Thursday, July 19, 2012

just breathe

Someone emailed me today, asking for advice about fear. She asked. "When you are afraid, I mean really afraid, what do you do?  Afraid of life. Afraid of how you going to make it. Make the next payment, buy food, the basic fact of taking care of yourself?"

I get scared a lot. I'm scared right now, actually. I quit my job a little over a month ago and things are getting tight, fast. It's up to me to find the revenue to keep this place afloat doing what I love. This is why you see workshops, new ads, or the occasional item for sale. Money is a reality, and I need to earn a living like everyone else. Sometimes I get really worried everyone who reads this blog will just stop reading it, stop coming to workshops, stop looking forward to Antlerstock, and so on. I wake up in the middle of the night, sweating and scared, worried that deciding to make CAF my career was a pipe dream and a mistake. Worried I won't get the book deal I desperately need, and soon. Worried the power company will turn out the lights and the bank will take away my house and truck. I am a positive person, always have been, but I am also human. Fear is real. But we have the power to choose to fight it.

When I get scared I sing the chorus of the same song. I have sang it curled up in my bed at 3AM, tears running down my face thinking about a monster. I sang it when I was too tired or sick to really do outdoor chores, but knew the animals needed me, and this song came out while water buckets sloshed down my pants. I sang it when I didn't know how the mortgage would get paid this past June (first ever late payment, but I made it). I am sure I will sing it again, and soon.

So what's this song? It's called the Chillout Song, from the website of Ze Frank. One of his readers emailed him, asking for an audio hug of sorts. She wanted him to make up a song she could sing to herself when she was scared. Not only did he make up a song for her, he put it on his website and asked other people to send in recordings of themselves singing it. What he mixed together was this, and sent it to the scared woman. An entire online community came together, and the results are beautiful. Try it, if you need it. It helps.



Psst. If you can't listen to the song, try listening on his website, here, or buy it on itunes for one American dollar.

32 Comments:

Anonymous Patsy From Illinois said...

How did you know I needed this today? I have tears running down my cheeks. Thanks Jenna.

July 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Deltaville Jamie said...

I needed this today, thank you! I will definitely be adding this to my iPod playlist as I take those baby steps towards my goal.

July 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

I love this song! I think it was you, Jenna, who introduced me to Ze Frank right here on this blog. And it came in handy! When I was in England, awaiting the appointed hour for my viva voce (the oral defence of my doctoral thesis), I thought, "Why just sit here, getting terrified?" So I went to a nearby computer, put on a pair of headphones, and tuned in to Ze Frank, episode after episode. I was laughing with such abandon that my doctoral supervisor opened the door with a concerned look on his face and asked, "Are you hysterical?" Ze Frank and Jenna, the antidotes to fear.

July 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Melina said...

I was getting very upset yesterday. Then I finally said let it be. The rain and the green hills calmed me down and we ate a simple meal of local food. Today things have already changed so much I have new hope. Thinking of you in your time of change. I'm hoping for the best.

July 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM  
Anonymous donna frome greeneville tenn said...

i needed this today too.....life is like a lemon drop sucking on the bitter to get to the sweet part.

July 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Chari said...

So thankful you shared this!

July 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger esteemed director said...

This is a perfect song in the midst of my life. I shall apply. Thank you. Be certain I read your blog daily and am in no way a homesteader... although I wouldn't mind at all :-). You are brave... you are strong....

July 19, 2012 at 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jenna. I needed this also. And your post on power. Both of them. Thanks. -Katlyn

July 19, 2012 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That was awesome!! Thank you soooo much for sharing.

July 19, 2012 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna -- I know you have said you are not a carpenter, but have you thought about teaming up with the Tiny House people for a workshop @ CAF? There seems to be a lot of overlap between the tiny house people and the homestead/small farm people.

See
http://www.relaxshacks.blogspot.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/garden/24tiny.html?pagewanted=all

http://tumbleweedhouses.com

http://tinyhouseblog.com

July 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger polly said...

thank you - a wonderful post and an uplifting song and experience. i shall certainly be using it... :)

July 19, 2012 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Katie Swanberg said...

I had this open in another tab when my website crashed this morning. I played the song over and over until it was fixed! Phwew. Just what I needed today, as always. Hugs!

July 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger ladyfarrier said...

Wow. Super timing. Thank you for sharing that Jenna.

Hang in there girl.
Jan in Illinois

July 19, 2012 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Patty C. said...

