leatherer

People talk about being fearless all the time. We see it on social media, marketing ads, tv, you name it. There are quotes and images about strength and power and success telling you to be fearless everywhere! But what’s the path to get to that state?

The definition of fearless in the dictionary:  fear·less – lacking fear.

In my life, I ‘ve been uncomfortable, annoyed, frustrated, anxious and fearful. And I can recall just about every experience when I felt those feeling too. You would think I’d  want to forget them, block them out and put them as far away in my mind as they could possibly go until they are non-existent…almost. But here’s the thing that our brains trick us with. Those feelings are never non-existent. You can block them completely from your memory but your mind will just store them away into that vault you think you’ve created in your mind or maybe they get re-routed to that vault you don’t even know your mind has created to protect you from some of those fears.

 

When we experience fear, it tends to stick with us and then we are forced into a fight or flight mode where we must make a decision. Take control and face the fear vs. avoid it, run from it, ignore it or you could even manipulate it into something you want it to be as an excuse to make it ok to keep the fear alive. Our minds are way more complex than we realize and our sub-conscience stores all this stuff away that we don’t even realize is there and it becomes a part of who we are.  It can even create fears we don’t even know exist.

 

There was a time I thought people that did great things, big things, courageous things – had some special gift. That they had more confidence than me, were stronger, smarter and that they were fearless. I thought fearless was this great quality to have and it is to some extent.

 

But one day something happened in my life, specifically my career, that caused me to have fear, frustration, anxiety and it challenged me so much that it felt like a fire in my soul that I had no choice but to ignite and conquer.  I wanted to punch it right in the face,  I wanted to overcome it and tell it to be afraid of ME!  I so badly wanted to overcome this fear and all the other uncomfortable feelings it brought with it.

 

I struggled for days and debated what I would do, it was a decision that would change my career path and although the emotional voice inside me kept saying “walk away, you can’t do this”.  The fearful-courageous person inside me said,  “you have no choice BUT to do this, you MUST conquer this and only then, will it go away. Conquer it and your going to feel proud and strong and most importantly you will grow”.  And I did. I smashed it, I put that fear to bed permanently and it felt amazing. Once I realized how good it felt to grow from fear, all I wanted to do was face ALL of my fears and keep building my self-empire, the best version of myself that I could be. Because that’s what overcoming your fears does. It creates a better version of yourself and it just keeps going and going.

 

So there are three key things that have become my live-by rules since all that stuff happened. I’m sharing them because they changed my thinking and my thought process in my work life and in my personal life and they just might help you too.

1 . Courageous cannot exist without trepidation.
If you really want to know what courageous feels like on a level you’ve not experienced. Challenge yourself to face a fear that truly makes you feel uncomfortable. When we are in our most uncomfortable situations is truly where we learn and grow as a person. So if you think you are truly fearless – you’re not really growing. Go find something that makes you feel uncomfortable and blast it!

2 .  When you feel weak, you are still strong.

You can overcome anything you set your mind to. If that emotional voice in your head is saying “No you can’t” remind yourself that it’s just an emotion and you are in control of your emotions. Don’t let your emotional self talk you into making an excuse to hold on to your fears like a security blanket. Get out there and take control of your emotional self and tell it to shut the hell up because you’ve got some great courageous things you’re about to do so get out of your own way!

3 .  Have a support system and use it.

It’s totally okay to share your fears with others and ask them to help you overcome them. It’s actually a requirement in my live-by rules. When I go through things that make me question myself, my abilities, my confidence…I share these with the people in my life that want me to succeed as much as I want myself to succeed and that is key! As much as we would all like to believe we are surrounded by love and rainbows, there are people that can really lead you down the wrong mental path and they come in all kinds of disguises. So make sure the people in you’re support system are trustworthy, accountable and they’re your cheerleaders and make sure you are theirs!

If you give back as much as you get from your support system. Well, that’s a reward that requires a whole new blog post. All I can say is be prepared for great things and get ready for them to keep coming. 

So here’s is my daily checklist:

  • Today I will strive to be the best version of me that I can be.
  • I will give back to my support system as much or more than I receive.
  • I will find something to fear and conquer and I’ll have the courage to do it again tomorrow.

 

 

Why I decided to start a blog..

I have always loved to write. I love writing utensils of all kinds as well as journals, a new journal to me is almost as satisfying as buying a new pair of shoes. The fresh new smell of the paper as I anticipate the words that will soon be on it. Just like exercising or stretching out a stiff body and getting it to loosen up, writing does the same for my brain.

