i recently decided to move to squamish. and then decided not to. and now that i’m on the other side of both decisions, i see the greater pattern of it all — of fear versus intuition.
a few weeks ago, when i needed to give an answer on whether i was taking the room or not, i voice messaged a friend of mine explaining the opportunity. the room was cheap for the area. in a house with a best friend of mine. fully furnished. had the potential to be temporary to give me space to figure out my next movements. in a beautiful mountain town near the ocean. if you listened to the voice message now, you would hear the unease + that i was heavily in my head, not in how it felt in my body. i was clinging to how it sounded — because let’s be honest, a cheap, fully furnished room in squamish with my best friend… how could it get any better than that?
my friend voice messaged me back with something along the lines of, “you know what you want. you know what you need to do.”
so i decided to take the room, messaged everyone i needed to, and took off on a camping trip for a few days. i still didn’t have a canadian number sussed so i was essentially unreachable (which is one of my love languages).
we sat in the same spot for days. family. friends. friends of friends. listening to the sound of the water that we all know so well, the water that raised us and has watched us grow. and even though i was surrounded by nature and with people that make me feel safe, i felt the fear creep in. i was scared to tell them. i felt the anxiety, the kind that lives in your chest and makes it feel like it is expanding with a pressure that leaves no room for your breath. no room to connect to your body. no room to feel grounded.
and i wasn’t listening to it. i told myself i was excited — and i was. it is a magical area. i have connections there. i was going to live with my best friend. but i was also overextending to everyone else asking what i should do. i was met with a mix of “you just got home”s and “i don’t want you to get stuck in salmo”s. i felt like a pinball machine, bouncing back and forth from agreeing that i need more time, and that 2 months in my small town is enough. but of course, the anxiety was a sign to go inward. not outward. and it only grew with intensity the more i sought out the opinions of others.
the opportunity sounded so. damn. good. on paper. but it didn’t feel good in my body. and when i told people about the move, the questions and uncertainties came to surface with more ease than the excitement did. i know that feeling uncertain is the unspoken truth about everything in life (mark groves). but i wasn’t uncertain about what i want. i’ve scripted it out. i want to live slow. to work a retail or barista gig. to have spaces to move my body and nurture my spiritual side. to have community to connect and grow within. to dive deeply into writing and creativity, and all that comes easily to me. i was just uncertain of where in the world i wanted to get after it.
the more honest i was with myself, the more the anxiety grew. because i didn’t only fear making a decision. i also feared sharing the mess of it all with my community. i didn’t want to let people down. sometimes having an anxious attachment system shows up in my friendships in ways of fearing being open and honest. i don’t want to lose love. but, of course, being open won’t lead to this. it will actually do the opposite. it will strengthen and deepen the love that is meant to stay.
i know now that the anxiety was the tension of trying to go down two lanes at once, of not listening to what i truly wanted, and giving permission for other’s perspectives of my movements to carry more weight than my own. i want to move and live with my best friend. but i also want to be in my small town and soak up the slowness of it all. the former was what i thought i should do, and something that i deeply want — but isn’t something that aligns right now. the latter is what feels good right now. and that is okay. if you need more time, take it. make it. ask for it. and if you want to go. go. it is all alright.
in our search for clarity amidst the fog of trying to distinguish between intuition and fear, there are two ways out that we consistently miss. the first is that very often the fear is of the intuition itself. fear of that which would ask us to trust ourselves and move forward boldly in a new and unknown direction. (emma rose tait)
i used to say i had decidophobia. instead of feeling empowered and grateful by choice, and recognising the abundance of it all, i was paralysed by it. i felt like opportunities were happening to me, not for me. and if it didn’t feel aligned, the fear of what other people thought would flow through my body as fast as my heart would beat.
trust is a muscle that i’m still learning to stretch. strengthen.
the process is not so much fearlessness as it is giving the courage and faith a louder voice. so, if you are navigating the potential discomfort of making a decision, do that. trust your lane and listen to the pull. there is a reason you’re being pulled to it or away from it. it’s all a signal for you to sink deeper into your connection with yourself and the world around you. and it’s okay for it to keep shifting. it always will. sit down and write out what lives in your heart. what do you want? what do you need? what are your values? how do you want to feel? and you will see, oh so quickly, if the decision fits in your heart with ease, or if you have to shake and twist and turn it for it to nestle itself neatly. as my friend said, you’ll know what you need to do.
since making the decision to not move, and having the hard and messy and uncomfortable conversations with my community, shifts have been unfolding with ease. but of course they have been, right? because when you commit to moving towards the unknown, when you release the clinging to things and stories, the tension relaxes and you make space to receive. you make space for your intuition to breathe. you make room for other opportunities to appear — not better. not worse. just opportunities. and it will feel like the biggest exhale. because you broke through an old pattern. you listened. and your chest will expand with your breath again.
as i’m writing this at the cafe in my little town, a man with a walking aid passed by heading toward the washroom. he walked very, very slowly, with a combination of hesitance and grace. i said, “hi.” he said, “i’m slow but i get there.”
i said, “slow is good.”
and of course, here are some words that lived within the fog of the fear x
the anxiety + squirming that comes
with setting boundaries
lean into it and let it help you expand.
the more you set them, the more
you choose to have the hard conversations
the sooner you will rewrite the pattern.
the less the anxiety will show up.
and the more you will trust it all.
when you overextend and ask everyone else
instead of going inward and asking yourself
you know you are disconnected.
drop in to what grounds you.
dip your toes in the water. put your feet in the soil. breathe. have a bath. move your body. go for a drive. dance. walk slowly in nature.
instead of asking others
create space and time
to ask you.
allow the space to fill up with honest answers.
and own them.
even if its not what you originally thought you wanted
even if its not what they think you should do.
honesty breaks you out of the cage of fear.
so does courage.
i know you worry about them and their needs
about how your change of heart
will impact them
but what if you worried about your own?
what if you had your own back?
if you trusted your decisions how you trust others, what would you do?
where would the fear go?
you know it would dissolve.
if you are certain in your movements
in how you navigate opportunities
there is no room for fear.
no one will question your decisions the way you do.
if you allow yourself to make them
with compassion and ease.
the energy that you radiate from it all.
people will receive it. they’ll sense the grace.
and you will start to sink into it
and leave the fear behind.
this is your permission slip to be honest
with your movement
and to know that honesty will attract what is meant to come
and meant to stay
and leave out all the rest.