Sunday 15th November
"If you can't learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you'll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting" - Elizabeth Gilbert - Big Magic (A book I started reading on the plane yesterday)
This post is being written from my hotel room in Philadelphia having flown 3,257 miles to be here and having known deep down for a long time that somehow this moment would arrive and had imagined how amazing it would feel so I didn't want to focus on jet lag in the hope that it would then not show itself and I'm not sure quite how well this plan worked as a little dazed and confused having collected my baggage I wandered into the Airport Marriot Hotel literally across the road to be told that it wasn't the right one but the helpful staff rang for someone to come and collect me. Knowing that it is always more beneficial to feel grateful I was and appreciated the kind driver but with tiredness in the mix I will admit to feeling a little bit teary as I approached reception.
Checked in no problem, grateful for the credit card that is paying for my stay but with a little bit of anxiety in the pit of my stomach as to whether it would go through(although I had already checked that it would) - this trip is a massive investment, not only financially but in myself- this is me taking a huge step to actively act in an accordance with all the things I have said I want and have said are going to happen in my life. It's been scary the whole week before I struggled with such a mix of emotions making it so clear that although I can say without a shadow of a doubt that striving to live your best life -listening to the inner voice, of your true self and following the signs that there is more to life than you are allowing yourself to experience- these things will reap the most rewards. They will lead you to fulfilment, gratitude and love the likes of which you wouldn't believe but I am not saying that it will be easy or that there won't be days you feel like as if the person you thought you were the person that had the strength to go on this journey doesn't exist that you dreamed them up.
And as I sat in my room yesterday afternoon (five hours behind Irish time) unable to connect to Wi-Fi, wanting to talk to Christian and the children, worrying that the hotel was too far from the shops and I hadn't packed deodorant, worrying that I might run out of money, feeling like maybe I didn't belong at a conference with authors, speakers,anxiety growing in the pit of my stomach I felt a million miles away from the capable person who knows that everything always happens as it should, that she is here for a reason and that by trying to control every single thing and listening to fear all she is doing is sabotaging her experience.
I did get connected to Wi-Fi and this eased my stress. Blaming it on jet-lag I had a bath, tried a little yoga in my room (hurt my back!)watched some T.V and fell asleep.
But again waking with anxiety that could only be blamed on that voice of fear and it's friend doubt. Like I have said time and time again our true voice is the one that drives us forward, it inspires us to do all the things that will fill our lives with excitement and happiness- Elizabeth Gilbert calls it Creative Living-and then there is the other voice that fills us with doubt, fear, worry and anxiety and it plays dirty. It will use whatever tools it has and play on whatever your particular weakness is to try and silence your true voice. Think of it like a competitive sibling it wants to be your favourite- the one you hear.It gets stronger when we lose belief in ourselves and mine used food and how I looked for a long time. That is how I sabotaged my happiness. If something good was about to happen that voice would tell me how fat I was and I would be distracted from the moment and the happiness there for me by thinking how disgusting I was and trying to control the anxiety these thoughts caused by dieting.
That never happens anymore and when you consider only a year ago I couldn't eat without throwing up afterwards and was disgusted to the core by my reflection its why I believe that eating disorders aren't necessarily the problem but the symptom of the real problem - the fact that the negative voice has become so strong that it is the only one we hear and it makes us hate ourselves - but that is a whole other story.
Anyway so my voice of fear and all the negativity that it can bring no longer uses my body as a sabotage tool and I most definitely don't hate myself anymore. But I'm human and don't always love myself enough, when I'm tired and nervous (and this conference is a big enough deal for me to allow some nerves) that voice gets louder and it adapted and tends to now use money to get heard.
It tells me that either I don't have enough, will never have enough or that I'm wasting it. Yes that's pretty much it and that will go on a loop.
And as much as I kept trying this morning to ease my guilt and to tell myself that yes this has cost a lot but I will earn it back , that this trip will pay off in some way, the more stressed I felt because then not only was it nerve - wracking it was pressurised and I knew that I had to stop and love myself enough to allow myself this experience no matter what happens.
Having decided to try I went for breakfast and then the Universe decided to assist by providing a situation that would force me to decide which voice I was going to listen to.
I'm going to cut a long story short here and tell you that my worst fear was then realized when the girl on reception told me that my card wouldn't authorise for the "incidentals" charge - the $50 a night they hold in case you order room service on top of the balance- anyway this meant that I would have to give them my cash, which meant that I wouldn't eat for a week. I won't go into details but after a few frantic moments and a "help me" text to a lovely relative - I managed to sort it myself by transferring money that was in the bank waiting to pay a bill and then I decided to give myself a break. I could spend time thinking how this was proof of what a bad what a bad decision I made to come, recriminating myself about being irresponsible, telling myself that I'm no good but what good would that do? It's not about being reckless but I'm here I've worked hard this year, I know I'm meant to be here probably for reasons not known to me yet and this is a part of my dream it won't always run smooth but I'm following it regardless. Was I really going to allow myself to sabotage the opportunities and happiness available to me this week by giving myself a hard time? I'm going to love myself enough right now to say no to that.
The money for the other bill will come (again probably in a way not known to me yet)when I'm a millionaire I'll probably tell this story to people who think I was always a millionaire- something I told the receptionist who seemed a little annoyed at first, until I told her that getting to this trip was one of those pivotal putting everything I have and don't have on following my dream moments she said " wow " and wished me every success. She seemed really excited about what I'd told her and that's what matters being able to show that everything is possible, that if there is something inside of you willing you to try something. Try it. Be brave and life your life it is what you were born to do.
The moral of this story isn't about money -it's about not giving power to that part of you that tries to stop you from living your best life. It's about loving yourself enough to allow the best version of you to shine. And that the experiences that seem completely negative like having your credit card refused when you are thousands of miles away from home have gems in them.
Fear will always have a voice but the better you get at finding the gems the easier it becomes to pay less attention to it.
"Feel the fear and do it anyway." - I never read the book but the title has it summed up well.