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by Alice Popkorn

One email and a week of illness slowed down my writing and my desire to publish my book. How did I become so afraid of doing what I have been moving toward for these past three years? The email stirred up images of the FBI trailing my every move again, of negative reactions to revelations I intend to share in the book, of paparazzi disturbing my family and my peaceful life. Crazy? It seems so, now that my health and energy are returning, now that I cannot find the email that started my downward spiral. There will be negative reactions to the story of a nun committing five federal felonies. The hate mail flowed in 1969. It will come electronically this time.

Should these fears keep me from sharing my story with the world? My husband says fear is my “lizard brain” talking, limiting me from taking chances. He and another favorite author gave me pep talks, encouraged me to keep writing, keep revising. Fear is often “false evidence appearing real.” Perhaps the FBI has more important things to do these days than hassle an anti-war protester.

Seth Godin says, “Be a generous artist, even if it doesn’t work.” What do you do when it doesn’t work? Make more art. Give more gifts. Overcome fear with a generous heart.

Does generosity motivate you, soften your heart, create more gratitude in the world, melt fear?



  1. joann, your story is so amazing, inspiring, wonderful and important, especially right now. it must be told. the whole of your story, not just the parts that people might react to. besides with p next to you what is there to fear?

    (…and the rest of us around you…)

    • Thank you so much, Tony. You, Pat and all my communities of support are more powerful than any of my negative thoughts or feelings. Love is more powerful than fear. Love to you, another powerful artist in my life.

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