The March Challenge is letting go which is one of those things that sounds a lot simpler than it actually is. I have such a hard time letting go that when I ran a relay race as a teenager I ran right off the track with the baton. So there we go.
My challenge right now is relaxing and moving forward despite the fact my freelance work has not been forthcoming for the past few weeks. My personal challenge is to see this as an opportunity, as a gift of time to 100% fully follow my real passion and not just slot it in around other deadlines.
When I was 19 I went to Mexico and Guatemala to follow the Mayan trail with my dreadlocked boyfriend and a hammock. For some reason towards the beginning of our trip, we ended up in a small town outside of Mexico City. We decided to go for a walk. Our ramble took us through banana fields and forests which led us to a rickety Indiana Jones type bridge which stretched over a deep ravine. The bridge was missing slats of wood and we had no way of knowing whether this was locally known as the Old Bridge of Certain Death or whether it was still in use; safe and sound. For some reason we decided we must cross the ravine and so my brave chivalrous boyfriend went first. Making it to the other side meant I now had to cross. I am extremely scared of heights and despite my dad taking me paragliding off the Alps in an attempt to overcome this phobia, I still shook whenever I was faced with a Long Way Down. I stepped out onto the bridge and forced myself to take another step (even now, writing this, my feet are sweating) With each step the bridge lurched dramatically to one side. I gripped the rope and tried to keep focused at the other side of the ravine. As I laboriously walked one small step in front of the other my eyes were drawn to looking down through the shaky slats into the swirling whirlpool waters below. Each time I looked down I would freeze and start to sway seriously from side to side on the bridge. I felt nauseous and would feel I was falling. I was paralyzed and gripped by terror. I forced myself to look up and to the safety of the other side. Eventually I managed to cross. Sitting down on the grass recovering, a few minutes later wide eyed we watched as a local walked across the bridge. Without a care in the world or even the slightest look down.
That has often been a metaphor for me during my life as a freelancer which has been all but one year of my working life. I can spin and fall down into a paralyzing state; consumed with all that could go wrong ultimately leading to me dying penniless, alone and crippled. Or I can draw my head up and keep my calm serene gaze on the goal and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
So my interpretation of Let Go for March is to be letting go of fear and instead allowing faith to consume me. I can wax lyrical about not wanting fear to control me but actually living it is another matter. Its very tempting for me to look down.
The message I have heard from friends and colleagues this past week has been “You are making it, its not that you’re on the brink, you’re actually doing it” “Its obvious from where I’m standing that you are on the up and up” For some reason its been clearer to all around me but me what is happening. I feel fear has gripped me and inhibited me from really believing it to be true. So my promise to myself for March is to really 100% try to let go of fear.
Instead of being drawn down to the whirlpool I want to keep my head up and whistle even just like that man did as he strolled happily unaware of the drama which we had just lived crossing the very same bridge.
Tags: fear, let go, meditation, Mhairi Morrison, The bead movement