It’s been nearly four months since my last post. To be honest, I am finding it hard to make time to write and create content for the blog.
This journey has been amazing and, every single day, I am counting my blessings. We are seeing true beauty and meeting plenty of inspiring persons. I have enough sources of inspiration to publish several posts per week. This makes me wonder: Why am I not doing it? Why am I procrastinating on this project so dear to my heart? The first word that comes to my mind is “FEARS”.
But fears of what “for God’s sake”?!?! The fear of lacking inspiration, the fear of sharing low value content, the fear of disappointing the readers, the fear of not being a good travelling companion, the fear of missing out on the present.
Now, if I want AWPS to be alive, facing these fears I shall.
I am currently reading and thoroughly enjoying a book a friend of mine gave me. It is called “Journal d’un corps”, by Daniel Pennac. At the very beginning the narrator explains that what motivated him to start writing was his thrive to overcome a fear. By looking at it, putting words on his feelings and reality, and then taking actions, he grows out of his fears, step by step. I think what I am trying to do with this post is kind of similar.
So let’s look at these fears one by one.
1. Lack of inspiration: Finding the drive to share the Gems
As said at the beginning, I have already lived and met so many incredible moments and inspiring persons that I am far from scarse inspiration resources. Fear of choosing would be more relevant but I don’t feel this fear. I am forced to realize that it is just an easy excuse for me not to write.
There is a word to describe what I was doing, it is called: “procrastination”. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was procrastinating. I kept postponing the moments when I was going to sit down and respect a commitment I made to myself. Now, if we look at the definition of procrastination, according to Cambridge English dictionary, it means “to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring”. I fully agree with the first part, a commitment is something that must be done. However the second part makes me think: writing and creating for AWPs, for me, is neither unpleasant nor boring. It is challenging and scary though, and scary for me is unpleasant! It means stepping out of my comfort zone. As you will read in the portraits of my other fears, I am now realizing how far out of my comfort zone AWPs is taking me and therefore the potential of “personal growth”.
2. Low value content: Lowering my expectations
Two of my favourite things are logistics and playing sports because they come naturally, I don’t need to over think, I just do. When it comes to writing, I panic. I have this idea that all good authors should have a style and fully captivate the readers at every single line. This perception paired with my perfectionism makes my brain go nuts. My inspiration runs away and I even forget what I want to write about. I forget that quality comes with practice and time.
At this stage of my journey, I feel like I need to remember what an Ayurveda teacher, Dr Deepak, told me when we were in Kerala, India: “No matter the language barrier or the imperfection of your speech, if you speak with your heart, the other will understand.”
In order to let it go of this fear, I want to believe that if I share with my words, what touched me, no matter the quality of my writing, the message is bound to be understood somehow.
3. Reader’s disappointment: Learning how not to take it personally
The problem with writing, for me, is that there is no direct interaction with the reader. In fact, in the case of a blog, you don’t even know who is going to read you. If I am honest, the truth is I have a hard time believing what I have to say is worth something. As a result, I constantly search for feedback from the person I am interacting with, whether verbal or non-verbal, staying ready for adaptation to make sure the other is happy. Does this make me a control-freak? Kind of. Does it help me grow? Definitely not. Does it make me feel happy? Temporarly. In fact, it feels more like a drug, a shoot of well-being I love so much that I cannot seize to search for it: “give me more positive feedback and encouragement please!”
I am sure I could keep on using this drug but, now I am aware of it, this would only lead me to being a conscious dependent. If I decide it is too hard for me to change, then this blog as well as my quest for inner happiness and motivation should stop here. Do I want to give up? NO, I want to fight!
So, dear reader, I hope whatever you will choose to read on this blog will inspire you. If it does not or if you disagree, I hope it will make you either smile or think. If not, well, please stop wasting your time and go do something else!
4. Be a selfish travelling companion: Shifting paradigm
We are doing an 8-month trip with Thomas, spending 24h/24, 7 days a week together. Where and when did I get the belief that I needed to be totally devoted to the relationship? This is just wrong, wrong and wrong! Realising that I have this fear inside of me makes me upset. I strongly believe that the basis of a healthy relationship is: two persons with their own individuality (dreams, activities, friends) sharing values and projects.
If I know who I am, where I want to go and do everything I can to realize my projects, I believe it will strengthen my relationship, because I will be loved for who I truly am not only for the love and support I have to offer. This does not make me a selfish person on the contrary it should help me be a stronger partner. Besides, time for my projects also means time for things that matter to him and cannot be shared.
Today, I take this fear as a warning and a reminder that self-expression and affirmation are key to personal well-being and healthy relationships. I know it is easier said than done but at least I see it. I believe becoming aware is where it all starts!
5. Miss out on the present: Accepting that less is powerful
Missing out on the present… What does this mean? In terms of quantities, today, I have loads of options and they are being multiplied by the Internet. Since there is only 24 hours in a day, I’d better choose wisely because I will not be able to do them all.
With the media, the social media and the movies, I had started to believe that life had to be intense with things happening all the time. Hence, in order to be happy I should be spending my days doing and producing. But if I am always doing, when do I have time to meditate, choose wisely and be? When do I have time to integrate experiences and learn? When do I have time to rest and recharge my batteries? Personally, I used to rely on sports, like long distance running or swimming or climbing. These activities would help me release the stress and take a step back on my life and choices. But they were never enough, no matter how long I practiced, my mind would always find ways to get away from the now and start thinking “what shall I do next?” “what does this person need?” “Have I forgotten something?” “Do we have enough time?”…
Right now, I am still scared of missing out on the present because I am just a “Padawan” trying to learn how to live in the now. I believe, apart from some exceptions, having the ability to be in the now is not a gift. It is a skill that one earns with work, disciplined practices and experience. It takes time as well as phases of reflexion and integration. I hope and I believe that taking time to write for this blog is a great way to help my mind surrender, get on the train of time and accept to be in the present.
Now, what shall I do with these fears?
For some of you, these fears – which are huge for me – might seem very little and irrelevant. In fact, I hope that for many of you they will sound silly. Point is: we are all humans with our own limits. The real challenge, I think, is to accept they are here, have the courage to look at them and, at an individual level, decide or not to make things change, in consciousness. Our reality and what we take for granted are constantly changing. Once, humanity thought the earth was flat… I can be wrong, people can disagree with things I say. It’s ok. In fact, I believe it is the greatest way to grow. As long as I am willing to evolve and learn, sharing my beliefs can only make me stronger. I just need to remember it is ok to feel small because the learning I will get out of it is all worth it! So here I am ready to take on the challenge to start writing and sharing again. How about you? What is the challenge you are ready to take on to get out of your comfort zone and grow?