I recently took a trip down to London Ealing for training to work as a volunteer at the London Screenwriters’ Festival.
Initially I assumed that the training day would involve just meeting the others involved, assigning lists, learning times, names and titles, but it was in fact nothing like that.
The training day, as it turned out, wasn’t training to know exactly what we will need for the festival, but it was in fact training to BE exactly what we will need for the festival.
Chris Jones, our leader and Creative Director of the whole event, lead us in becoming the best team and individuals possible—as much for our personal gain as for that of the festival.
Chris shared with us the truths about life that are so easily overlooked, breaking myths about looking good, fear and the ‘stories’ we all carry with us.
What do we fear? Attention, social interaction, failure, loss, danger, hurt, success, disappointment, the unknown, snakes, spiders, bananas, ghosts—you name it!
But what in this life do we really have to be afraid of? Physical danger is perhaps the only major fear that should be taken seriously – it is what stops us walking in front of cars, attempting to cuddle crocodiles and standing in fire.
But we discovered that, if you give up your limitations (including your negative beliefs, your pointless fears and your self-doubt), you really can do a lot. You can even walk on fire!
If you can walk across fire and not get hurt or face your fears down and walk across broken glass, then what can’t you do?
It was those experiences that really put my thoughts into perspective.
I have wasted time afraid of so many things when, it turns out, I could even face and survive the fears of things that COULD hurt me.
I walked barefoot over glass and fire… so why was I afraid of pursing my goals/asking for that opportunity/joining in/having fun?
During the course of that training day we also realised the incredible strength of vulnerability. We openly and honestly told each other the things we wanted, the things we feared and shared, as a team, our stories and experiences that had shaped us into who we are.
It was a beautiful, touching and eye-opening experience to watch as, with each person’s ‘confession’, we grew more in awe of the courage and diversity that surrounded us. I was blown away to see the souls of the people who minutes earlier had been strangers I was too shy to talk to, and I was so grateful that they embraced me just the same when it came to my turn to speak.
I wish that I could share and replicate the feeling of that day for you all. What Chris shared with us was the gift of ourselves. He opened our eyes to the truth that was in us all along.
We are all good enough.
We are all strong enough.
We will not be unloved for being ourselves.
There is no danger in being human.
There is strength in weakness.
We can do anything—including walking on fire!
I don’t want to discuss too much about the day, but I want to share with you all a promise I made while I was there.
I promised to encourage everyone around me in the same ways that I was encouraged that day. To look people in the eye, honestly and openly and to not let that imagined fear taint the human interactions I will have.
And that promise is extended to all of my readers here. That’s why I run this site. I wanted to make a place where I could share my growth and help other people to grow and learn with me.
So let’s keep learning, keep growing and keep giving it our all!
I’ll share more about the stuff I learnt in smaller posts over the next days and weeks. Catch you later Xx