Writing allows me to go places I would not go out loud. A safe space to pour out my fears, tears, joy, anger, whatever it is that I want to release, I can put it on paper and feel relief. I love reading blogs, what I did not anticipate is how absolutely terrifying it would be to write my own. I have so much respect for the millions of people that put their life and thoughts out there for the world to see. However, one blog post really got me thinking about what I want my life to be like five years from now?  502-773-7224 – Douglas’ journey to define the human element –  is a fun blog about life and the many human elements that make our lives unique, connect us beyond electronics and the world around us. By the time I finished this particular post, I was pondering my own life, brand and the adventures on my bucket list I have yet to check off. If you like to travel or wish you could, I suggest you follow the human element Instagram feed as well. Douglas will take you along on his many adventures and will have you pondering about life, health, travel, and self-awareness.

So why am I writing a blog when it terrifies me? I’m writing a blog because I have overcome things I never thought I would. I have made a resolve to not look back at the past and waste time saying coulda, woulda, shoulda. I’m writing a blog because there is a voice inside me saying someone will benefit from my words,  someone will feel comfort in knowing they are not alone and will be brave enough to keep going because the light at the end of the tunnel is always there, it’s really always there. You just have to keep moving forward, don’t look back and never, ever, doubt yourself even when doubt seems to be the only feeling you seem to have.

People say you should have a niche if you’re going to write a blog. Life is my niche. I’ll categorize my stories and hopefully, my readers will be able to find topics they want to read about and get something good to take away.

If you’re reading this, thanks for joining me on my journey. Please subscribe and I hope I give you some little nuggets of wisdom or if nothing else, I make you laugh at life the way I do…that’s something very special in my opinion.

Buttermilk & Biscuit’s

Some foods are so comforting to the body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey…

It’s been said that a positive experience with a given food can influence our craving for it later on.  I have always had an addiction to buttermilk biscuits. The smell as they rise in the oven and turn a golden brown. My grandmother would make them fresh every day for my grandpa and uncles. At 5 am in the morning the smell of her biscuits would wake me. I knew the kitchen table would be full of men by 6 am and it was far too early for me to be up. So I would lay there taking in the smell and fall back to sleep. I think the comfort of her cooking would always put me in a restful happy kind of mood.

My grandma passed away in 2010. She didn’t have much, she had lived a simple life in her older years. When my mom asked me if there was anything I wanted, her black iron skillets were the only thing that came to mind, so my mom and I each took one and I stored mine away, intimidated to try and make biscuits or cornbread like hers. But, time is not guaranteed to any of us and 2017 was a year of great loss in my family which reminded me of that iron skillet so this month I decided I would get it out and use it and hoping I could bring back that feeling of comfort that so many times I felt in the midst of my grandmas cooking and her buttermilk biscuits.

The most important thing you need to know about making buttermilk biscuits is you absolutely must be gentle with the dough, don’t knead it too much!  In fact, knead it as little as possible to get the best rise. Grandma would use her bare hands, adding the dry ingredients first then making a well in the center, she would add the lard and slowly add in the buttermilk. I’d watch her hands in the dough, light and feathery as if she were handling something precious and delicate.

Once the consistency was to her liking, she would turn out the dough on to a floured surface and gently move and shape it, preparing to cut it into biscuits. The results were always the same every time, light fluffy and airy, steam rising as you cut into the side of the biscuit to add whatever you wanted. It was a beautiful thing.  My first batch of biscuits looked more like scones. I had kneaded and handled the dough too much and I was nervous, so if you know the consistency of a scone you know that my biscuits were more like hockey pucks. But I didn’t give up. I started watching Youtube videos to understand the handling of the dough and then I just started trying out all types of biscuit recipes. On a mission to find the best one.

So what’s the Best buttermilk biscuit recipe?

So, out of all the recipes I tried, this is my favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe and although my grandma would roll her eyes because it’s definitely not the southern way of making biscuits,  it’s the best recipe I found for me and the biscuits turn out amazing every time. There is also a delicious savory version, the cheddar and chive buttermilk biscuit recipe. Oddly enough the website I found this recipe on is not Southern at all but that part doesn’t matter to me as long as my biscuits turn out amazing and delicious like my grandmas. The Cafe Sucre Farine is where my journey ended on the hunt for the perfect buttermilk biscuits, I encourage you to try the recipe and tell me what you think.

The lessons learned from comfort food

In the end, my biggest learning was this, the buttermilk biscuits were only part of the experience. The bigger comfort I gained was from my grandma. She was the main ingredient that really made these so very special to me and the experience of watching her make them, eating alongside her as she would close her eyes with the very first bite and savor her own memories of comfort, this was our connection to each other and those from days past. Food is not just for the gain of nutrition, it’s a universal language that is shared wherever we are and whoever we are with and sometimes it is the most comforting thing of all.