I was so thrilled to unpack the advance copies of my new book, The Woman's Book of Joy, when the package arrived fom my publisher. I sat and stared at it, savouring the moment. Along with the feeling of elation and pride, however, I was surprised to experience a sense of trepidation. Knowing that it's part of my job as an author to reach out publicly to my potential readers - those who want inspiration in their lives - made me feel vulnerable. I suddenly felt overwhelmed at the thought of everything there was now to do. How was I to get to grips with social media? What about press, talks, events? How would I cope with attention, or worse, lack of interest, or even cynicism? Gulp...but I remembered to remind myself - fear is just a feeling.
Life is like this. Whenever we embark on something new, fear has a tendency to rear its ugly little head. We don't like risking the unknown; we prefer on the whole to stay with what is familiar. Somehow we have to find the courage to take risks. When we do we're opening ourselves to life's new and possibly rich experiences, and consequently feel energized and alive. The writer Anais Nin summed it up perfectly:
'The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.'
Painful feelings can teach us something we need to learn. When we face our fear and do what needs to be done, we surprise ourselves by finding that we are far stronger than we could ever have imagined. We learn to trust the process and open ourselves to the possibility of finding more joy in our lives.
So, I repeat this affirmation - ' I am not afraid to take risks'! Onward and upward...