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Lessons from a volunteer clown.

Danger is real. Fear is not.

I went through a Spook House for the first time in my life. I tried going in when I was 8, and aborted the mission pretty quickly. So I decided, as any mature adult would, to conquer my childhood fear and enter into this clown filled, child infested haunted house. With every step, I repeated the mantra “Danger is real. Fear is not.” And guess what, here I am today, alive and well, and able to type this up.

One thing I’ve always believed is that children are much smarted than adults. They know what they love and they do it, no questions asked. They have incredible gut instincts when meeting people, because they haven’t built up the political sludge of being nice to the right people, or found motivation from the fear of burning bridges. They say what they feel, they don’t build up walls, and when they want something, they ask for it. As we grow up, we lose our love of raw, unarmored life, and gain this thing called “practicality”.

Let me let you in on a little secret. That’s adult for “safe”.

How many times in your own life have you ‘reasoned’ out of something you were excited to do. You know when you want to go somewhere or do something “for no reason”? The fact that you felt a pull to do so is reason enough. I think life is less of what you know and more of what you feel.

Just the simple feeling of wanting to do something would have worked for us when we were younger, wouldn’t it? We would wake up and feel like collecting bugs, and without making a pro and con chart of why we should or shouldn’t do that, we’d dive in head first until we had a proud looking bunch of beetles.

Point being, your fear is smothering that little you inside that’s bursting with zest and life-changing endeavours (and maybe those endeavours won’t be life-changing, but they add to the collection of experiences that make the irreplaceable mosaic of YOU) What’s the worst that can happen? Seriously.

A war-zone presents danger. Running across a highway presents danger. Juggling chainsaws present danger. Danger is very real and measurable, but danger is not fear, and fear is nothing.

Fear is something your adult mind made up to tuck you in, safe from vulnerability. Keep that V card friends, hold onto that vulnerability because it disintegrates fear and empowers that dreamy care-free kid in you – The one that isn’t afraid to make mistakes, or learn new things ,or look silly trying something they just might love.

Look at your personal mountain in all its glory and say “In your face, Fear. I’ve got you all figured out. Now get out of my way”.

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