One of my biggest moments in 2016 was meeting and truly getting to know – to understand – my fear.

Yes, you read that right. I finally stopped to listen and hear what my fear had to say. And then, my fear listened to what I had to say.

It was a moment.

And for the first time in my adult life, I learned to understand my fear in a respectful and loving way – so we could finally quit the name calling, the mind games, the passive aggressiveness, the drama, the scare tactics, the hiding, and the seeking, and begin – really begin – to move to a state of deep understanding of each other.

My fear and I have been dating now for almost a year since that moment… It’s been a beautiful rollercoaster ride of getting to know the deeper parts of our TRUTHS and testing our new understanding. Like any relationship, it’s taken much communication to bring us to where we are today.

Elizabeth Gilbert (you know, the author of Eat Pray Love) is to credit for this newfound friendship – and wake-up call!

Shortly after reading Big Magic, I had the opportunity to attend Liz’s workshop. During our time together, we had to write a series of letters to the many parts of our SELVES – one being Fear.

And what I realized just shortly into the session, was that for so long that many of my decisions were FEAR-BASED.

“TERRIFIED people make TERRIBLE decisions.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert

Gosh, was that me? Was I letting my fear drive my life?

In reflection, I wasn’t letting fear completely take the steering wheel… Just when it came to my journey of owning my life’s purpose and surrendering and honoring my soul alignment. (Yep, ya know, just one of the the most important parts of my human existence!)

Although I didn’t realize it until that moment, too much of my journey had been rooted in fear. Fear that I wasn’t enough. Fear that I didn’t know enough. Fear that I wasn’t worthy of my dreams. Fear that I would fail (again). Fear that I wouldn’t measure up. Fear that I wouldn’t meet expectations…FEAR. FEAR. FEAR.

So with Liz’s encouragement, I asked my fear to take over my pen and put the words on paper that I needed to hear most. I let my fear speak.

(The below is a typed version of my notes from the workshop – not edited, just my fear in that moment – in the raw…)

Dear love,
I am your fear. I think often you misunderstand my motive. I am always here to protect you – that is my first and foremost goal. I am a little overbearing – like an over-nurturing mother and sometimes I let the pendulum swing a little too far. I trust you and your choices. I really do. And each time you act towards your truth – your light – I celebrate you. I want to do this journey with you. And I’ll work protect you every step of the way. Just know, when you put yourself out there, I freak out a little (can’t help it, I am your fear) that someone will hurt you… And I hate to see you hurt. Remember, I am your overbearing mother. I want to keep you safe. My only reaction I can give you is fear. It’s all I know. But starting from this moment, all I ask, is that you stand up to me, look me in the eyes and act with courage. You got this. Fight for your goals. And, if there is ever a time when something that could legitimately hurt you, I promise I’ll be relentless – and not shut up.


Whoa, right? My fear wasn’t so bad. My fear just wanted to keep me safe. This whole time, all I was being asked to do was look at my fear and act with courage. And to trust that if I was in a life or death situation, that my fear would NOT let up. It would make me KNOW that this was not the time to play the BRAVE card. Do you see why this was such a moment for me? No longer did I have to sit back and hide. My fear was not only giving me permission to SHINE but doing so with the assurance that I wasn’t alone… That my fear had my back.

I spent some time reading what Fear had written to me, letting my soul, my inner wisdom, hear the message. And then, it was my turn to respond back. (Again, the below is from my original notes in that brief moment of freewriting).

Dear Fear,

I am Tonya and right now this is my divinity speaking.

Fear, I am honored that you chose me. That you work day and night tirelessly to keep me safe. I love that you care about me and want to protect every little part of me.

Fear, we’re on this road trip together. You & me. But I want you to know (and manifest with me) that all is okay. Tonya is safe. Tonya – me – will lead us in living an epic life full of magic. I’m creating my future with my beautiful thoughts:
Fear – we have more than enough time.
Fear – we have more than enough money.
Fear – we have love and will cherish our relationships.
Fear – we have perfect health.
Fear – we are SAFE.
Fear, we are a team. But only when my life is in eminent danger, can you use your voice, otherwise, trust me that my life is full of absolute magic, love and abundance.

I am grateful to finally “get” you. And I’m grateful that you “get” me.

To doing this life, together, side by side.

xo – Tonya

Every day we get to choose if we want to live small and terrified hanging on for dear life, or if we want to to make friends with our fear and follow our truth.

What does your fear have to tell you?

As I’ve learned, all you have to do is ask…

Love Yourself Fiercely,