“We all pack different ideas and feelings into the word fear,” writes Mermer Blakeslee, teacher, trainer and creator of The Fear Workshop. “Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, of losing control, of aging, of falling down, fear of the body reacting and fear of the body not reacting, even the fear of saying the word fear. A Conversation with Fear does not attempt to define fear or explain why a frightened person experiences certain physiological responses. It doesn’t separate students into categories or classify symptoms.
“What this book does attempt is to offer you both audacity and comfort. Although comfort feels quiet, it arrives through a bold move: accepting the presence of fear. To do this, we must pick our way between two powerful tendencies, to control and to cure, the Scylla and Charybdis of our culture. These tendencies show themselves constantly in words like manage, handle, overcome, conquer, dispel, banish, fix… By regarding fear as a pathology to control or cure, we assume that life without its presence is possible, normal, or even desirable. But once we accept fear as a habitual acquaintance in an imaginative, meaningful life, we can begin to cultivate a conversation with it rather than engage it in a fight.”
An examiner for the Professional Ski Instructors of America and a former member of its elite National Demonstration Team, Blakeslee trains teachers across the country about fear, innovation, and learning. At Windham Mountain, she runs The Fear Workshop and an intensive season-long program called PowerLearn™. She lives in the Catskill Mountains in upstate NY.
Her website is www.mermerblakeslee.com.