A Year Without Fear?

peonies pic by elayne prechte1

If you could live a year without fear, would you?  That has been a question on my mind lately as I have been reading Tama Kieves’ A Year Without Fear, 5-Minute Mind Set Shifts.

Not even sure why I picked up the book last week at the library as I don’t think I live a life filled with fear but I certainly know I don’t push myself outside of my comfort zone as often as I probably should.  The closest thing that comes to mind that has brought up fear in my life lately has been “cutting the cord” and getting rid of our cable provider (i.e. tv).  Yikes!

I prepared myself well by telling the cable company to give us one week and a day before shutting it off completely.  I thought it would give me just enough time to get through all the dvr shows that I hadn’t watched and would give me time to reassure the kids that life wasn’t over!  Little did I know that the cable company missed the memo on the delay and cut it off the next morning.  They ripped the bandaid off in one full swoop!  Ouch!

Withdrawal symptoms immediately set in with maybe a little bit of rocking back and forth, holding myself thinking oh my goodness what have I done.  I started sweating profusely, knowing I had lost all of my beloved Oprah, Food Network and HGTV shows and started into panic mode.  What am I going to do with myself?  How will I ever fall asleep?  I know I am making myself sound like a tv crack head who constantly needs her fix of tv!  To set the record straight, I am one of those who doesn’t watch tv during the day but settles down at night by watching 10 minute fast forward segments of about 3-4 shows in an hour span just before I pass out, fast asleep.  I don’t have the patience anymore to sit through a whole show, let alone watch commercials so I just fast forward to parts I want to watch and call it good.  It’s like a binkie to a baby, it’s what I need in order to fall asleep at night.  You can imagine my dismay of the thought of not having any tv anymore and the fear of not being able to fall asleep.

It was all good in theory.  “Who needs tv?… It’s such a time sink…When I was growing up, we only had one tv and 2 channels and I somehow survived.”, I would say to the kids.  Mind you, only one of our kids is obsessed with tv.   It’s been more my thing than anyone else’s.  Maybe, because I was deprived as a kid (Just kidding mom!  I know later in high school, we upgraded to one of those house size satellite dishes that blocked our view for miles and proudly stood next to our trash cans!).  Precisely the subliminal message I was trying to send to the kids that tv is such a “waste” and there just isn’t much on anymore that is worth the time.  Or was that me I was trying to send the message to?!

I called my husband immediately and started fuming how they disregarded my 7 day delay request and he just busted out laughing, knowing full well that this was going to be a very difficult transition.  He walked in the door later that night still laughing and just shaking his head at me when he saw me sitting with a book in hand.  He immediately went into “night in shining armor” mode, pulling out the rabbit ears to get the over the air antenna signal.  Mission accomplished on one tv but what about the one in our room?  No dice….   I did think, won’t it be nice to watch tv when shows are actually on like the old days.  That thought lasted for all of 30 seconds when a 5 minute commercial came on.  What have I done?  The reoccurring thought, how will I ever fall asleep crept in later that night and I caved from pure exhaustion and went to the basement and popped in a movie and passed out cold.  It’s crazy how your body knows and likes routine.  I can look at a tv and my body says, “Yep, it’s time to sleep”!  Ask my kids what happens if I sit down with them to watch something, I quickly pass out.  Doesn’t matter if it is 10 am or 10 pm!  My body just knows it’s bed time!

By morning, my husband’s chest was pumped with pride.  He had Netflix secured, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.  He thought I was going to be so happy with him but I was seething mad, I could barely see straight.  My grand plan of getting rid of tv, didn’t even last 24 hours.

I, of course, came to my senses and gave it a valiant effort to try and watch shows on Netflix and Hulu these past couple of weeks.  Sadly, they only carry a couple of shows that I have watched in the past so I have slowly weened myself off of tv altogether.  I say it with a sigh because I really did like my shows.  Back into “the old days mode”, the first 5 minutes of Steve Harvey would make me laugh, 10 minutes of hot topics on The View (a girls has to get her news and stay on top of things after all!) and then my kind of fluff with episodes of The Chef and the Farmer, Food Network, Oprah Masterclass, HGTV, or Guiliana and Bill.  I know, ‘tmi’ and who really cares what shows I watch…but I do have to say I miss them..they were like friends to me…learning and growing from them…at least that’s what I would tell myself! Ha! Who was I kidding just mind numbing tv watching going on!

So back to why I even started this post…Fear.  We all probably have some type of fear in one way or another, some with more serious important issues than my own frivolous fear of no tv!  My whole point of the post before digressing and sharing way more about my no tv experience than originally planned was to share some quotes from the book.  It’s a day book that is supposed to take a year to read but as you know the library holds me to 3 weeks so I had to zip my way through this one so just wanted to share a few of the gems that I wrote down from this “quick read” by Tama Kieves.

