My heart races.
My thighs burn. And then I find myself leaning back, giving into the fear. If I lean back, I feel like I might be safer. It slows me down. But it also throws me off balance. If I lean into the fear, bend my knees, and allow myself to barrel down the mountain, I know I am safer. And so I do. I lean. And as I do, I take Gabrielle Bernstein’s –ING advice and repeat the mantra “It doesn’t have to be hard. Life can be easy.”
Then I’m swishing and zooming and I feel more alive than I have in a long time. The wind is whipping through my hair and my body remembers how to make this swaying motion. I’m filled with a zesty feeling.
Then the fear comes back.
And as I’m noticing the fear, I see a child — maybe 7 or 8 years old — and he is skiing twice as fast as me, cruising down the hill, all the while singing “WHEEE!!!! WOO HOO! YEEHAW!!”
The other skiers — myself included — stop to watch him. He is compelling and adorable. He is so fully present in this moment and unabashedly expressing his pure glee.
I decide to do the same thing. So I spend the rest of the run yipping and yahooing and squeeing, and by the time I get to the bottom of the hill, the fear is gone. Banished. Sent to time out.
I leaned into the fear. And I am still safe. Hallelujah!
A while later, my daughter has graduated to the bunny slope, and as we scoop her off the lift, she starts trembling as she looks down the much bigger hill. She says, “I’m scared,” and I say, “I feel you, sister.”
And then I tell her what I just learned. That if you lean into the fear and refuse to let it control your life, you get to WHEEE!!!! WOO HOO! YEEHAW!! your way through life, just like that little boy.
I teach her what I call “Mommy Mojo Tips,” and the one I taught her right there on that ski slope was, “You can’t let fear control your life. You have to lean into the fear, and when you do, it eases up and you can do anything you want to do.”
So we did it. Siena and I squealed and threw our hands in the air and decided to just go for it. And even when we both fell down, we brushed ourselves off, wiped away tears, and got back on the lift.
Am I a bad Mommy for putting myself at risk and teaching my child to choose glee over caution? Have you ever tried leaning into the fear? What helps you when fear starts holding you back?
Do you need help getting out of your own way and sending your Gremlin of fear to time out? Sign up for the free Get Out Of Your Own Way e-course.
Let’s do it, babe.
WHEEE!!!! WOO HOO! YEEHAW!!
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Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.