Today we are hearing from Ashley Dun, one of our speakers! Ashley is an author and co-creator of Secret Midnight Press, a publishing company that ships seasonal packages full of poetry and other feel good surprises. Her blog is loaded with travel, fashion and inspirational writing. Currently she is sharing an eight part series on self care. Today we are giving you a piece of that! Here is part three of the series on facing fears. To keep up with Ashley’s writing follow her blog at: www.ashleydun.com. Enjoy!
is this what living looks like?
like there's this gaping
wound in my chest
like salt water
washed over it and
breathing is more like
this can't be what living looks like.
like the night never ends
and the stars have been
eaten alive by
the black sky and
I’ll never know
why the sun never seems
to rise in the places my
eyes look upon through
this won’t be what living looks like.
I will sew up my shattered
spirit with twine and
be my own light.
be a spark to
ignite the sun and
cold dark of night.
- from Smoke Signals
this poem has been on my mind lately as i wrestle with some fears and insecurities that have been berating me lately and making daily activities a bit more difficult.
if you're on this journey of self-care with me, hopefully taking the time to get to know yourself (part 2) has helped you find out more about what you deeply desire out of your life, and what may be holding you back.
insecurity and anxiety have held me back from living my life too many times. i know that traveling is something that makes me feel alive and strong. there were times in my life when my anxiety was so bad that i couldn't get into a car for even a short road trip, much less get on an airplane to a new city. at times i've thought that i'll never get to enjoy traveling again. but this is simply a lie.
as i've mentioned to you, anxiety and depression come and go in waves in my life. as anxiety took a step back last year, i had enough strength to book a month long trip to europe. i made the plans, and as each day got closer to my trip, i kept thinking of ways to get out of it. i was so sure that i was going to be a complete mess and hate every second of it.
i talked to my doctor about this and he prescribed me an anxiety medication to take as-needed. (this is a personal choice, but one that i recommend if you feel that your mental health is taking joy away from your life). so i had this prescription in my pocket, and even just knowing that it was there was a huge relief to me. it allowed me the strength to step onto the plane, and that trip ended up being one of the best things i've ever done in my life.
wandering can start in your mind. let your thoughts wander to places that maybe make you a little bit uncomfortable. dreams that are so large, you're afraid people would laugh if you told them. don't worry about what those people think. honestly, i believe in you. i believe that you're capable to do such incredible things. you can change the world and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
dip your toes into the water of your dreams and ambitions. realize that the water is warm and welcoming. it starts with that step, with acknowledging your hopes and recognizing your fears. the more aware you are of these two things, the further you can separate them until your fears no longer have power over you.
talk to people that you trust about these things. you'd be surprised at how many people are in the same exact boat as you. know that you're stronger than you think you are.
maybe this week, do one small thing that scares you - starting a conversation with a stranger, complimenting someone that isn't very nice to you. remind people that you love them, because maybe in that moment their fear can shrink as well.
we need each other. we're in this together, and as i fight for my joy, know that i'm fighting for yours as well.
continue living boldly, dear friend. joy and light are just on the other side of what you're scared of.