Fear is my friend. We all have things we’re scared of and that’s completely natural, sometimes even good. There are two kinds of fear: (1) entirely justifiable hard-wired warnings that keep you out of harm’s way i.e. don’t go into a dark alley alone at night because you might get mugged; and (2) mostly irrational fears that hold you back i.e. I’m not going to share my story because people might laugh at me.
The essential value proposition of AllSwell asks us to push into that second category. Doing things you’re afraid of is good for you though. And know that conquering fear is not all bungee jumping, solo-sailing and big wave riding. Author Jaimal Yogis (who happens to have surfed some enormous waves) explores this topic beautifully in his book The Fear Project. I went to see him speak in NYC a few years ago and one of the things he said that stuck with me is how his palms were sweaty in spite of not being consciously nervous, it was a physiological reaction. He
Yogis explained that humans are hard-wired to fear public speaking because being exposed in the front of a large group in ancient times meant you were at bodily risk; you had a greater odds of being stoned to death or shot with an arrow, for instance. Some archaic part of our brain is protecting us from standing out, and AllSwell’s most basic message basic value proposition suggests we can do better than that.
I’ve been asked if I get nervous before I lead an AllSwell workshop and the answer is no, I a’m usually excited but not nervous. I do my absolute best to create a safe space space for everyone to comfortably express themselves. yetDespite this despite that I have seen even people who regularly lead groups -- seasoned senior executives, experienced meditation and yoga teachers, public figures -- bump up against real fear about sharing their personal creativity. Somehow it’s different, more exposed (and it’s usually deeply cathartic). Here I am asking all of you to move beyond your comfort zones, to dig in and share your voices, put pen to paper, go make art, to expand and share. But what am I doing to honor your bravery, to meet your efforts?
Going on camera. Yup, that’s my personal kryptonite. A room full of folks is no big deal but point a video camera on me and some gawky tween version of my inner self screams silently “please, noooooo.” This is the rope swing, the high dive. And in this latest AllSwell Reads is my own jump off that board: a little tutorial video I made for anyone interested in journaling but not sure why / how / when do it. I didn’t even drink a tequila before I taped it. Awkward? Maybe a little. But I did something that scared me and it feel s good for having to have checked the box. Afterall, real courage isn’t being fearless. It’s recognizing that something is scary and and doing it anyway.
Hoping you find something in this AllSwell round up that will inspire you to make friends with some of your own fears...
A data breach in the year 2018 A.D. caused a mass Facebook exodus. Soon after, a new society formed, made up of those who had deleted their accounts. They set out to lead idyllic lives in a place they named Post-Facebooktopia, where everyone could coexist peacefully, freed from the burden of obligatory second-by-second updates and interactions. Or so they hoped . . . For a good laugh visit the link above.
In the past couple of years, calls for the arts to be a core component of social prescribing in the UK have been growing. A recent report by Arts Council Wales, for example, has backed the idea. And, last summer, recommendations were put forward by an all-party parliamentary group for clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts and local authorities to incorporate arts on prescription into their commissioning plans and redesign care pathways where appropriate.
The stage Grace, it’s not a facade, it’s not a fake — it’s a manifestation. Grace is always living the limitless possibilities of being — the possibilities of every moment, that you could live it more extremely. “People always said I’m ahead of my time, but how far ahead of my time? Am I just arriving right now?,” said Grace, “I don’t want to sound like a crazy ex-acid tripper, [but] it does all seem to come together in a very cosmic way.’”
Research on failure as a motivator is limited, though the evidence that does exist suggests that you can grow both from learning about the failures of other successful people and from experiencing failure themselves. For failure to “work,” research indicates it needs to give people a chance to regroup and rewind the clock. Dive deeper at the link above.
Flights get delayed, it rains when we don’t want it to, bikes get flat tires, avalanche conditions are terrible sometimes, packages get lost in shipping. Whether you believe you can control things or don’t worry at all about trying to control things, shit happens. And when it does, nobody wants to be that jerk with a vein popping out of their forehead as they scream at an airline employee about how important they are. Read more up top.