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Day 24

 

Tough day. Began with abundance and gratitude mantra on my way to a job. Glad I started with that. I think it helped keep my frustrations somewhat in check when power tools began not working then working then not. Argh. I did give in and let off a stream of explitives a couple times but no one was around. Well, once it was while on the phone with my husband, so, technically not around but definitely withing hearing range. Poor guy. I apologized. He understood. He's dealt with this sander too. BUT we found a solution. 

 

Not sure what that has to do with Fear. I suppose it is the insidious irritation of tools breaking down on a hot hot day that brings to mind last night's post. Spiders. And just the insidious nature of negative energy and Fear. Somehow it all just gets under my skin and becomes so much a part of me in my interactions. Before I have a clue it's happening. No matter how much I sing or say my positive mantras, or close my doors, irritation, like spiders can still get in. And no matter how strong I feel carrying a chair about, reminding me to be conscious of Fear, I still get blindsided by things like caring what others think of me.

 

Today I had another encounter with that one... I realized someone who may become important in my life though I have yet to meet this person, may have gotten an impression of me from someone who IS important in my life who has a somewhat skewed image of me. My first internal response was "I gotta fix this!" and "how, how can I fix this?" but as the evening moved forward, so did I. I eventually realize these two people are out of my control and if one or both have negative thoughts about me, i can't be helped by my getting all neurotic and protective. So, I let it go. I really can't afford to waste energy worrying, Fearing, what these two people think about me when there is nothing I can do change things. 

 

Focus on the Love. Tonight I feel sad about what happened but I am breathing and remembering Love is what strenghtens me. 

 

I am realizing that the Fear Chair is heavy (I should weigh it). My upper body hasn't had such a workout since my rock-climbing days. I noticed today how fatiguing it is to carry it though. It HAS been very hot lately and packing that chair in and out of the car and in and out of buildings (not to mention around in the buildings - some have carts but today was the paint store and bank, none of which do) is tiring. Yet, as I wrote about "remembering Love" I realized carrying the Fear Chair IS tiring but it has "Love" painted on the underside of the seat. And the Chair that bears both Love AND Fear is strengthening me. In a very real way, when I lay the Chair in the car, I see that "Love" under the seat and the fatigue sloughs away. Just like remembering tonight that I don't have to focus on my Fear of what these two people think of me but can instead just Love (myself, them, all) creates an internal flushing away of the fear. Cleansing that is also strengthening. 

 

Back to my abundance and gratitude mantra! Full circle...

 

 

 


Day 23

 

Spiders 


Day 22

I needed some cheerleaders today and found them in my sister and my daughter. I am so grateful for their support. For one thing, they helped me see that what's been coming up (and what I've been writing in my blog) is the fear of what other people think. Holycow and, uh, duh... I so often think I've moved beyond peer pressure. I'm 51, haven't worn makeup in decades, don't dye my hair, live pretty much they way I see fit; but this chair has shown me my folly. I still give a shit, sometimes perhaps too much, what other's think of me. Wow. So, that's out in the open. I haven't painted on the chair for a while. I think this may need some form of expression. I will think about it.

 

The other important insight was when I was reminded of the principle that we can only change in ourselves what we accept to be part of us. Perhaps the best example is body size. We can't sustainably change our body size until we accept our body image. In order to change, we first need to see where we ARE. And even perhaps love our selves as we are. So, perhaps, we also need to love the fearful part of ourselves before we can really let go of Fear. This is why I have the chair. Of course I could just set the chair down or lose it somewhere but that won't get rid of Fear. The chair is just a chair. BUT, it IS a metaphor, and in that, it does represent a process of accepting who I am, WITH my burden of Fear and fearS even to the point of simply walking around with them/it very visible to the world and very visible to the people who's opinions matter to me.

 

Tonight when I took my daughter out for pizza, a woman came up behind me and whispered loudly, "is that YOUR special chair?" Without turning to look at her (it seemed a covert conversation and turning would blow the effect), "yes it is." I answered. "And only YOU get to sit in it?" I turned then as I answered "yes" but she'd gone.  I have no idea of the meaning there (yet) but .... hmmm....


