Peel the fear…

fIn an excellent feature in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph – Short Cuts to Self Help – Victoria Lambert gave us a quick run through of the most enduring self help books on the market. I was pleased to see Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world was deemed the most helpful by psychologist Hilary Bruffell. I have been practising mindfulness meditation for a few weeks now and have mentioned on this blog before that meditation (albeit TM) is now recommended by the American Heart Association for bringing down blood pressure.

But also featured was Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway… which, as I tried to imagine applying this to one of my phobias – driving on the motorway – immediately had the effect of filling me with fear. Probably not a book I would want to read then.

But maybe we should all start by facing small fears first?

On Friday I picked up a wonderful looking recipe by Rachel Khoo for what she calls Crunchy Kale and Citrus Salad. What does this have to do with any of the above, you may well be wondering if indeed you are still reading. Well, quite a lot it turns out. Yes, it surprised me too. But, by yesterday evening, after I’d been thinking about Rachel’s recipe on and off for 24 hours, and had now read Victoria’s feature, I realised I was afraid of attempting it. The reason? She wants us to segment one grapefruit and one orange by cutting between the membranes. That shouldn’t be so hard. I know it’s the correct thing to do. But I have never attempted it. I have seen my husband do it – but have, I now realize, built up a fear of doing it myself. I am convinced I will end up with a bowl full of citrus pulp – and hands covered in squidge. So by last night I had decided the only way to make it without Steve’s help would be to invite a friend round to help me make the supper I was going to give her!
I have now found a way round this. I am going to buy some oranges and grapefruits and PRACTISE, blender at the ready in case they have to be turned into juice.

Long ago a friend said I should apply the same “start small” approach to motorway driving. Travel one junction, in the slow lane, for example. I still haven’t tried that.

This week I interviewed a life-long couch potato who took up running at the age of 40. She started with 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, for just ten minutes. I could do that. And – if my 78 year old mother and disabled 70-something friend can fearlessly drive on the motorway – then surely I could do that too.

But I will start with the oranges and grapefruits.