As The Fear Rises

by | Oct 26, 2017 | Creativity, Inspiration, Music, Spiritual | 1 comment

It has occurred to me that I have spent quite a lot of my life busting through things that scare me. I remember being quite a scared child. My family life was a little challenging (not uncommon) and it resulted in being scared a lot. I was scared of school, scared of work, scared the house would catch fire, scared of not being loved, scared of being abandoned, scared of Granny and scared of this big Afghan hound that my child-minder owned. I stepped on his foot once and he bit me. Basically, I had the fear.

Those fears from childhood remain in us for a long while unless we actively look into the dark corners and embrace them and dissolve them. They tend to stick around and influence us in other ways. Mine slowly transformed into fear of girls, fear of being seen, fear of being judged, fear of being successful, depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

I had fears about risking myself, fears about losing my identity, fears of not being worthy, fears of looking stupid, of not being good enough, talented enough or beautiful enough to achieve anything in my life. Fears about not knowing what to do, what I should be doing and who I should be doing it with!

These fears lived directly next to my adventurous spirit. I have always found life to be incredibly exciting and full of so many things to do, paint, write, sing, act, explore and discover. In short, even though I have had many fears over my life, my spirit has been such that I have read as much as I can, travelled solo and with partners from a young age, embraced being on stage, and learned things I chose though I was conditioned and told by society that even though I was clever, I would not amount to much and a career in arts was pointless.

german surfer rides riverbreak munich

I have studied acting, appeared in over 20 productions, taught myself to sing, play guitar and write songs, run open mic nights, played countless gigs, got a degree without gaining the necessary entry requirements for University, qualified as a yoga teacher, a reiki master, had poems published, taught myself to fire-dance, recorded two albums, been sponsored by the Arts Council, worked in Cambodia, Thailand, France, Spain, India, Greece, run my own gardening business for almost ten years, travelled to a whole host of places around the world, worked on a kibbutz, seen the Pyramids, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal and the Alhambra, explored jungle medicines like Ayahuasca and Kambo, all the while living with and processing a life-time of worry and fear.

Right now, I have embarked upon a mini-European solo tour with my new album that I recorded earlier this year. I decided I needed to travel with my music, to busk in squares, meet new people and play some gigs. Guess what…? All of this scared me to the very core of my being. I am immensely scared of busking. I don’t like the uncontrolled aspect of standing, uninvited in front of a random group of people to sing my songs on a street. It scares me so much that it can take me hours or even days to pluck up the courage to go out and sing on a street. Every gig I play is a little scary. Just the journey on my own, without my amazing partner by my side scared the hell out of me. And talking to strangers…!?

The day before I was due to leave, I took part in a sacred Kambo medicine ceremony. Kambo is a poison excreted by a frog that lives in the South American jungles. It reboots the human immune system and is a pretty unpleasant experience. This was my fourth time and I was petrified. I prayed for courage. I prayed for connection to my heart and my spirit. I prayed to survive.

You have to drink two litres of water before taking the medicine. It is not pleasant. Yet through my panic I managed to calm my breath. I allowed life to happen to me. I believe we do not bring ourselves to things we cannot handle. I took myself out of my mind, out of my negative imagination and into my present moment. The medicine hit me. It was intense. I felt hot, sweaty, sick and full of water. The Kambo burns through the body, expelling toxins, rebooting the system. You start to vomit and purge for a good ten minutes – sometimes more. Water at first, then bile. And then… as if by magic, you recover. You feel good again. Better, stronger, clearer.

I have this energy with me on my trip. But more so, I took this lesson and a few insights. Most of the things we are scared of are not as bad as we imagine them to be. It is in our minds that we place all kinds of horrible outcomes and situations. We waste life and energy with these imaginings and often those imaginings stop us doing the things that would make us stronger and happier. I think we get stuck within the ego, the thinking mind, instead of connecting to our hearts which are infinite and strong.

Three days into my trip I went to go busking in Munich but I just couldn’t find a spot that I felt comfortable in. I was scared of what people would think of me. Scared of being told to be quiet. Yet identifying the fear is the first step. It took me six hours to bust through and go busking. I am still working with this fear. It is an adventure. To find a fear and then plan a way to act through it, in spite of it. The fear is still there by the way. It just has less of a hold on me. I am not an eager performer. I do not burst into song anywhere, anytime.

I do not consider myself particularly courageous. Yet others have pointed it out in me. I am slowly working through my fears, facing them, saying hello and embracing them. Then acting through them by moving my attention from my fear-based ego mind into my infinite heart which has courage and power a-plenty. I do that by tuning into nature, into life around me, into the sounds, smells, sights and experiences of life. I turn my attention to my aliveness, the spark of electricity moving through my body.

I write this to inspire you. To give you courage and faith in yourself. To move you to embrace your dreams and the fears that are holding you back from them. If we move together, opening our hearts together, believing together and working together, we can bring more love, positivity and heart-based thoughts, words and actions into this world.

You can do it. You can. Love.

matt rivers hiding bamboo green portrait

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