14-16 February 2025
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

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Free Spirit founder Christina Gill’s journey of F.E.A.R:

Fear. An emotion we all are faced with from time to time.  Some more than others, and maybe only in certain circumstances, but sure enough we all have a fear of something. I’m not just talking physical, spiders, snakes, heights etc.

I’m talking fears that go much deeper.. that if we are lucky we have recognised in ourselves – fear of not being good enough, fear of being alone, fear of not being loved.

I’m fortunate enough to have learned about these fears we naturally have as human beings (or “negative core beliefs”) when I studied to teach yoga and I’m ever grateful for what I have been taught – that none of these fears are true, but stem from an early age where our minds have pre-conditioned themselves to believe these fears as the truth.

Every time any of us have a negative reaction to something, get upset or angry, it is down to one of our many fears or negative core beliefs.  Now recognising them is one thing, and I can honestly say that part alone has changed my life – looking back I now cringe at my travel blog from 2012 in Asia where so many times I lost my head, got angry or upset.

I’m now able to analyse exactly why I reacted in certain ways and yes many were down to fear.. probably feeling threatened in a strange country, with blonde hair (you never blend in) and a girl alone.. my barriers were up like iron gates and beware anyone who tried to break them.

I’m now realising how much I was perhaps limiting myself and my experiences and perhaps missed so many opportunities of connecting with others.  By coming from a place of love, instead of fear, could I have had a much richer experience?

To be honest that trip was one of the best times of my life and I would not change one single moment of it, because that was me then, living in the moment and living my dream.  Ironically I pushed through physical fears of climbing mountains, jumping out planes, riding motorbikes etc but more satisfyingly, I learned so much about different cultures, different worlds on that trip, and it was the start of my journey that brought me here, to Australia, running a business and teaching (and forever learning) yoga.  And I’ve never looked back. (Apart from with fond reminiscence)

The hardest part, however, is not recognising those fears but not allowing them to control us.  Even when I’m in the middle of it – the fear…the negative core belief, I can hear myself, I know the feeling, I’m stuck in my head and I’m recognising it but still… still it’s so so hard – how do I overcome it?

I will give you an example:  last week I was surfing.  Something I have experienced many highs and lows of as I have been learning for 3 years and even though at one point I got to a confident stage of surfing 3/4ft waves, now after a winter of making consistent excuses and finding other things to do I feel like I’m back to square one.  The physical fear I have of big waves has returned with vengeance and I found myself out the back, bobbing around, almost frozen with fear.

Why?  I have no idea.  What did I think would happen?  Actually nothing other than a bit of a roll and tumble.  But still I could not get out of my own head.  All I could think about was how scared I was of what seemed like mountains of water rolling underneath me.

I knew if I tried, if I got knocked around a few times then my confidence would grow.  I knew that.  My brain was giving me rational messages but still I could not control this fear over my whole body. I spent an hour like that, bobbing around out the back before I could muster the confidence to catch a wave on my belly in to shore..

The next day, the waves were smaller.. and my mind was calmer.. and more confident.  I went alone with no expectations, other than not being as scared as I was the day before!  I nailed it.  Wave after wave I caught and had so much fun.  The fear I had was replaced by an absolute love of the ocean that day, and I finished my session beaming and hungry for more.

Of course the ocean is never the same each day, just like life, sometimes it throws us challenges but it is up to us how we face these challenges… with fear or love.

I know my limits with the ocean, but slowly I will work my way up to those 3/4ft waves again.. and in the meantime the next time it looks a little bit scary… I will consider – “Forget Everything And Run” (ie stay on the beach) or “Face Everything And Rise” (go out there and surf the best god dam waves of my life – or at least attempt to!)… well if I’m truly honest it depends on the day but I strive to do more of the latter, and that’s the best I can do.



Images: The Froth Lab