[CBWM-28] Whose fear is it, anyway?

Here we are, the final day of Come Blog With Me. It’s been gruelling and challenging – especially in terms of time management – but also thoroughly enjoyable. When someone asked the other day what our two favourite posts that we’d written were, I realised the writing is a total blur for me. I’ve really not much of a clue what I’ve written, so it will be interesting to go back and read it all. Perhaps there’ll be nuggets in there somewhere and posts to repurpose and improve later.

I don’t know if anyone out there blogs daily with an actual strategy, but I found that impossible with limited time. Unless you sit down to map out your content, jot down ideas and do bits of research before the challenge, if you’re running a full-time business and a household (with or without kids) and other hobbies on the side, the only thing you can really do during such a challenge is plonk your arse down in that chair, make it stay there and just write.

The great thing is that the more you do that, the more pathways you open to your mind and the more the words flow: when I started the challenge I worried I’d have nothing to say, and now on the last day I have three unfinished drafts waiting patiently for my attention.

So I’m going to come back on something that happened on “magical snow” day.Tash at Mont Royal

I sat at my desk working away, but was somewhat distracted by the beautiful snowfall outside and kept looking up from behind my computer to peer out the bay windows at the gorgeous spectacle outside.

Then as the snowflakes got bigger and bigger, my toes started twitching and I started to feel an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement well up inside me. I wanted to be out in it. I remembered how much I loved going walking in snowfalls in Montreal and realised that I hadn’t really done it since then. Why not?

Well that was a bloody good question and I couldn’t think of a single answer. Why not, indeed. So I turned to my partner, who hadn’t been able to go to work that morning, and said: “I’m going to go out for a walk in the snow. Are you coming?”

“What?!” he said. “You can’t go out in that; don’t be silly.”
“Well, why not? It’s just snow.”

“What if you hurt your knee? It’s really slippery out there. What if you fall and hurt yourself? And it’s cold!”

I checked in with my knee (I’m missing my anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee) and it felt stable, strong and ok. “Well I’ll rug up and I’ll be really careful.”

“The snow’s wet, you know. When I went out earlier it was very slushy. You’re going to get all wet.”

And that sounded less tempting. Wet’s ok in summer, but in winter? Yuck. So I tried to control my toe twitching and curb my excitement. I continued working and looking out the window from time to time.
And then it hit me: this was not my fear. This was his fear. My own comes AFTER the snow, when the powder gets packed underfoot and turns into treacherous ice.

If I didn’t go out for a walk in the falling, fresh snow, chances are I wouldn’t be able to go for a walk for a good couple of days because any remaining slush on the footpaths would turn to ice overnight when the temperatures dropped again.

I checked in with my knee once again, and it felt good to go, so I got up, pulled my snow boots on, put on a duvet coat and a warm, woolly scarf and put my foot down: I was going for a walk. I promised to be mindful of my knee and careful, and I was out the door. After all, keeping your wits about you in some situations is about all you can do if you don’t want to miss out on living.

I’ve enough dealing with my own fears. I certainly don’t need someone else’s.

Can you relate?

Do you sometimes find yourself not doing something you want to do because of a fear that’s not even your own? Someone else’s fear creeps in to stop you in your tracks?

Next time, ask yourself: Is this my fear?

If it’s not, why not just ignore it and let whomever it belongs to deal with it. I’m sure that, like me, you have enough of your own.


P.S: while I was scouting through my photos to find a picture for this post, I came across a video which cracked me up and proves just what a lady I’m not! (And what a snow bunny I’m not).  I figured I’d share it with you

[CBWM-27] On archetypes and self-acceptance

I was slow to wake up this morning. It took me a while to clear the fog of sleep and coax my eyes to open. As I lay there, thinking about yesterday’s tragic event got me thinking about friendships and then high school, a time when I always felt I was standing on the edge of things.

I had some great, really close friendships in high school, yet I never felt I truly belonged. In many ways, I felt too serious and deep. I wanted to be cool and fun. And I was, sometimes, but I wasn’t fun ALL the time. I wasn’t the jokester.
I was always up for a laugh and could come out with the wittiest remarks, but I was the smart one with her feet on the ground, the wise one, the one people turned to for advice or for sharing the more serious side of life.

And oddly enough, I realised I still feel like that now, much later in life. Like I’m not the one people come to for fun; I’m the one they come to for advice or to get stuff off their chest. I’ll be honest with you: I don’t always want to be that. But maybe there isn’t much I can do about that?

One thing I did last year that had a really big impact on helping me move forward on my journey of self-acceptance was Cerries Hickmott’s Alchemy Study, based on Carl Jung’s twelve archetypes.

