Fear Vs. Passion

When we are passionate about something, what holds us back? Why does it take so long for some of us to really dive into our passion, or even find out what we are passionate about?

It seems to me that one of the main culprits is fear. Fear can be one of the most weakening emotions. Yet, oddly enough, for some people it can motivate and energize them.

I personally think it is quite interesting how emotions can affect people differently. For some people, fear is not something they hide from (think of thrill-seekers and horror movie enthusiasts). They may be scared of something, but they will seek it out or try to conquer it by doing it. For others though, fear can be the thing that stops them in their place. Frozen in fear, creating a barrier between them and progress. Every thought, every inaction, is revolved around that sense of fear and panic. I get it, because that is what has been happening to me.

It’s a little ironic that I say this, because I am a huge believer in mind over matter. That we are the master of our own mind and we have the ability to achieve what we think we can’t by changing the way we think. This is the power of positive thinking.

Yet here I am, knowing that I still let fear control some of the things I do, and essentially what I end up not doing.

I have always had a passion for the arts, and last night my husband looked at me and asked “What is it that you really want to do?” Which, to be honest, is one of the hardest questions for me to answer. As I grow, my answer keeps changing. I have however found one common thread to stay true; I love the Arts!

My main challenge is that the Arts encompass many fields, and I like them all! There is Photography, make-up, clothing design, drafting, woodworking, pottery, painting, drawing, writing, videography, music, and so much more.

Then he asked me the follow up question to my diluted listed answer: “If you could choose one to focus on which one would you choose?”

For me, this question is agony. Why would you make me choose? It is like a cruel and unusual punishment to make me pick from all these things that give me joy. But, unfortunately for me, my husband made a great argument as to why I should choose. It’s great to find joy in so many things, but in order to be successful in any one thing you need to narrow it down to just that: one thing.

Of course this is something I have heard thousands of times throughout my life. Just pick something and go for it! Work on it. Excel at it. I get it. But, I really didn’t want to get it, so it never happened. You might ask why I say that I didn’t want to get it, and it’s simple. I didn’t want to choose which thing I liked to do most, because I found joy in each area. However, what I have come to realize, is that choosing one subject to focus on does not mean I am neglecting or forgetting about the others. It more so means that I am going to focus on one thing. Practice it, fine tune it, and find my personal excellence within it.

I have always been afraid to write. Not journaling, which stays private, but any form that involves external readers. This blog, for instance, is my main example. It doesn’t take me long to come up with things to write about. Honestly, every night in bed my mind races with words and ideas that I would like to write down. The fear is what holds me back.

What am I so afraid of? Of being exposed, vulnerable, hated, ridiculed, and of baring my soul and being ultimately rejected. And you know what? These are all legitimate fears. Everyone has these fears. We are all human, and that carries with it the burden of complex emotions. That is okay.

As my daughter loves to say: “I am a person.”

I am beautifully complex.

I am afraid of putting it all out there and being rejected. But I have decided that I am going to work through it, and work past it, because it is okay to be afraid.

Let us not allow fear to control us.

Let us conquer our fears and find our passion!


The Bojo Beach Experience

Almost an hours drive to the west of Accra, a whole 15 GhC  allowed me into a little piece of paradise. Upon entering the resort gate we begin our journey with a short walk across a white foot bridge, with plenty of small fish and crabs scuttling across the wet sand below. The bridge ends at a pebble covered pathway, nestled between luxurious palm trees, and leading us to a boat dock just past the resort. The escape to Bojo Beach is marked with a canoe ride across a calm canal. Emerging from the swaying boat, our toes enjoy the warming comfort of the white soft sand. This peaceful, private gem is scattered with thatched umbrella-topped tables, complimented by wooden chairs. A security guard patrolling the island makes it feel safe and secure enough to leave our belonging on shore so we can take a dip in the ocean. The ocean licks the beach with its white foaming waves. Enjoying the salty water escape from the beaming sun is a treat unto itself. The water remains shallow for quite a distance. Wading out to my waist, the shoreline becomes a far sight, and the waves curl strongly against my back. With the undercurrent gaining its strength, we decide it is time to enjoy some local fare at the beach-side restaurant. Filling our stomachs with the delectable taste of chicken and rice, before returning to our sandy escape and laying in the sun.

