FIVE years ago I learned to ride a motorcycle, and since then I’ve traveled the lower 48 states and parts of five Canadian provinces on my bike. Mostly solo.
Take to the open road on a motorcycle and you’ll learn plenty about your relationship with fear. I’ve survived punishing weather, distracted drivers, a stolen wallet, running out of gas, and having trouble finding a safe place to sleep at night, among other escapades.
The question I’m most often asked about my lifestyle is, “Aren’t you afraid? —either of traveling so exposed on a motorcycle, or solo, as a woman, or all three.
Business, professional and personal fears
What most people don’t realize is that my fearful encounters on the road were nothing compared to the fears and anxieties I’ve confronted back at home.
In 2007 I weathered the staggering failure of my business, which wasn’t merely a professional blemish. In its wake, my family went through bankruptcy and foreclosure. Money sins are a major source of humiliation, and impetus for social ostracization. Mine took me to a moment of truth at the medicine cabinet, which I shared in my TEDx Talk:
And I relaunched my life. THAT’s why I’m writing a book on fear and anxiety: to help you gain power over and freedom from your personal demons. I’m proof that it can be done.
Is it fear or anxiety?
The gazillions of psychologically-fearful situations that modern life gins up for us are the focus of the book. These are known as “anxieties,” and they can indeed be diminished—even conquered.
We often use the words “fear” and “anxiety” interchangeably, but they are different. Here’s how I learned to keep them straight:
Anxiety is synonymous with “dread.” It is forward looking.
Fear is a response to something that threatens your security or your well-being right now.
In short, when you are imagining a situation that MIGHT happen in the future, it’s anxiety. When you are FACED with a real or imagined threat in the present moment it’s fear.
My (yet-untitled) book will not help you find a way to banish fear from your life. If a rabid dog is running toward you, I definitely want you to jump into action—without a second thought!
Book release and two invitations
The book will be released in the first quarter of 2016. I plan to tour extensively with it, so please get in touch if you have a group who would benefit from talking about my findings. I know from my own experiences that when we work with fear and anxiety with others, we are more likely to find peace.
Please let me know if you would like to read an early version of the book, known as a “beta copy.” Simply click here and place your name and email in the form.
Thank you in advance.