For the last week I've been "reading" a book on audiotape. It's Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It's about Cheryl's trek along the Pacific Coast Trail from California to Oregon and Washington state. She had no experience as a long distance hiker, and took it on as a project to heal from the death of her mother and a divorce from her husband. I like this passage from a part of the trail when she's walking through the Mojave Desert, among the Joshua trees and the rattlesnakes.
"It was a deal I'd made with myself months before and the only thing that allowed me to hike alone. I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.”