Thanks Jenna! Much needed today! Listened to it with tears the first tine, then a smile by the second time. You will never run out of readers, you are too awesome :)

July 19, 2012 at 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Tammi H said...

Perfect timing...Thank you!

July 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

your timing is uncanny! THANK YOU JENNA!!!!!!

Just breathe....

July 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM  
OpenID kindsofhoney said...

This is great. Thank you. It's always a comfort to know someone else has those moments . . .and works through them. This is just the sort of thing I could use in the middle of a sleepless night. Thanks again, Jenna.

July 19, 2012 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Kris Watson said...

If you don't mind, I am linking to this post at KrisSimplyLiving.blogspot.com. I lost my job five days ago, at 60 years of age, partially disabled, and without a car. I am stunned at your timing. I think you had some Heavenly inspiration when you wrote this post!

July 20, 2012 at 3:45 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

Crying here, as I think of my mom, who I just put into an assisted living facility yesterday. Thanks for sharing. I know she'll be fine...

July 20, 2012 at 5:31 AM  
Blogger Eileen said...

Sheep and lambs, so good at living in the moment. Here is to Monday.

July 20, 2012 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

I just sent this to some of my friends, knowing that it will come in handy and often.

Thank you, again and always! And I don't think you'll ever lose the dedicated readers, my friend...unless you stop posting. :^)

July 20, 2012 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Sassafrass said...

Deary I don't think for one minute ANYONE is going to stop reading this - IT'S JUST TOO DAMN GOOD! Just want you to know I am a single mom just making it and NEVER indulge - I attended plan B which i couldn't believe i would ever have the $ to pay for - and it set in motion new thoughts that had been under the soil like a seed waiting for the sun. You and your mission are the best investment I've made in a long long time! You keep going! I work 2 jobs pay for school for my boys and drool for a seasons pass - the second I can make that a reality I will. Thank you for all you do! We got your back, girl!

July 20, 2012 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Michelle Huddleston said...

Bless you Jenna, and your readers.

July 20, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Note to DAISY: My MIL went into assisted living 3 years ago and I think it has greatly extended her life and quality of living. She wanted to stay in her home, but she was isolated and having trouble handling the daily demands of a house. Within a month of moving to her new apartment she was taking classes, having lunch with new friends, and exercising. She's been very happy, so yes, I think it will be fine for both of you.

July 20, 2012 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

Self employment is a funny thing. You feel like you're furiously treading water and then suddenly a check drops in your lap. Keep a running tab of the effort you expend and the income that comes from it. A pattern will begin to emerge. I found that my (former) business had a 90 day cycle. That is 90 days from the time I shook the trees to the time the income arrived. Farming is different, I don't know the pattern yet but the cycle is much longer. But even if I knew it, yours would be different. You'll be fine.

July 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

My mom taught me a simple little song on my first day of first grade. I was so scared, and I sang that song to myself all day long. That song has stayed with me and been sung under my breath while going to college, and before job interviews... :)

July 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

You have to love Ze Frank.

Sometimes when I get concerned about money I surf around my favorite financial blog, Get Rich Slowly. I just stumbled upon one article titled "How To Budget for an Irregular Income" (http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/07/27/how-to-budget-for-an-irregular-income/), and as a waitress it's definitely helpful. Another helpful source I found was a book called All Your Worth, which is described here: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/12/03/book-review-all-your-worth/

Don't mean to assume you don't have your ducks in a row, just thought I'd share some useful sources.

July 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

From reading the comments from your followers and knowing my own situation, I think that your question is more than answered. We all have fears that keep us from focusing on other things & keep us up at night worrying about the outcomes. Some are serious worries and some are just things that go bump in the night. They are all fears, though. Thank you for bringing your readers closer and giving us something to sing to help keep those fears at bay even for a little while.
Jenna, you'll be fine ~ no doubt about it. We are all in awe at your determination and energy. You go, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

PansWife-I didn't mean for this to be about me, just trying to let Jenna know that once again she has touched her readers in a very real way. Thank you so much for your kindness.

July 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

I know, Daisy, and I'm sure Jenna is fine with us acting like a community. And you're welcome.

July 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger downeast becka said...

thank you jenna...that was beautiful and needed. my daughter and i will be singing that to ourselves in bed tonight...
bless you!

July 20, 2012 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Love, love, love!! Thank you!

July 22, 2012 at 7:17 PM  

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