  • Astonish yourself in this lifetime. Discover your own faculties.  You did not come here to be on the sidelines and watch others live their dreams.  When did you stop believing you could have what you wanted?  Why did you stop believing?  Burn this story.  Begin again.
  • It is a choice. You cannot operate in fear and love at the same time.  It is always one or the other.
  • True expression will attract the people you really want in your life. Anything outside of truth will never result in the ‘right” people showing up in your life.
  • When you do things you love to do. You radiate generosity.
  • Family, Friends and Home
  • Take care of what’s in your midst with great love. Don’t wait for the next thing to come as though it will hold more grace.  Tend to the work that you’ve already been given and is right in front of you.
  • As an attorney, I was terrified to take the risk of becoming a writer. I kept thinking, “What if I fail? What if I wreck my resume?  What if everyone laughs at the idiot who flew too close to the sun?”  Still, I realized that as much as I feared failure, I feared regret more.  At the end of my life, I didn’t want to look back with ache and wonder about the life that might have been.
  • You are worth all the flowers in all the markets in all the world. It doesn’t matter who buys you flowers.  It matters that you bloom within.
  • You can’t be in the wrong life, if you’re in the right moment.
  • Our only security in life comes in how we spend our moments. It comes down to love and joy.  We give, receive, take in – and take with us always.
  • Your spirit ask you to discover what is true for you (not what is true to someone else).
  • Be willing to let go of being acceptable. Instead, be impeccable.  Stop dimming your light so that others “get you”.  Shine your light brighter so that some may suddenly remember who they really are.  It doesn’t help those who feel limited for you to stay limited.  We are all connected.  And you have the power to free us by freeing yourself.
  • The middle of things is where change takes place, where the great big barge of how things have always been turns around in the ocean and goes a new way. Sometimes it feels slower than a long red light, but real change changes your whole life.
  • It’s easy to lose faith. It’s easy to feel small.  It’s easy to doubt your life.  But these are all just careless, burdening thoughts.  Rise up anyway.  Learn to be independent of your own dismissive opinion.  I haven’t always had faith when I moved forward.  I’ve gained faith by moving forward.
  • So many times, I didn’t speak my truth for fear of being judged. But by holding back, I lost the chance for understanding, connection and expansion.  Always express your truth and desire.  Some may judge you.  But there are others who will receive you and make you feel as though you are standing in the sun.  You will have your people.
  • Live a life of being called. Make the decision to show up for every moment.  Make the decision to be alive for it all and let spirit decide the way it wants to move you forward.  Your job is to show up as a love warrior, arms wide open and chest on fire, even when circumstances look bleak, broken or beneath you.  Do not be fooled by events.  A gift is always present.
  • Your entire life is based on the thoughts you choose. The thoughts you choose are more important than the school you attend, the job you get, the wealth in your bank account, the talents you have, the love of your family or the health of your body.
  • Are you compromising what you really want? You cannot settle for a half-life because it will hurt you more than no life.  A half-life is no life for you, even while others praise your name.  Approval won’t keep you alive for long when self-rejection lives in your bloodstream.
  • Your relationship with yourself is the most precious resource in your life. Are you walking around with a bitter troll?  Or are you spending the day with an advocate who cherishes and champions you?  Nothing in life will replace a lack of self-love.  And nothing in life can take you down when you have it.
  • The hero’s journey creates the hero. Heroes don’t skip steps, bribe the bouncer, or jet off to lush destinations.  That’s tourism.  Heroism doesn’t mark a change in position – rather a change in self.  Real achievement occurs in our energy, in our chemistry, and in the way we hold ourselves even when no one else is looking.  It’s not the fluted bottle that makes the wine.  It’s the fermentation.
  • I am learning to honor my instincts unapologetically. I am not a “control freak” because I am intentional and discerning.  I do not have to give others “a chance” if it feels like I’m compromising my intuition.  I am learning to trust myself.
  • Sometimes you will follow your soul and others will feel alienated from you. Sometimes you will follow your soul and others will feel connected to you.  But you can feel connected to others only when you follow your soul.
  • You will never know abundance by holding back your fierce heart. You will never realize your wingspan by decorating your cage.  You did not come here to make due.  You came here to undo anything that mires your full expression.  Where are you choosing temporary comfort over the ultimate comfort of becoming who you are meant to be.  It’s time to fly.  It’s time to cry.  It’s time to try.
  • Do your acts stem from desperation or inspiration? Are you coming from fear or love?  Because where you come from is where you’ll go.
  • If you want a life of guarantees, you will miss the point of life. We are here to explore .  We are here to love imperfectly and with everything we have.  We are here to rip off the protective layers.  We are here to melt, sing, rage and employ the wishes, seeds and hunches in our satchels.  We are here to use our lives and leave with skinned knees, full hearts, wrinkles chiseled and caressed from exposure, and most especially, no regrets.

Hope you enjoyed the list.  I know “long” list but these are the ones I wrote down so just wanted to share them all.  On yet another random side note of mine before I go, another book that I picked up in my romp to the library was Guiliana Rancic’s Going Off Script.  It was one of the funniest beach read type books that I have read in a while.  If you have followed her story in the news, you will enjoy this book and literally laugh out loud at her crazy antics!

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