At Bojo Beach we hear a tale of a popular hip hop artist named ‘Castro’ that went boating with a lady and was never heard from or seen again. This mystery was a big reason for the locals timidness in the water, too fearful to wade or swim too far into the ocean. Their fears of the tide taking them out to sea were in part validated by the strong undercurrent, encouraging us to go further than we cared to. The feeling of the beach is of a relaxed, peaceful nature. Tourists and locals alike were frolicking in the tidal waves or spread among the sand to let the sun’s rays darken their skin. In contrast to the safety and serenity of Bojo Beach, and located the opposite direction from the capital city of Accra, is the not-to-be-forgotten Boti Falls. Where visitors are welcomed into the land of elusive beauty, and our imagination is caressed by the wonder of what might lie beyond the next turn. Boti Falls rounds out an exploration of some of the most exquisite natural beauty around Accra, Ghana. Pleasing the soul and the timid adventurer in us all.

Please refer to my Boti Falls post for a glimpse into our hike to the falls.

Magic of the Falls

It was a hot, 30 degree, mid-afternoon trek through dense forest during the dry season. The west African climate was as unforgiving as any we have ever experienced. Though the temperature was high,  the ocean breeze that crept up the mountain made it manageable. Finding a reprieve beneath the shade of the tall, ancient, treetops, we joined the droves of locals who were also on a journey for a watery escape. Little did we know, the shaded relief was short-lived once we began our march down the 250 step pathway to our destination. Every step, and every turn, inviting us further with more lush, vivid, vegetation to admire. As we walk further down the mountain the air begins to cool and we can faintly hear the whooshing of the falling water. Just as it begins to feel like the staired journey down the hillside will never end, we turn a corner and are awarded with the first glimpse of Boti Falls.

It is a magnificent feeling, and our anticipation for our reward drives us forward. At the bottom of the cement steps the earth turns into a soft sand, forcing us to remove our shoes to continue at a pleasant pace. We spot a fallen tree and decide it is the perfect place to perch and place all our belongings. Settling on the long fallen timber, we let out a sigh of relief. We have made it! The forest around us opens up into a magical pool, being filled with water cascading over the cliffs over 30 meters above us. The set of waterfalls are believed to be male and female, the male being the larger of the two. They are a magnificent sight, straight out of a fairy tale, with lush jungle-like flora hugging the cliff face and trees sporadically emerging from the edge between the falls. The soaring waterfalls sweep into a calm swimming hole that is home to a large, slanted, flat-faced rock fit for mermaids to escape their watery depths.

Check out the following websites for more information:

Ghana Tourism: http://www.ghana.travel/

Boti Falls Resort: http://www.botifallsgh.com/

Autumn in the country

14114902_10157360386535274_2826204754260214935_oWet grass pads my feet as I look out into the countryside. Silence momentarily fills the air, there is no wind rustling the grass or the trees. Tails begin to flick, whipping at the pestering flies feasting on the horses’ coats. The field beside our little white house is home to an array of beautiful stallions and quarter horses. Colours ranging from browns, reds, grays, to a black and white painted breed. Each a stark contrast to the fields of green grass they are feasting on. Above a black crow flying past calls out to alert others of his presence. His calls echoing through the surrounding hills and into the valley below. As I breathe in, a moist cool air fills my lungs. It’s a peaceful autumn morning up on the hillside. The cloud covered sky refusing to allow the sun it’s glory of peaking through. Choosing instead to tease us with a sprinkle of rain. A toad lets out a deep bellowing call in the distance, enjoying his taste of the skies watery treat. Slowly the forest covering the hills begins to stir awake. Birds hidden in the woods begin to chirp and sing to one another in a calming chorus. The Mariah wind begins to speak her peace to the trees. Whispering sweet nothings and letting us know that it is time to start the day. In agreeance, I can hear the cattle begin their morning talks, mooing in the neighbor’s field. Deer emerge from the treeline, prancing coyly in search of their favourite meal. Mother Earth has agreed to share her spoils with them today, as I see them settle in a patch of alfalfa. With the white-tailed deer enjoying their breakfast feast, I decide it is time to retreat and let the animals eat and start their day in peace.