Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Which wolf do you feed?



"But what about work?"
This question has been directed to me countless times over the last few weeks. Ever since we announced that we are going to move, people want to know if I have a job secured, or assume I already do. Because that's the kind of person I am: Reliable, sensible, not prone to doing anything rash, always with a plan.

(Except for that time when I dropped out of college and moved halfway around the world to live with a silver-bearded father of four. Not sensible at all.) 

However, I have been forced to admit that I don't have a job yet. Over and over, people ask me, and over and over, I have to tell them: No, I don't have a job. As of January 1st, I won't know where my next pay cheque is coming from. The way things are looking right now, there won't be a pay cheque.

This is not the first time in my life I find myself in this situation. So far, everything has always worked out. Yet, this time seems more daunting, not least because of the reactions I have received when I admit that I don't have every aspect of my new life worked out yet:
"You need to work, or you'll lose your skills!"
"What about your seniority?"
"What about your pension?"
"What will you do?"
"What if you won't find anything?"

It's all my secret fears and worries come to life, staring at me with varying degrees of concern, probably wondering how a grown-up woman can be so irresponsible.

The conservative side in me worries about this. That's why I am so affected by it when others ask me. I understand that they do - I would probably do the same, if I were in the situation.

Luckily, thankfully, there is also another side in me. Next to the conservative, planning-for-retirement, need-to-be-careful, fearful part of my personality, there is also an adventurous, trusting, optimistic one. Sometimes that part of me is small. So small in fact, that I forget that it's there. It's being drowned out by the questions, by my own thoughts, by the way I was brought up and by the environment I live in.
But it's there. And when I take the time to search for it, to listen inside me and to give it room, it comes out. All it needs is a bit of nurturing.

All of us have two sides in us. Life is made up of opposites: Good and bad, darkness and light, fear and courage. I think the secret is to find balance between the two sides. Letting one take over creates an instability in our life that will literally make us stumble.
Balance is what we strive for in yoga - and yoga, to me, is an interpretation of life.


The adventurous side of me was strong in the summer, but has been overshadowed by her conservative counterpart lately. While being careful is important, it has taken over and interferes with my joy for life.

But then I remembered the legend of the two wolves:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This story never fails to lift me up. It's a reminder that we may not always have a choice about what happens to us, but we do have a choice how we deal with it.
I chose to feed the fear and worry inside me.

But now I choose to feed hope, trust, light and courage.

Everything will be alright.



Top image found on Pixabay, a free archive of beautiful stock photos.

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8 comments

  1. You know this move is the right thing for you now. Which means that it's just going to work out. The great thing is, you don't have to know how, you just have to know that it will.

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    1. That's such great advice: "you don't have to know how, you just have to know that it will." Thanks Karen! We tend to think that we have to have it all figured out, but it's impossible. It's one step at a time, having trust and faith, and enjoying the journey, not the destination.

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  2. I love that story. There will always be doubters. It will all work out. Maybe you will reinvent yourselves in this new chapter! As long as you are happy, does anything else matter?

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    1. You are so right. Trying to figure it all out before you are even there is silly. And impossible. I have no doubt in my mind that wherever I go with my man and my dogs, I can be happy!
      Thanks Mary!

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  3. I love that story. Yes we have a choice on how we choose to react to our situations and circumstances. We can choose to look at it as something positive or negative. React with fear or love. What a great reminder.

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    1. I love it too. It gives us power to take back control over our lives when it feels like we are powerless. We aren't! We can make the best out of any situation in life if we want to.

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  4. Lovely post and you're right–everything will be alright. You're feeding the right wolf!

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    1. I think so. And I think you are, too! Choosing a life of creativity may seem like choosing a difficult life, but you and I know that it's totally worth it! We just have to keep on feeding our creative wolf ;-)

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