We’ve all had the experience of treading water, just trying to keep our head above, and at times feeling more like a sinking ship. I love this quote from Deborah Levy from her book ‘The Cost of Living’, I read it at such a pivotal point at the very beginning of this year when I had packed up all of my things, not that I had that much. My entire life was packed down to fit in the back of my Dad’s ute which felt equal parts liberating and totally terrifying. While other friends are getting married and settling very nicely into their new growing families, I was standing on the street deciding to have only what could fit in the boot of my car and no idea where I was going. This may sound romantic, and I know so many of us dream about the freedom to do this, but to be honest it felt like my life was falling apart. Am I sinking ship? Is my head above water or am I drowning? But this quote rang so true to me, I had been gripping so tightly to hold it together in a city that didn’t feel like home, maintaining a lifestyle that was so far from where I feel at my best. But I kept gripping because I’d told myself a story that this is what I had to do if I wanted to be successful, educated, loved, and to avoid ever facing true loneliness. So even though I was scared out of my mind about what the next step was (and to be honest I am still in this process) I knew deep at my core that I don’t want to hold it together. I want to let it go, I want to be scared and I want to let the next right step show itself to me. Slowly, and I mean, seriously slowly, each time I lean into the fear I realise my head is well above water, I’m not going to drown and this ship that I’ve been holding onto, well, it can sink.
I want to be clear, there is a difference between danger and fear. Danger, we steer clear from when we can, but fear can be played with. I encourage all of you to do something that you’ve been fearing. It might be as simple as taking that surf lesson you keep wanting to do but the fear of the ocean keeps you from. Leaning into this fear won’t necessarily make you a pro surfer, you may hate it and never do it again, but the very act of going to that place you fear will open up a whole new world of expansion, growth and self-love.