Dearest Readers,

I’m not a birder and I don’t know my birds very well at all so I cannot tell you the name of the little hoppers that were jumping around in the yard yesterday picking at the earth with astonishing quickness. Their heads were striped black and cream and it looked like like they were wearing tiny hats. I was filled with pleasure watching them.

So, for that matter, was the cat. The yard was teeming with these lovely little fliers and I think the cat was so worn out watching them, so overstimulated by observing their activity that he crawled under the covers for the rest of the day and slept.

It’s amazing to me that I rarely, if ever, have the temptation to respond in a similar way to Life’s stimuli. I spent most of my teenage years and my twenties wishing I could crawl under a blanket and stay there and often doing just that.

It seemed an appropriate response to the world and all its sublime beauty and mad horror. I did not have the skills to absorb it all.  Best not to deal with it at all then. Best to hide.

This is where good old Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote has become one of my mantras, one of the tools I use regularly to avoid reverting to the cave. “You must do the thing you think you cannot do,” she tells us. I’ve used this call to action a lot (thanks, Eleanor) over the past couple of years and I continue to use it whenever the fear arises.

For instance, I am about to perform a wee show this week and I was in the theatre over the weekend ironing out the technical aspects of the piece. I was standing backstage preparing for a run-through thinking, “What the heck am I doing here? I can’t do this!”

This after performing on stage professionally for more than 10 years. The fear tells me to cancel, give up, withdraw. I imagine the worst. People hate the show, I embarrass myself, it’s a disaster. Everything inside of me says, “Run for the hills. Hide.”

Now because I recognized that this is fear (false evidence appearing real) and not based in any kind of Truth (in fact, it is the ego’s greatest lie concocted to save me from its perception that I am about to be humiliated by allowing myself to be seen), I said, “Thanks for sharing now F-off,” and headed out on stage.

Quite simply, I just do the thing I think I cannot do. Because really, we can do anything.  Anything.

Let the fear crawl under the covers and stay there. I’m staying out here. With the little striped-capped birds. Hop hop.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Once more I will defy fear by telling it to F-off. Though its power over me can feel inordinate my willingness to walk through it will squelch this falsity like a slug in a bird’s beak.