Learning my four most prominent archetypes was, dare I say it, life-changing for me: Ooooh! So that’s why! raven-73179-sm

My primary archetype is the Explorer. And no question about it, that couldn’t be any more accurate. This explains my constant need for freedom and movement, why I find it so hard to commit, even to just a black or white answer, why I’m constantly seeking, why I hate feeling tied down, trapped or limited. In fact, I remember filling in a questionnaire for a copywriting course about a month before doing the primary archetype test. One of the questions was: If you were to make a film about your life, what would you call it? My answer: Don’t fence me in.

A month or so later, when I did the primary archetype test, what did I discover? The Explorer’s motto: Don’t fence me in.
Knowing about my primary Explorer has helped me identify ways to work with it and around it instead of fighting against it, which has been really freeing for me and has helped me find some precious and much-needed inner peace. I still struggle, don’t get me wrong, but not nearly as much as before.

My secondary archetype is the Alchemist and this morning, after doing a quiz on Facebook !!), I suddenly understood why I struggle with it.

The quiz on Facebook was about finding out your Keirsey personality type. I came up as an Idealist:

“Idealists are abstract and compassionate day dreamers, activists, writers, diplomats, counsellors and healers. You’re the magician or medicine man of all the personality types. You’re a deeply emotional and abstract thinker with cooperative and communitarian goals. You long for deep, meaningful relationships and you constantly contemplate how you can help the common good. You’re guided by strong personal ethics, and you often have an ideology, cause, or way of viewing the world that you take very seriously. You’re easy going until someone challenges your values, at which point you can be the fiercest of opponents. At heart, you’re a natural healer with a great depth of empathy for those around you. As an Idealist, you’re in impressive company! Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Princess Diana, and Oprah are all famous examples of Idealists!”

It was spot on.

My friend Lotte posted her result: the Artisan:

“You’re an Artisan! Artisans are adaptable, tactile, creative, and playful. As an artisan, you pride yourself on your grace, creativity and ability to learn new techniques or systems easily. You’re a master improviser and you have a natural gut instinct that you can always trust. You live life a day at a time, and tend to avoid long term goals and planning. YOLO has always been your motto! At heart you’re a true performer, with a deep need to channel your creativity and natural playfulness through a medium in which others can view and appreciate. This may make you a brilliant actor or painter, or maybe just the life of the party. Either way, you’re unique and truly a breath of fresh air. Cher, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Madonna, and Donald Trump are all famous examples of Artisans.”

And that’s when it hit me. I’m an Idealist, but I struggle with an inner urge to be more Artisan. I thought about my archetypes again, and suddenly it all became clear:

My third archetype, the Jester, is always trying to overtake the Alchemist! And I often let it, because I struggle with the deep side of the Alchemist!

The struggle between these two is constant and throws me off balance.

Great! So now I’m going to have to find a way to reconcile them.

After all, the first step to solving a problem is to identify what is causing it

What about you? Are there aspects to your personality that you constantly struggle with because they clash?

[CBWM-10] Why Bobby Brown is singing in my head today

Yesterday I had my second last singing lesson with my current teacher. Feeling like I hadn’t worked on my songs enough, I dreaded it all day and even contemplated not going to the pre-paid session even though cancelling last minute would mean losing 33 euros.

I thought well, since I’m going to be stopping anyway in two weeks, I might as well just stop now. I mean what am I honestly going to learn and progress on in two lessons? I also figured that if I just didn’t go to the last two sessions, I wouldn’t have to have the awkward conversation to explain why I wasn’t making my next appointment and pre-paying my next 10 lessons. PAH! What a sissy!

But of course, I’m NOT a sissy so… Read more

Deep-rooted guilt

I don’t know about you, but I love meaningful conversations. In fact, it seems to me they’re about the only conversations really worth having. The other night I went for dinner with a good friend of mine, and we were lucky enough to stumble into one.

The conversation went from her husband’s desperate desire to renovate their new house himself even though he doesn’t really have the time, to talking about her latest (gorgeous) handbag. You know, as girls women do.  This got us neatly onto the topic of guilt over buying nice things.

Before this, we’d had no idea that we both suffered from the same affliction, so we compared notes. Read more

All those things we cannot say

Most days I sit down to write here in my blog and have no idea what my post is going to be about until the words start appearing on the page. There are a number of topics I would like to cover, but apparently it’s not the right time for those yet.

Sometimes I worry that I’m skirting around important issues and stories out of fear, or even out of laziness.

After all, fudging it is an old habit of mine when writing. Read more