Day 21 I believe...

 

I didn't carry the chair everywhere today. It stayed in the car a lot. I haven't been feeling fearful. Actually have been quite strong and decisive the past couple of days. Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster which is why I haven't been posting; but I've been very conscious of where my Fears lie and have moved forward quite well beyond them. 

 

However,...

 

I AM noticing a number of people have implied that this FCP is actually weighing me down or tethering me to Fear-based living. I am mulling this over. Initial response is no, of course, as I've written in this blog, that isn't how this works. But I am noticing that the pressure from others to not carry the chair IS there, and I have also noticed that today I did not carry the chair. 

 

My assessment, to be honest, is that I am afraid they know better what I should be doing AND that I SHOULD just let go of the chair and let go of Fear and let go of my fearS and live life to the fullest. Yes. Yes, I should do those things. However, I've known for a very long time that I should do those things and yet something has held me back. I believe Fear has held me back. Despite my KNOWING what to do, I DON'T do it. Why? because there is this massive, heavy, unknown-ness about my Fear. And at the same time, there is an insidiousness that allows it to slip in unknown to influence my choices and responses. 

 

I don't think I'm really that different from most people. My sense is that even those people who passively tell me to drop the chair are sometimes blindsided by their Fear or fearS. I AM tempted to drop the project. I AM tired of carrying the chair. I AM tired of looking different in such a different way. And it's heavy. And life right now brings a great heaviness already in the form of some relationship and health issues. I do know that carrying the chair has been good for me. Very strengthening of mind, body and spirit actually. 

 

A lapse... I have lapsed. Does this mean the Project should end? Does this mean I should not carry the chair? Funny, the most recent lesson I learned from the chair is how critical it is to simply be decisive in a difficult situation. And so I was simply and very clearly decisive. It turned out well. It really was the best solution simply to decide. Yet, here I am feeling all wishy washy, ooey gooey indecisive about the Project. 

 

How many posts am I going to spend discussing whether this is going to continue or not then concluding that it is a good project and it IS helping me move forward! 

 

This is unbelievably difficult in completely unimagined ways.

 

Just read this post to my daughter and she gave me a pep-talk I needed, reminding me the chair is just a chair. That people who think it's silly or unnecessary or burdening don't get what the Project is about and perhaps have fears around seeing someone carry a Fear Chair. She reminded me too that the quote, (sorry Mr. Roosevelt) "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." is wrong. The most pervasive and paralizing fear is the fear of our fear. So read it tongue in cheek, "We have nothing to fear but fearing fear."  This Project was started, again, not because I am so unbearably Fear-full but because I feel a strong desire to know Fear, to know MY Fear. Not my fearS. Those are clear. But what is this underlying presence of Fear that I don't know so well but have carried throughout my remembered life. And, just HOW does it sneak into my relationships and decisions and responses,... ooooo and my goals? The questions are only now coming to light. Why would the answer already be just let go of the chair?


Day 18

a.m.

A pervasive unease today as I am sensing a good friend is not happy with me. I don't know what I have done or not done but this friend seems to have a difficult time even looking at me today. I know she has much going on in her life and so am attempting to ride it out just living my life as we pass through this. My tendancy in such a situation is to just become scarce for a little while but we are working on a project together and so today I am going to practice not becoming invisible and setting internal boundaries in case my visibility becomes an issue .

 

I went to a garage sale this morning and saw another friend. She and I chatted, catching up with eachother. First thing, I explained my FCP as the chair was with me. Her insight was very helpful. She said, "you're externallizing fear through the chair." Yes, the undercurrent, the "water table" of Fear that I carry is slowly transferring to the chair. This includes all those little and big fearS in me but also is that presence of Fear, of which those are a part. So eventually I won't have to carry the chair and I can get rid of it or "put it at the table and it becomes useful," my friend said. Absolutely.

 

p.m.

