It means go.

It means doing it, even if you don’t feel ready.

It means placing value in what you offer.

It means showing up, repeatedly, even when part of you wants to retract, calcify because right now it feels safer. Deep down, long term, you know it is not.

It means I believe in you.

It means let fear be your ally, keeping you moving, onwards.

It means I love you.

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Fearless Freedom.

Let’s wave that flag and let the questions fly.

May the responses carry us, unfold us, unfurl us, yield us to the warrior within. Let them define us, refine us.

Fearless Freedom.

Let the words enter us, to move us, to clear our way, to make us believe again. Let them be our offering. Let them be our anchor. Let them be our prayer.

I say ‘us’ here. For the ‘we’ matters too. Together we can pack a powerful punch. Courage comes when given space to rise, and it is easier as a pack. So I’ll take your hand, if you’ll take mine.

Fearless Freedom.

Amen.

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On Flipping Fear

First up, thank you all for the thumbs up, support, and shout outs about my new ventures- so very much appreciated. I can only do this work with the cheerleading support of others who help to spread the word- so again THANK YOU. My beautiful friend Sas sent me some flowers too- it was a big surprise and greeted with much glee.

Launching anything is a complex and interesting process- especially products, services or art that is so close to your heart. In the creative world our hearts and values are so often exposed that it can feel tender and oh so very vulnerable, so much so that it can stop us in our tracks out of fear of criticism, ridicule, rejection or failure.

I am coming to realise more and more that those fears are a natural part of the process- to deny them is to deny the very nature of what it takes to create. However, it is how we navigate them that makes all the difference.

Fear can be fuel too.

Yesterday, all those fears and vulnerabilities were there for me, louder that I had originally anticipated. The negative ‘what if’s’ started to be voiced. ‘What if people don’t ‘get it’, ‘what if the website crashes’, ‘what if it won’t work out for me’.. and so on (blah blah!)

But if we give into those voices, nothing gets done and the creative process itself is denied its full expression and the opportunity to run its true course.

So what to do? How do we find space between the critical voices to find room to push onwards with an open heart?

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For me, it is about returning to my practices, to ground and settle into the deeper knowing, the one beyond the critical voices and the crippling fear factor.

Firstly, I set the space. I light a candle, remove clutter, and carve enough clean room around me to lay a yoga mat. Sometimes I use intention cards- yesterday Elena Brower’s Art of Attention cards came in handy, as too some beautiful and wise words from John O’Donohue.

Then a yoga session, calling in my highest intention, the spirit in which I created the work and a sense of generosity. This is the grounding and the place to, always, come home to myself. Yesterday, wide-legged postures (with firm bases), and supportive seated poses were what was called for, so that I could imprint this sense of stability and grounding into my body to carry me through the day. I was imagining a flowering tree (it was Bloom’s day after all), with its roots firmly and widely planted, a strong robust trunk/spine which together created enough of an internal infrastructure to enable the optimal flowering and blossoming. Nature metaphors work wonders in yoga practice!

Next- a short meditation to quieten the critic and invite in again the bigger picture, and the mystery of it all. Yesterday, I needed about 10 minutes- enough to still the fizzy energy and bring it back to centre.

And then, what I call the flip practice. This one is essentially is about flipping over the critic voice in my brain and entertaining the opposite motion/ emotion. So, in my case yesterday, ‘What if people do get it, what if the website runs smoothly, what if it works brilliantly for me…’ With the opposite motion installed in our cognitive brains, fuel is given to our creative fires, fear is put in its proper place, and we can press go.

And so we had lift off.

Once again, thank you all for your support and encouragement. We are in this together.

Now to keep this ship a sailing….(and what fun it is to be blogging again!)

Thank you.

Clare xx

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