Uncle Fear

I drove over 1000 kilometers last weekend to go to the thriving metropolis of Whitecourt Alberta!  A few weeks ago my friend Leah mentioned she wanted to have a house concert and I said great!  Whenever you do that I'll bring my mugs and we can do a house concert/mug party!

She countered with... actually you can just do the concert too Nancy!  

At first I was like ok... maybe I can do that... as long as my other friend comes along and sings with me... but then she backed out and my other singing friend couldn't come either... then I realized this might be a great step for me to take.   Step out and stretch myself out of my comfort zone.  That's where all the juicy life is isn't it?

Well along the way I listened to this amazing podcast!!  Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat Pray Love is getting interviewed and asked how she deals with fear.  She says she personifies her fear as a dear old uncle who wants to protect her and make sure nothing bad happens to her.  Rather than just getting mad at her fear and trying to pound it to the curb she starts with thanking it.  

"Thank you for taking care of me all those years.  Thank you for helping me not get in that car with that scary guy or ski down that particular route.  You truly saved my life!"  But in other situations like when she's writing a book or when I'm going to sing in front of a lot of people she recommends reassuring uncle fear that this is not one of those life threatening situations.  She appreciates his concern, but doesn't need his protective services at this time.  No one is going to die from her writing some words on paper or me strumming my guitar.  

When we can see fear in our lives as something human and also helpful it can open up the cage so that we aren't trapped by fear but able to thank it and move out past the fear into the awesomeness awaiting us!

I'm glad I did that this weekend as I had a lot more fun sharing my musical talents with people than I would have huddled at home by the fire wishing that someone would want to hang out with me!

What is uncle fear trying to protect you from?  Is it valid or can you thank him and ask him to step aside while you do this brave thing!?