It is amazing the trouble I can drum up out of Fear. After writing this morning and enroute to working on the project, I found myself getting all worked up. Fantasizing scenarios of confrontation, building my case, I was in a tumult in my own mind. And the Fear Chair was in the back seat of the car. But a wonderful thing happened about half-way to my destination. I suddenly realized I was making this all up. I had no proof of my friend's feelings. I had only my "sensing," based on flimsy evidence. So, really, I thought, if I am going to make up a situation, why would I choose to make up such a horrible, negative one? So I began shifting my focus to Love. I remembered my love for my friend. I remembered my love for her family and her love for me and for my family. I talked to the Universe. I thanked God, Universe, Source for the Love and for the peace and resolution. Then I drove on. I pulled up. Parked. And the only Fear that I found to carry was the Chair.

A lovely day and good solid work was enjoyed by all.

 

Oddly, this morning I had again pondered stopping the FCP. I'd gotten a couple cheeky comments from men in town when I'd gone running errands and it made me question myself just a bit. It's funny but I am noticing that other people's comments really are mirrors they hold up for me to see myself. There is a desire (subconscious or conscious it matters not) for me to see myself as they see me. But the mirrors distorted by their own image of the world and themselves. So, people's responses to me carrying the chair vary greatly but because the chair is external I somehow have better objectivity to view just what those people are doing. It's like, in a way, I see them holding up the mirror for the chair, so I am a bystander. My issue is embodied in the chair, so I see their issues with me are focused on the chair as well. Sure, I sometimes become drawn in to other people's reflections of me and confused because that's an old pattern of behavior I am working to change. But in a very unique way now I am seeing people's opinions really are about them. Not me. Not the Chair.

 

I am grateful I've got the Chair. Today I learned much about Fear and much about Love.

 


Day 17

Two people asked today, "how long do you think you'll be carrying the chair?" "I dunno,...a year maybe....?" Got a wide-eyed chuckle out of them both...In seriousness. I don't know....

 

Got together with my friend, (she gave permission to use her name) Carol, with whom I meet weekly to talk life, art, the universe and everything. I was reminded during our conversation of what we'd been talking about two weeks ago (17 days to be exact) when she reminded me of the woman with the anger chair. We'd been discussing times in our lives when we felt most alive and what might be missing from our lives now that could pehaps foster that heightened-living feeling again and what perhaps was blocking us from just doing it. Just living to the extreme. 

 

So talking about this again today it occurred to me the Fear Chair Project is beginning to feel like a step in the right direction. We talked then about how when people initially see "Fear" painted on the chair or hear about the Project or even read about it on FB, there are often responses to the negativity that the word conjures. I myself, as you may or may not have read in this blog, have wrestled with the negative aura that seems to surround the concept if not word. But as we spoke, it was so clear to both Carol and I that this is not at all a negative Project and it actually DOES fit very well with my practice of the Law of Attraction and positive living.

 

The FCP is about clarifying what Fear is for me, how I react to Fear and how I desire to respond to Fear. It isn't about conquering anything. As I've said before, Fear can be helpful. It's saved my life on occasion I am certain of that and at times I DIDN'T heed it, I was often saved by shear luck or quick-ass thinking, strong will to survive and shear luck combined. Fear may be the second primal emotion but it is not the opposite of Love. It can lead one in that direction but seeing and understanding my Fear actually is a journey of Love. The FCP is about knowing and loving myself, seeing myself and being seen, even the scary stuff.

 

As the honeymoon with my chair concludes, I am noticing hauling the chair around is only the catalyst. It's how I relate to myself and others about the chair that seems to be where things happen. I went grocery shopping with it today. I also found a FABULOUS hanging planter. It looked TOO cool atop the chair in the cart. In the cereal isle a woman exclaimed, "WOW, where can I get that?" "Which one, the plant or the chair?" I asked. "Both!" She was excited to hear the plants were just out front but looked dissappointed to hear the chair was mine and I had brought it. No further questions asked and no explanation given. "Well they're both just wonderful." She said walking away. 

