Living Fully Alive
My wife, Layla, and I met in 2003. I was a full-time touring musician and she worked in concert promotion. We were both young, chasing dreams, and living fully alive. We got married in 2004, and the possibilities of where life could take us seemed endless.
completely out of the blue, Layla experienced a panic attack that would change the trajectory of our lives.
Fear, or maybe I should say the avoidance of fear, became the controlling factor of every decision we made. For years.
I want to share some of the things we’ve learned about fear as we’re navigating this journey from fearful to fully alive.
Everyone Feels Fear
Fear is normal. It’s the normal response to unpredictable situations. We’ve all felt it, and we’ll almost certainly all feel it again.
The goal is not to live the rest of our lives without ever feeling fear. That’s not a realistic possibility.
The goal is to see it for what it is and not let it stop us from living life to its fullest potential.
Fear is just your brain trying to protect you. The problem is that it’s not always very good at determining what is actually dangerous and what is not. Our human nature is to crave feelings of security, preparedness, confidence, and certainty. When we find ourselves in a situation absent of any one of those feelings, our brain triggers fear.
Brain: Unknown = unsafe, do not engage!
The problem for most of us is that the person we most want to become, and the life we most want to live, is on the other side of uncertainty. Unfortunately, we can’t go around, over, or under the unknown. We must go through it.
This requires change, and change demands that we grow. Growing is uncomfortable because it leaves us vulnerable, unequipped, unsure, and/or possibly embarrassed. In order to change we have to dive into uncharted territory with no guarantees. We’re almost certain to fail at times.
Accepting this is the way through.
A shift happens when the desire, to become someone or overcome something, becomes greater than the fear. When the victory becomes worth the battle. This is the tipping point of change.
Over the last two years I’ve watched my wife Layla slowly (but surely) step into the unknown. One small, uncomfortable step at a time. In an effort to help others who are also interested in personal growth, she also wrote a book called Coming Home.
In it, she shares the details of her circuitous, hard-fought journey and through soul-suffusing stories, inspiring imagery, curative quotes, helpful research, and restorative family recipes, she hopes to help readers:
· feel calmer, clearer, and better equipped to handle stress
· tap into the healing power of nature
· move past the things that are holding you back
· reconnect with the home of who you are
Anchored in hope, Coming Home bravely demonstrates how you can overcome adversity, soften to your whole self, build a place of belonging, and live fully alive.
Layla bears her whole soul in this book and the inside is as beautiful as the cover.
“Told through Layla’s signature voice of depth and whimsy, Coming Home is somehow both eye candy and Sunday dinner. Read this and be nourished. Hold onto these pages until they’re tattered and time-worn. That’s my plan.” - Shannan Martin, author of Start with Hello and The Ministry of Ordinary Places
I had the pleasure of working alongside her in the process and contributed five essays from my perspective. My hope is that they add value and comfort readers who may be in the midst of a stressful season. If any of this resonates with you, I hope you’ll give it a read.
I read a LOT of books, but few have taken me on the healing journey that Coming Home has. I may be biased, but I think it’s one of the best and most unique personal growth books on the market.
The book comes out on November 21 2023, and you can pre-order it: HERE
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