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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

Fear is not allowed to drive the bus

I was lucky enough to attend a webinar with #ElizabethGilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic (and more) last week. She was a guest talking about creativity and mastering fear in this time of Covid-19. She explained that fear has kept the human species alive for thousands of years. Thank you. Well done. But in the road trip of my life, fear may not drive the minivan. Fear is welcome to come along. It may sit in the back-back and is allowed to be there. But, fear may not drive. It may not even choose the radio station. And it may not pick out the snacks. I know fear is there. But I do not let fear drive my life.

I loved hearing this story because it reminds me that there are many drivers as I travel down the road trip of my life. Instead of a minivan, I imagine my vehicle is more like the Muppet mobile with chickens and chaos hanging out of the windows. When I allow my words and thoughts and actions to come from fear or fatigue driving, I find that the road gets rough and filled with potholes. Joy wants to climb out of the vehicle. The snacks are sugary or chocolatey.

Asking myself who is driving allows me to re-center. Am I needing creativity for a project? That would be a good time to allow the creative muse to drive into wider spaces. Am I about to challenge myself with increasing an exercise goal? Discipline is a great driver in those moments. Productivity works well to accomplish many tasks but isn’t the best choice when a loved one wants to show me something that takes time. It tends to yell, “Are we there yet?!” I would like patience and delight to drive in that precious moment. “Cool, let me learn more!” is the response I want to offer in that moment of sharing.

“So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

So, in the road trip of your life, #whoisdriving? How do you want to travel? What needs an adjustment or change in drivers?

Elizabeth Gilbert went on to say that when she starts a project, fear hollers, “Who are you to write a book?” “It just requires an answer", she said, “I am Liz Gilbert. I am going to write a book. I never said it was a good book, but I am going to write a book.” This sounds like sage advice for our days right now. It takes #courage, #love, consistency, and a clear head to navigate what is happening in our homes and in our world. “Who do you think you are?!" can be met with, “I am Laura Roeven and I’m going to have a day. In this day there are many tasks and many people to love. I am not going to do it perfectly because I never promised to do that. I’m going to have a day of doing my tasks with great love and patience.”

The seminar was finished with the reminder that we all have a time of day that is best for us. We are most energetic and clear thinking at this time. Whether it is morning, noon, evening, or night, each of us has one time that suits us. Why not make that your personal time to accomplish, make decisions about the important things? Elizabeth talked about being a writer and her best time of day being between 6 and 10 am. Pretty much after that she is done with creative thoughts and it only lasts 2 to 3 hours. “I show up every day at my desk to work for those hours. Why give that away to other things? Other people won’t notice the difference, yet we can work well for ourselves on a consistent daily basis."

What time of day is best? Am I a morning person? Use that time well. Do I work best in the afternoon? How can I design my day so that the most important work happens then? Does my creativity come out as a night owl? Strike a match, light the candle, and use your best time. Work to your personal magic and see what happens!



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