Fear is good. Fo' real.
In 2007, I wrote my first published book, Think Pink. The protagonist was a pink-haired, zine writing, latino lovely (yep a cross between Jem and Ugly Betty) who didn’t quite fit the socially acceptable cookie cutter of what a teen girl should be in the world. It was a call for teen girls to stop hating on themselves.
That was 7 years ago. I was in my twenties and on a one-woman crusade for girl kind to fall in love with themselves. I used snappy tag lines like ’become feisty, fun, fearless and fabulous’ and I meant them, I meant them with every ounce of my being. I had never been feisty, fun, fearless or fabulous throughout my own teen years, (nope, no violins necessary, I’ve had more pity parties for one about this than any other life situ, I’m done.) so Lola Love, the leading lady of Think Pink and the consecutive fiction and non-fiction that followed, was my opportunity to re-write some historical life wrongs of my own. (Yep, that’s totally why this writer-girl writes.) She became a super-hero version of me.
But recently, as I’ve been exploring my own #INbodyment and finishing my next book, Code Red...
STOP! Quick break from blog content - Are you excited for it? It’s going to be my first book as Lisa Lister, my actual real super-hero/rockstar name, it’s the first in a 3 part series - Code Red, SHE Power and Untamed because ALL the best things come in threes - and is a call to action for lady kind.
We're in a state of crisis - women are suffering physically, mentally and emotionally because they're working against their natural rhythms and not with them, Code Red will be a guide-ess for women to crack their lady code, to sync with their natural rhythms and create an amazing life.
Blog post continued…
I realised that while I still totally stood by the want and desire for lady kind to feel feisty, fun and fabulous, but fearless - hmm, turns out, I’m not so sure anymore.
The awesome thing about being me, and now by association you, is that you get to change your mind, and I’m changing my mind about fearlessness.
I think in praising fearlessness, we deny ourselves the lessons that feeling fear in all its entirety can teach us. It’s a warning, an alarm bell, and yes, if we let it, fear can cause us to remain rooted to the spot, but fearlessness can mean we press over-ride on our feelings and never experience vulnerable courage, the real power that comes when you interact fully with your fears.
When I was diagnosed with Endomentriosis, I had three options and just so you know, I dabbled in all three.
Be the fear - Catastrophise life so much that you remain exactly where you are. Indefinitely.
Get fearless - which for most people looks like, I’m going to continue with life as if this big-ass thing you’ve just told me doesn’t exist. Which I did for about 2 years and let me tell you, that shit hurt WAY more than the pain of the endometriosis.
Go there - you know that old adage 'feel the fear and do it anyway?’ the clue is in the title, feel the fear. Don’t ignore it. When I did this, I ended up on an exploration of my lady landscape, that fear for my health and wellbeing has led me on a pilgrimage to myself as a woman, it’s now become my life work, it's an online programme and will soon be in the pages of books - turns out I’ve got a whole lot to thank that fear for.
What pride is is there in being fearless? What accomplishment is to be made? There are no challenges and obstacles in being fearless, no opportunities for us to be vulnerable, or to give others the honour and privilege to see us in our rawness, and if we never feel fear, there is simply no room for us to open and grow and personally, that’s ALL I’m here for in this lifetime.
So, no, I’m not big on fearlessness anymore. Fear drives you, and instead of letting it paralyse you or trying to over-ride it completely, you can let it call you into courage. And it will, you just have to listen to it.
By feeling the fear and allowing myself to be called into courage, I’ve used the fear as fuel. This past year for example, the fear of being in the world without parents has been all consuming, but I've used the energy o’ that fear to ride the shit out of life, I've used it as a way to get through situations, I’ve shared that vulnerability with you, I’ve felt what it actually means to me in that fear, by being willing to go there and dance with the flames o’ fear.
In seeking #INbodyment I am letting go of the need to be fearless. Instead I am stepping into vulnerable courage. What does that look like? Someone who feels fear, holds the fire, the burn of it in their belly - feisty girl style - and turns that fear through exploration and investigation into SHE Power. Rarr.
As always, I invite you to do the same.
What are your fears? Be honest with yourself, if you took your finger off the panic button, and before reaching for the over-ride one you chose to press the ‘go-there button instead, what would that look like for you? I would love for you to share as you too step into your vulnerable courageousness - I will be saluting, high fiving and giving a deep, deep bow to you as you do...