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Aren't You Afraid?


I started this blog about a week ago… got all the way up to Yup and then got sidetracked. So when I went back to it today, I had to think back to what was I thinking about when I started this blog?

Ah. I remember now.

My hubby, Bernie, likes to listen to podcasts on the way to work and back. On one of these journeys he listened to a podcast featuring Elizabeth Gilbert. I said, ‘the Eat Pray Love author?’ He said – ‘yeah, that’s the one!’ I was surprised to find that not only was he listening to her, he was enjoying what she had to say and wanted to share those tidbits with me. Well, for my husband to get excited about something like this, it must be worth a listen!

So last week I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert giving a Ted Talk. Of course – I cried. (Just an aside… I cry at everything it seems. I cry when I am telling a story about my son’s motorcycle accident that happened like six years ago; I cry when I talk about accidents that happen to people in other provinces; I cry, for crying out loud, at the salt shaker in the Knorr commercial! I’m attaching it – see if you don’t cry too!

So back to Elizabeth. She was talking about the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses – and she shares the radical idea that instead of the rare person being a genius – all of us have a genius. I will attach the video at the end of this blog. She talked about being inspired, not to be afraid, step out and it made me afraid. I then listened to a podcast that is based on her new book, Big Magic (which I am hoping someone will just happen to drop in my lap someday… hint hint!) which is out in the stores now. In these podcasts, she calls individuals on the phone and chats with them about where they are creatively. The one I listened to was her first call. The woman she was chatting with was a stay-at-home mom who had dreamt of being a writer but thought that could never happen so she became the next best thing: an English teacher. Now, she was at home with her kids and still had a dream to write. However, she was afraid. She was afraid of starting. She was afraid that if she wrote about herself, it would also include writing about others and then how does that work. Again, I cried and I chuckled my way through the podcast.

So am I afraid?


What really got me during this listening episode was a couple of little ‘signs’ or perhaps they were just coincidences, but I am going to go with ‘signs.’ I grabbed a couple of Dove chocolates – the kind that when you open them there is a little saying on the inside. As I am listening to Elizabeth, I open my first chocolate (It kind of sounds like I am Charlie opening up that first Whipple Scrumptious Fudge mallow Delight Wonka bar.) and it says, ‘Dare to Dream.’ Gosh darnit! Then I open up the 2nd chocolate and it says, ‘Follow your instincts.’ Now I am even more afraid!!

After I listen to the podcast I am off to Shoppers Drug Mart where I run into a beautiful woman whom I love very dearly, we will call her Sarah – because that is her name, Sarah. She proceeds to tell me with much enthusiasm and passion how much she enjoys reading my blog. I am humbled to tears (although this time I hold it in).

Am I afraid? You better believe it.

What is it that makes us afraid to tackle a dream? Why do we hesitate to pull out our paintbrushes and paint the next Mona Lisa? Why are we afraid to don that chef’s hat and create a boutique of cakes and cookies? Why do we waver when asked to speak in public and it is something that we really enjoy doing? What stops us? What makes us say no? What makes us procrastinate?

Is it innate? Is it just our personality? I’m a procrastinator so that is just what I do? I am humble to a fault so I couldn’t possibly?

I follow another blog called, Becoming Minimalist. There was a great article in it about who we are and who we are created to be by others and ourselves and why we can and should sometimes go against who we think we need to be. Give it a read!

So where does that leave it. Where does that leave you? Where does that leave me?

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