By Lyndsey Hafer-Williams
Mar 10, 2018,
The notorious F word.
The simple thought of it can cause consternation and controversy, not to mention uttering it out loud! That word can force a Southern Belle to reach for her smelling salts, a Society Matron to reach for her book of Emily Post, and a Sinner to reach for her Bible! It can cause the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. Yes, folks, I’m talking about the biggest F bomb of them all.
I’m talking about FEAR.
I have always lived with fear. It was fear of failure, of success, of falling short, of God, of people, of places, of judgment, of disappointing others, and even fear of myself. As you can imagine, this is not a pleasant way to exist, and it is most certainly a detriment to finding true happiness.
Fear is an extraordinary emotion and it can be helpful in the times that we need it. It keeps our eyes open, ears alert, mind sharp, and the blood pumping and ready for that fight or flight. However, sometimes fear becomes so all encompassing that it can hijack your life and control all your actions. If you let it.
As a young child, I learned to fear adults. I grew up in a small town, attended a religious school and its adjoining church, and was part of a very close-minded community. I was taught to fear God, fear authority, and fear retribution for speaking my truth. It’s no wonder I began “keeping quiet” by shoveling food into my mouth.
A particularly vivid memory is when, following a horrific and unfortunately habitual encounter in the church basement, I went into one of the Sunday School classrooms and ate five whole boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes that were being stored as treats for the next week. I was six years old.
As a young teenager, I learned to fear food. Placed on every diet in the book by my image-conscious mother (she had me on the scale at age eleven!), I became obsessed with counting calories, fat, carbohydrates, starch, sugar, and pretty much any edible food-like substance. I was overweight, but I was also starving. Constantly hungry and continually trying to fill my empty belly and sad heart, I ate a tremendous amount of food.
I ate to soothe my screaming soul, calm my racing mind, and heal my broken spirit. I don’t remember when the eating in secret began. I just know food was my only comfort, my reliable friend, and even my savior in those bleak days. I have too many memories of bingeing huge amounts of junk food, always in secret, and always, always with the fear of being caught.
As a young adult, I learned to fear failure. I would work my ass off to find recognition and accomplish goals. Mostly, I succeeded, but often I did not. My pleasure at achieving success was greatly tempered by the fear of failing at the next thing I tried to do. I never felt good enough. I never felt like I measured up. I never felt okay just being me. At one point, I was absolutely terrified of succeeding for fear of it all falling apart.
On the other hand, if I truly didn’t succeed at whatever it was I was trying to accomplish, then it was as if my greatest fear of being a complete fraud at life was being realized after all. The harder I tried to succeed, the worse I failed and the more scared I became. What if my mother was right and I really was nothing? Self-sabotage became my only way to keep the fear of failure at bay. If I wasn’t successful, then I had nothing to lose.
Fear is a never-ending cycle of regret and heartache. It’s insidious and it can feel almost impossible to wriggle out of its terrifying grasp! But you know what?
You can tell FEAR to back the fuck off, sit down, and shut the hell up!
You can rise so far above all your FEARS that you can play in the billowy clouds, fly with the angels, or shout “Hallelujah!” while sliding down a brilliant rainbow into the soft welcoming arms of happiness! You can sit up, stand up, rise up, and lift yourself up (and others) so high that you’re soaring on the cottony wings of sheer bliss. You can be invincible! You can be masterful! You can be outstanding! Oh my goodness! Do you even KNOW what you can accomplish if you let go of FEAR? MotherFucker! The life you can have is absolutely astonishing, completely astounding, and stupendously amazing!
It took many years, lots of therapy, and a gazillion attempts to climb out of the muck and the mire but I did it! For me, the final piece of the puzzle came together seven months ago when I found Clean Food Dirty Girl and their weekly meal plans and said Fuck off to Fear! I dove head first into a new way of eating, a new way of life, and a new way of being in this world. I’ve lost weight, gained energy, gotten rid of some medications, and found pure unadulterated pleasure in batch cooking for myself, my family, and my friends.
Fear still rises up in me occasionally, I suppose it always will, but now I’ve learned to put that bastard back in its place. I’ve tasted a delicious new life without fear and there is positively no going back. I’ve discovered that when you live a life without fear calling the shots, you can fully live a life of OUTRAGEOUS JOY!
I invite you to step out of your fear, throw open your perfect heart, and invite in the biggest, boldest, bravest, most beautiful life YOU can dream! And then, stand back and watch a life beyond your wildest imagination become impossibly true!
Thank you Lyndsey for sharing your goose-bump inducing words and message. You are a gift to the world.
We get lots of questions about popcorn over in the best Facebook group ever: how to make it without oil, which toppings to add, how to make that shit stick…so this week I’m sharing with you my go to recipe for the ultimate whole food plant based snack. This is what I whip up when it’s movie night at my house. I hope you enjoy!
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (20g)
- 1 heaping tablespoon raw walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules (or powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (105g)
- Braggs Liquid Aminos in a spray bottle
- Add the nutritional yeast, walnuts, garlic granules and smoked paprika to your blender and blend until there are no walnut chunks. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside for now.
- Pop the popcorn kernels in a hot air popper and catch the popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.
- Spray some liquid aminos on the popcorn, folding the popcorn over with your hands, so that all the popcorn gets some spray. You may want to do this in two separate mixing bowls if your bowl isn’t big enough. Get the popcorn nice and sprayed so the seasonings stick to it.
- Sprinkle all or most of the seasoning mix that you set aside earlier over the popcorn and gently mix so that it’s evenly(ish) distributed.
- Turn on Netflix and proceed to chillax.
- Makes about 14 cups (80g)
- It's important that you use Bragg Liquid Aminos in a spray bottle. This is the only way to get a small amount ALL OVER the popcorn, making it possible for the seasoning mix to stick to it. Here is a picture of the spray bottle so you know what to look for.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with telling the F word to fuck off.