The butcherbird. Fearless and free. He visits my garden most days. I hear him before I see him. He has the most beautiful bird call that doesn't match his name. The butcherbird has a hook shaped beak that catches its prey with fierce determination. Like the butcherbird, I hope my students will always believe in themselves and soar higher than they ever thought possible.
Last week I was finally able to go back to school. It was the last week of school and there were only a few students in my class. We shared our fears and what changes we would like to see in the world. The coronavirus, racism, bullying and pollution dominated the conversation. It takes courage to talk about your fears and teenagers are usually reluctant to do so. There is always the concern that they will be ridiculed for speaking up. I reminded the students that you must never let fear hold you back from speaking your truth. Fear of what others think. Fear of being shamed. Fear of being different from others. We spoke about social media and the girls asked why I deleted all my accounts. They talked about their online bullying experiences and questioned why people just couldn't be kinder to each other. It wasn't until the end of the class the students asked me about photography. And that is when my fears subsided. The fear that I wouldn't be able to engage the class, the fear that the students wouldn't listen to what I was saying and they couldn't relate to me. I acknowledged my fears and let them go, for the fear of regret is far greater than the fear of trying.
We have all experienced these fears at some point, but I no longer choose fear or ego based decisions. I realised that what holds you back is fear. We can choose with fear or choose with love. A fear based choice, will for the most part never be the best choice for you. This includes choosing NOT to do something because you fear the outcome. That's probably the one that hurts the most. Instead of giving into fear, ask yourself what is this decision worth to you? Then you'll know the answer. Go within. Don't seek others opinions. Trust your heart, not your logic. Our ego mind will always try and keep us safe, feeding our fears. If you believe in something with all of your heart then take the risk. Vulnerability may feel daunting, but it is the only way to navigate fear. In the words of Carl Jung, if what you're doing is not working for you, it's where you haven't gone that is where you need to go.