Susan Jeffers

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A 'Feel the Fear' Story

Fly Away

I am an abstract artist living and working in India.

I grew up in a much protected background in India, and being a girl, even more so. My family always saw to it that I was never alone and there was always someone to oversee me. They never let me travel alone or; if I had to; a male presence was always required. It suffocated me and I yearned to break free from this environment. I wanted to try and use my as yet unused wings and fly away in the distance.

Finally, an opportunity arrived in the form of an invitation to be a part of an International Art exhibition in Europe. Of course, everybody was happy for me and every other person wanted to accompany me. This is when I realised that it was now or never.If I don't try my wings out now, I would never fly and always walk on the ground.

Life always presents you with opportunities to go beyond your fears and comfort zones. But it is left to each individual whether she will succumb to her fear or not. I was afraid of travelling all alone for the first time, outside my country, but I knew I had to do it. Not for anything else but to gain confidence in myself and to find the strength within me to survive on my own. At home, I put my foot down against all opposition to my decision.  Finally, my family gave in realising that I was a hard nut to crack after all.

I cupped my fear in the palm of my hand as I boarded my plane and let it out into open skies above. I experienced the most amazing, enlightening and powerful journey. I not only managed to survive on my own, but thrive as well.

On my return, as I stepped off the plane, I knew I was a changed woman who had eventually found herself and the immense fountain of strength that lies within each one of us, if only we care to look for it.

Humfreesh, Auroville, India