I wasn’t quite sure where to go next after the Fear Series. I personally got so much from the Box and Fear series that I had to take some time to put it into practice in my life. Since I have been doing that, it would make sense that the next thing I would share with you would be about that process. It also seems fitting to share my new theme song If Not Now, When? by Incubus!
In the Box series, I talked about how we box ourselves in and that the boxes we have accumulated over the years usually are full of fears. I should say that it was my experience that my boxes had fears tucked inside. This naturally led me to the Fear Series where I brought fear out of the shadows, onto the stage and then initiated a cooperative relationship with her.
In the entire two-month process of writing these, I had a series of epiphanies. I had a few blocks that I had been trying to clear with some serious effort for two years and through this process, I uncovered them. I unwrapped the many boxes that were related to them, sat with them, better understood them and let them go. The process has been as liberating as walking again for the first time. I would like to share one of those more specifically with you today.
About two years into my illness, I knew that one day I needed to write a book about the struggles, frustrations, lessons and new perspective on life I was experiencing. I was an energetic homeless outreach therapist who ended up a wheelchair bound homeless statistic—there is a story there, and an article was in the newspaper when it first happened.
Anyway, when I got the first pump and had the opportunity to experience more of life, I allowed myself a few years to make up for lost time before I would sit down and get serious about working on this story.
Early in 2010, I started this blog to help me to get back into the routine of writing. I kept getting distracted, and then became more distracted in July 2010 when the pump drama began.
In the meantime, some things had come full circle from the homelessness time period. My dog Duke started working as a therapy dog at the homeless project where I had lived in 2004, without him and his brother.
The problem was that I could not get in touch enough with how I felt, and could not remember enough to get a good start. The pump drama began to remedy that, so I started working on it again seriously early in 2011. As you know, it was also early in 2011 when more pump drama unfolded that lasted most of the year.
As the fog cleared and I was trying to find my footing again after all of the drama and trauma to my body, I decided not to force working on my story. However, I did find myself involved with some other writing endeavors. In addition to teaching online, where most of what I do is write, I was writing every single day on one project or another.
But not on my story. Many of the blocks I had experienced in the last two years were cleared, but there was still something sitting between me and writing this story.
I realized during the box and fear blog writing that I had some fears about actually capturing the story. These fears were nicely tucked within some rational thoughts and beliefs I found inside my boxes, but rational or not, I needed to move beyond them. It was time.
The guided exercise revolved around making friends with my fear. I came to understand the role that fear was playing in relationship to writing my story after I understood the main role she was playing in my life and where it began. We discussed it and agreed that she no longer needed to play that role. I understood what she was trying to protect me from and it was not necessary.
It wasn’t right away, but it was within the week I wrote the Intermission exercise that I was inspired to begin writing my story. I was finally free of the fear to do so, and the flow has been amazing. If I had nothing else to do, I would probably be finished by now. As it is today, I am nearly half way there and my writer/editor friend, who also has primary lateral sclerosis, has happily agreed to be my editor.
The interesting thing about having this new cooperative relationship with fear is that it isn’t just specific to one part of my life or one specific situation. When I let go of the role she played in one area, there was a domino effect in all other areas of my life.
This experience gives me a new perspective and appreciation, and leaves me with questions for you. What would you be doing if you were not afraid? If fear were no longer a part of the equation, how much more passionately would you be following your bliss?