April 19, 2024

The Benefits of Taking Action in the Face of Fear.

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What happens when I have a dream that does not leave my awareness? Is it worth pursuing? Or is it more sensible to let it go?

Four years ago, I wrote a book. I was eager to host a book launch and celebrate with my friends and family. I chose a favourite coffee shop where we would gather. Invitations were sent out and details were coming together. I was imagining the joy of reading sections from my book and having a table where I could meet readers and sign their books. There would be a bouquet of flowers and delicious food and drinks. I could hear the laughter and rich conversation as I imagined the whole event.

Then, a week before the day, I cancelled my Book Launch.

This was March 2020 and COVID-19 was making itself known. The directive from the Provincial Health Minister was “No public gatherings.” Stay home with immediate family only. Protect yourselves and others from this deadly virus. With many questions and a deep sense of disappointment, I followed the rules. I felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. I was bereft and grieving the loss of a public celebration of me as an author. Would anyone even know about my book now? Life felt unfair, and I struggled to accept what the new reality was.

Little did I know that it would be many months before there would be the option of planning another Book Launch. I gave up my plans to speak at conferences to promote my book. I let go of my vision of book signings and book club visits. I learned about online meetings and virtual circles of connection. However, the idea of a book launch hosted on Zoom did not catch my imagination. So, I gave up the dream of having a Book Launch.

Or, did I really give up this dream?

As groups started to meet in person again, I attended several book launches hosted by friends who had written books after the pandemic. I was surprised at my feelings as I sat and observed the authors receiving accolades and applause after their book readings. Yes, I was happy for them and, at the same time, I felt pensive and envious…how I longed to celebrate myself and my book in this way.

Fast forward to the present. I have been on a healing path in my life, both physically and emotionally. I am committed to weight training and over the past two years have improved my hormone levels and my muscle strength. I was led to a therapist who specializes in healing trauma in an embodied way. I began a powerful time of transformation as I let go of past hurts and saw myself as whole and worthy of being loved. It was during one of my sessions that I felt a deep knowing that it was time to have a Book Celebration Party.

I began preparing and soon realized that I had some “inner work” to do alongside the external details. Even though I was excited to finally celebrate the launch of my book, my inner critic became loud and belligerent. I heard questions and comments that took me off guard. “Who has a book launch four years after the fact? Who do you think you are planning a party to honour yourself? You are so full of yourself!”

I knew this was my ego trying to protect me from possible disappointment and pain. I made a choice to look at why I was having this party. I was worthy of being celebrated, and so was my book. I was modelling courage and vulnerability by going ahead in spite of my fears. I sent out invitations and learned to accept that not everyone would say yes. I knew that those who attended would be there because they truly wanted to be. I saw it as a chance to thank those who had cheered me on as I wrote my book so many years ago.

The result was an evening of magic, love, and connection that was more than I could ever have imagined. My guests were invited into a space of welcoming energy, laughter, and rich conversation.

There was good food served by a catering staff who entered into the joy of the evening, as well as a playful display of my artwork. I incorporated words from my book onto my acrylic paintings and hung them on a wash line against a black background.

I am grateful that I did not give up on my dream of having a Book Launch. I am intrigued by the timing of my party. It seems that having it four years “late” was actually the perfect time. My grandchildren were old enough to attend and understand what their Grandmother has accomplished. Because of my healing over the past few years, I was ready to receive the love and affirmation coming my way at this time in my life. I created a sense of community as I said yes to this evening. I connected the people I loved with old and new friends. The buzz of conversation and laughter in the room was intoxicating for me.

As I read from my book, I was struck by the power of the words I wrote so many years ago. I see my book as a gift to the world and I am proud of its wisdom. I feel empowered as an author and a woman who is willing to take risks and follow her heart’s desire.

What is calling you? Is there a goal, a project, a trip, or a relationship that you know in your heart you would like to experiment with? When was the last time you did something out of your comfort zone?

Chances are there will be roadblocks and bumps along the way. Circumstances may not even turn out the way you thought they would. That’s the thing with dreams. They start out with a little seed, a crazy idea, or outlandish vision. The end result may be different than we expected.

The biggest lesson for me is to not ignore the longing of my heart. Not giving up on my desire to have a Book Launch has reassured me that the outcome is often more abundant, life-giving, and love-filled than I even knew was possible. I encourage you to give yourself permission to listen to your inner voice that is calling you to adventure and magic. You will not be sorry!


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