I wish I could take credit for the title of this blog post, but it wasn’t I who coined the phrase, it was one of my life lines, Christina Mortti of Good Graces Photography. And she has no idea how much it stuck.
A little background on my dear friend Christina and how the phrase came to be: Mortti and I have lived together for a total of 3 of the 6 years we’ve known each other. (Currently, we live a mere 7 minutes apart and try to get together at least once a week.) She’s someone I used to catch myself envying for her often relaxed view of the world, until I learned how to adopt this view myself. It’s not that she doesn’t care about things, but Mortti’s got a way of diffusing otherwise intimidating situations to a simple every day occurrence or slight nuisance.
Case in point: A couple of years ago, after visiting her Grandparents in the North Carolina mountains, she told me and a group of our friends how her father had cautioned her against going out for a run by herself in the woods during the visit. A legitimate concern, he asked “What would you do if you were by yourself and came upon a bear?!” and in true Mortti fashion she replied with a simple “I’d just look at it and say ‘Get outta here, bear!’ and keep going.”
At first when we heard the story, we replied with a few “that’s so Mortti” type comments and went about our way. Crisis adverted, right? Totally. Who wouldn’t simply wave off a bear and keep going about their way? I’m sure it happens all the time up in the mountains! But there was something about the phrase that just …. it just stuck with me.
“Get outta here, Bear!” I caught myself saying it at random when any similar situation would come up in conversation. The phrase has this odd power to dwarf that which seems overwhelming. The things you get yourself worked up about that probably haven’t even happened yet? Yea, those are bears. Fears and anxieties? Those are bears, too. Intimidating people or situations? Bears. Long training run or race coming up? Bear. Mean people? Bears. Negative or attack thoughts against yourself? BEARS! BEARS! BEARS! Borrowed worries from the future? Bears. Again.
See where I’m going here with this?
I probably say “Get outta here, Bear!” at least every other day. Sometimes it takes me getting worked up about something before I realize it’s just another bear. When that happens, I’ll picture the issue or person as a bear standing in front of me, I wave my hand, tell it to get outta here [real talk: sometimes it’s get the f outta here], take a deep breath and boom….I start to see the situation with a bit more clarity. I’ve done this with fears, anxieties, frustrations, negative and attack thoughts against myself, you name it – I’ve totally “bear’ed” it.
But hey, that’s what you gotta do sometimes. Look something straight in the face and with a wave of the hand say “Get outta here, Bear!” and keep on walking. Seriously, it’s like magic. Try it this week and let me know how it works out for ya.
Thanks, Mortti, for always being yourself and for helping the rest of us make it through the day just a little bit easier. You help keep the circus running.
Especially when the bears get out of line. 🙂
Until next time, xxo,