What an honor it is to wake up in the morning - or the middle of the night, I'm not too sure these days because I'm in Europe so jet lag, time changes and travel times have left my internal clock completely confused, to read your wonderful stories that have been coming through my website - WOW!
You continue to inspire me with your stories of taking risk, embracing change and as one person said 'flipping the bird' to your fears and doubts when they try to tell you that 'you can't do that!'
A remarkable person recently wrote through my website,
"I find myself at a time of change and I realize I am afraid."
The woman who wrote that statement above is an INCREDIBLY inspirational and brilliant woman, no one would ever guess for one second based on her public achievements that she could actually fear change but she does because WE ALL DO.
We are all afraid of change, but when we feel that fear we must rejoice because it means that a) we are alive and thriving and able to feel these powerful emotions and b) it means we have stepped out of our comfort zones which is a very difficult but necessary thing to do because that is where the Performance Zone is. Scientists define the Performance Zone as a state of increased fear, anxiety and stress where we are forced to learn new skills - even just coping skills, but it is a PERFORMANCE zone that is going to take us forward to an entirely new and exciting place called the magic zone.
The Magic Zone is where everything and anything is possible, namely miracles to us humble humans. If you think back to anything you ever accomplished in life you will see the sequence of moving out of your comfort zone, having those uncomfortable feelings in the performance zone but being resilient despite this and then POOF you accomplished your goal or more than likely BEYOND what your initial intent was. It's a great idea to remember those times when you are feeling anxious and nervous.
So embrace the fear because you are almost there and what you are feeling is perfectly normal, in fact, it would be abnormal if you didn't feel those things. You ARE brilliant, it is people like YOU that kept me going when I was trying to get published and each rejection letter that came in threatened to send me into permanent hiding under the covers to eat an endless supply of potato chips ;-)
The very fact that we are alive should be all the proof we need that we are destined to live the life we want and we can't do that if we are living within our comfort zones. This is it, this Really. Is. It. (Insert billboard surrounded by flashing neon lights here).
We've all known people who have died with regrets of not taking chances but I've never met anyone that regretted taking a chance - have you? The only thing holding us back are those pesky little twerps called doubt and fear so as one brilliant woman recently said, 'Damn the Torpedoes' and damn them indeed and damn the potato chips that I still want to eat despite having been published...
The heartwarming stories of love and loss and coping with grief you have sent reinforce to me that at our deepest core we are all the same and no matter how difficult life can be, we can help each other weather any storm.
And speaking of friends, a few days ago I had the pleasure of reuniting with my dear friend Melanie in Stockholm, Sweden. You may remember from the book that Melanie was the German journalist I met in South Africa on the elephant sanctuary project who later joined me for two days on the Big Five Conservation project.
Although our visit was brief, the friendship that was born while volunteering in Africa is one that will last a lifetime and as for future adventures together? Absolutely!
The photo at the beginning of this article is of a German Steiff lion Melanie just gave me to commemorate our time in South Africa with the lions.
Please keep sending in your beautiful stories and keep pushing the boundaries of your comfort zones!
Live with courage or die with regret