Do you know those moments when you are driving in the car and you find yourself knee-deep in reverie? These are moments when, out of nowhere, you find yourself long in thought; it’s as if you have made a U-turn into the underground waters of your psyche.
Maybe it’s the constancy of the rhythmic motion that lulls you into a semi-trance state or, perhaps, it’s the sound of wheels in a circular song that rests your overactive mind.
Or would you consider that it’s the very act of traveling from one place to another, the movement of transition, from Point A to Point B, these intersections of destination and duty, often offer a window where pieces of the self can surface?
This kind of reverie reminds me of being on the train that travels from London to Paris. You chug along taking in the jumble of the cityscape — buildings, signs and the chaotic colors of populated lives. The busy scenery morphs into the peacefulness of the passing green countryside and then, wham, the scenery becomes non-existent; there is no more sensory input. The windows are darkened; the sound is muffled and you are pulled – literally — into an underwater place as the train hurtles through the English Channel.
You can no longer look outside; there is nothing to see. You are invited to enter that subterranean space where the exterior stimuli have been replaced by an awareness of the inner world. Unwittingly, your attention is shifted.
For this reason, I have found airplanes, trains and, especially, the car to be near-perfect vehicles for my journey to consciousness.
These are moments in the car when I have sung aloud to God. In fact, there was one year of my life where I sang almost every morning as I drove to my office. Yep, in full voice with on-the-spot words and tunes, I sang my current gripes, worries, fears, and hopes; I sang my commitment and gratitude to Spirit. Whatever surfaced into my consciousness, in all of its unedited glory, came forth accompanied by giggles and even a few tears. And when I ran out of words, I found myself both empty and full – and, even better – at peace.
I recall one such incident where I was pounding on the steering wheel and telling God, “I don’t want to be afraid anymore.” Now, I am not talking astraphobia, your basic fear of thunderstorms, nor I am talking about coulrophobia, a screaming fear of clowns, I am talking those fears that kept me stuck and paralyzed in inaction and indecision.
I was relating this story to a friend who finds herself similarly stuck. And I allowed that the minute we tell God we are ready to move forward, the universe supports us. If I had said I was ready to release my fears of clowns and thunderstorms, you could well imagine that I would be dodging lightning, perpetually garbed in rain gear, constantly besieged by thunderclaps and, of course, finding myself face-to-face with many a clown.
Instead, I found myself facing my very own fears, because I believe the minute you say, “OK, God, I am ready to face these suckers,” God obliges and parades in front of you all that makes you panic, squirm, procrastinate, and want to bolt.
It’s easy to forget that these fears are blessings. Who wants to find a clown in every corner or forego a regular paycheck or walk away from the comfortable and familiar? It’s hard facing fears, because, by definition, they scare us. They raise our anxiety levels and feed our doubt.
And to face a fear, we must be willing to be present. We cannot pull an Elvis and leave the building, or decide to take a decade-long nap, much less cook a spontaneous gourmet meal for the neighborhood.
When we are ready, we show up and face our personal thunderbolt. It’s like agreeing to meet your clown-fear at the local Starbucks. You go with pounding heart; you sit there, choke down coffee, and get through the experience. You know subsequent coffee dates will get easier and be less stressful given your new-found willingness to meet your fear face-to-face.
Our soul pieces are decked out in fear costumes, be it clown, lightning flash, voice, responsibility, success, failure, or freedom. And these costumes are really, really good; they scare us so much that we lose our breath.
Yet, we don’t lose our way because these fears also serve as the directions for our journey of consciousness. Facing fears is, indeed, the task at hand. If you face your personal clowns, you are most certainly on the path.
And facing fears is also a bit like pregnancy: you get stretched in preparation for something new. Once we face a fear, we animate and revivify the part of ourselves that was hidden behind the mask.
This insight that my fears are costumes for aspects of my soul gives me pause, and makes me grateful. Who knew that if I sat with each heart-pounding, adrenaline-spiked fear that I would find a part of my soul that was ready to step forward?
God, this is such an elegant design. I feel as if I just connected all the dots; the penny has dropped, and, now, I get it.
Thank you, God, for all my multitudinous fears. I realize that each and every one has been a blessing and not simply something to beat down, avoid or hide. Each and every fear has led me in the right direction. I feel like all the lights have been turned on, and I can see clearly.
If I had only realized earlier, maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have stalled as much.
So, God, I am a few clowns down and ready to meet the rest of the gang. Bring ‘em on. And thank you, God, for helping me find myself. It’s amazing how some new pieces of soul can change a life.
I am so grateful.