‘We’re sailing to Cuba on Monday. Why don’t you join us?’ Claire said.
On the outside, I was nodding. Cuba has long been a dream destination.
Then there was this ‘inside woman’, stifling dry-mouthed screams of ‘I can’t swim, I hate water and the last time I went on a boat I spent three hours with my head in a bucket…’
I told Claire I’d think about it…
If you’ve read my blog you’ll know I have a braver alter-ego called Lois. Being Lois is shorthand for doing the stuff that Sarah would run screaming from.
Like getting on a yacht to Cuba.
I don’t normally mix in yachty circles. We had met Claire and her husband Allan by a series of chance happenings. Their invitation was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; I should have fallen at Claire’s feet in a frenzy of gratitude. Lois would have done…
Easy answer really; it was plain old fear that stemmed from a childhood near-drowning episode in a slimy municipal pool. I never bothered with water much after that.
So what exactly was I scared off? Falling overboard and being gang-slimed by manta rays? Or worse, emerging with wet hair and no hairdryer onboard?
In the bleak wake of a crap night’s sleep, truth dawned: I didn’t want to go because I might spend the entire 30 hour passage throwing up in public. Oh, the humiliation. And I wasn’t entirely sure of the etiquette – their bucket or mine?
Fear is a funny old thing. Jenny Eaton, who presents the Eos Programme, sums it up in the clever acronym ‘False Events Appearing Real’. You know, that thing we do, imagining hideous disasters so we turn down a free trip to Cuba, like a complete dork.
So I said yes. Claire plied me with Kwells and I wasn’t the slightest bit queasy on the 170 nautical mile trip from Grand Cayman to Cuba. Sailing aboard Moonstone with Claire and Allan and my husband Luke was one of the most exhilarating, fear-busting adventures to date.
To think I nearly didn’t go…
So what has this taught me? I guess it’s that fear is just a word for a projected outcome of something that hasn’t happened, but from the worst possible angle. It can be rethought.
It taught me to do whatever it takes and BELIEVE it will work. For me that was the pills. And to concentrate hard on the positive outcome – before I got on the boat I closed my eyes and really felt myself there in Cuba, imagined the colour, the cars, the music. (And yes, it was every bit as astonishing as I thought it would be.)
I don’t give life advice, I’m not qualified to do that (though you can ask me one on shoes any day).
I just tell it how it was for me.
And in doing so I hope some of that ‘If I can face my fears, so can you’ thing might rub off.
Because my real name is Sarah, but it’s much much much more fun Being Lois. xxx
Until next time,
I learned some great stuff about living a Being Lois kind of life via The Eos Programme, a life-changing motivational course for women. Workshops are held in Norwich with regular free, no hard sell tasters.
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