 

Later, as Carol and I closed down the coffeeshop, we weren't done talking, so we walked for half an hour around the college campus in town. I carried my chair on my back through the gathering orientation attendees and officials. The only question was from a young man registering new voters. No, my status is up-to-date, I assured him. Thank you. A few times I thought about carrying the chair but mostly I was engrossed in our conversations about what wealth is -- that someone with tons of money can be the poorest man if he is unsatisfied with what he has. He believes he hasn't enough therefore he hasn't enough. While the man with little or no money can be wealthy beyond imagining if he is happy. He believes he is rich, therefore he is. I think therefore I am; or perhaps, I think I am, therefore I am.

 

Gratefully tonight I think I feel mmost alive.






 

 


Day 16 of the Fear Chair Project and I begain again in judgement of myself. I found myself this morning wishing that I'd just posted the photo and left it at that. The post seemed incomplete - inarticulate and sketchy. I just read it tonight and decided to leave it as is. There is truth in it and that is enough. 

 

Last night I mentioned it is getting more difficult emotionally to carry the chair because, compared to all the non-chair-bearing citizens, I seem to be burdened very visibly by fear. Beyond that superficial self-judgement though, I've been struggling to with the fact that I decided just weeks prior to the start of this project that it is time to explore and develop a disciplined approach to what is popularly called "the Law of Attraction," basically purposefully creating my life by chosing to focus on what I want to co-create with the universe/God/Source. So,... why did this Fear Chair Project come up NOW? How does this fit in with positive thinking and asking for what I need?

 

It's not just a rhetorical question. I really don't know. It may have something to do with clarity. I've been reading a book that explains the physics of why the Law of Attraction works and the way it works. And the book explains that the universe deals in clarity not ambiguity and so when we are clear we are more aligned with the way the universe works. I don't think I've ever really been clear about my Fear. I've had "fearS" and I know I am "much-afraid,' often in facing life. But really, what AM I afraid of? And at base, WHY?

 

Today I noticed something. Whenever I bring my chair into some establishment and someone says "nice chair," or some such compliment, I always answer, "thanks, it's for a project I'm working on," or "thanks, I have to take it everywhere with me." I heard myself answer someone today like that and I walked away realizing this is a buffer. That woman didn't ask for any explanation. It's my way of normalizing the fact that there is a painted chair in our midst that doesn't really make sense. And I brought it. So I feel uncomfortable just letting it just BE there. Realizing this, I decided to change. So, I went out to dinner with my husband for our anniversary tonight (14 years!) and a couple people complimented the chair. "Thank you," I said.

 

How to explain how excruciating and exquisit this change feels... It IS clarifying. So it does feel like something clicks with the way to be in life. Yet, it strips away a buffer, an ancient protection I've used to keep myself feeling valid when someone notices me. When someone sees me. God, this is SO much about being visible for me. Just - being - seen...


Just thought I'd post an updated photo of the chair. Last night I painted "the water table" rising up the legs and lapping at the seat. Oh, and a tiny spider. Spider has to be there somewhere...

 

Yesterday was a real turning point. Carrying the chair is getting physically easier and it is easier to bring into places (today I carried it in my arms through Home Depot and came out with a gallon of Bondo and sandpaper on the seat) but emotionally it's becoming more of a challenge. I'm reading a lot of posts on FB and hearing a lot of people talking about Fear all of a sudden and I have to ask, why am I doing this? This is SO focusing everyone's attention on the fact that I am STILL burdened by fear. Nobody else is carrying a chair around! So why don't I just let it go? Stop carrying the chair and live life? It's tempting but it's just not time yet. It's humbling. This is very humbling. Perhaps that is part of why it's not time to stop. In a way perhaps I am being brought to my knees in humility as an alternative to being brought to my knees by fear. Hmm...

 

I will say too the chair connects me with people as much as it seems to keep people steering clear. Everyday I talk with at least a couple people who tell me something of their own life with Fear. Perhaps more people carry internal chairs than I like to think when I get all judgy of myself.