If I Were Brave…

Learning or doing something new, travelling to a new destination, meeting new people, can often feel like a journey into the unknown.

Questions about – What if I can’t do/learn it? Will people like me/will I fit in? How will I cope? – can scurry through our minds like water skeeters searching for food on the surface of a lake. Our thoughts dart from one gloomy fear to the next, constantly undermining our confidence in that next adventure with their power to hold us back from taking the next brave step.

Like any muscle, the bravery muscle needs constant working out to stay supple and strong. It needs our conscious attention to avoid atrophying.

Avoidance strengthens fear. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway strengthens courage.

Stepping into the unknown opens us up to possibility and adventure. It also deepens our ability to know ourselves, our triggers and strengths in different situations, so that we can diminish the things that hold us back and grow in our confidence to keep steeping forward in our lives.

Rather than shy away from what you do not know, next time you’re faced with a situation or circumstance you’ve never considered, or avoided, in the past, ask yourself, If I were BRAVE what would I do?

Fact is, we are all brave. It’s just sometimes, our critter-minds think to keep us safe, we need to tone down the bravery and play it safe.

Playing it safe keeps us stuck in our comfort zones.

To play it brave, listen deeply to the answer and do that – not only will you have an opportunity to experience something you never before imagined possible, you’ll be strengthening your bravery muscles too!

And what a great way to play life! On the brave side!

In the meantime… I got this.

I got busy yesterday.

Okay. So I’ve actually been pretty busy since leaving the formal workplace at the end of May this year. I have a list of ‘To Do’s’ to get to in our home and am slowly, yet certainly, checking off my list.

I know. I know. I was going to do the summer unplanned. But a list isn’t really a plan now is it?

And with my list slowly growing shorter, (and I’m not adding to it every day btw) I am feeling the pulsing, vibrant power of creative space opening up within me, calling me to GROW.

Growth is important in life, yet it is not an inevitable or inescapable part of living. We age, but sometimes, we can age without growing deeper into ourselves. Sometimes, we can continue to do what we’re doing, and as we age, shrink our horizons to a tiny box where dreams and possibility lay dormant as we spin stories of ‘what we used to do’ and lose sight of our power to create stories of all we can do, still, no matter our age.

In this space into which I am expanding and evolving I am alive with the muse calling me to delve into my creative essence and to create space for others to come alive to their creative possibilities, artist and non-artist alike.

I am falling in love all over again with me, my life and all its possibilities.

What a wild and wonderful place to find myself expanding and evolving into!

Which brings me to what I got up to yesterday.

Yesterday, I worked on our lower deck. It’s a place that sat ignored since moving into this home almost a year and a half ago. Our contractor has been using it to cut wood, to store unused materials (he’s still working on some renovations). It wasn’t that it was filled with junk. More that it was just kind of discarded; a place of sadness and ennui.

I changed all of that yesterday.

I hauled out the garbage. Piled the wood and other paraphenalia into one corner and swept it clear of debris.

And then, I set up a table with bright red chairs and a little seating area right outside my studio doors.

In the clearing up I created space for ideas and thoughts and possibilities to run wild in my heart and mind. I started getting excited about what ‘will be’ when I get clear of my fears.

‘Cause fear has been my silent, stealthy companion for a few weeks now. Fear of ‘what’s next’, what now, what if…

What I fear I create, and, because I was fearing an uncertain future I was creating feelings of uncertainty within me.

Yesterday, as I hauled out the garbage, Fear and I had a long chat about what its been up to.

“Listen Fear,” I said to it. “I see you and I know you’re really just trying to keep me safe by helping me avoid doing what my heart is calling me to do. You don’t want me to experience disappointment, rejection, and any other emotions you deem painful to my heart. But seriously Fear, I got this. I’m okay. No matter what happens, I am happiest when I am stepping outside my comfort zone, taking risks that aren’t really risks because ultimately, they’re opportunities for me to learn and grow and expand. And isn’t that what life is all about? Constantly expanding and growing deeper into knowing of who I am and all I am when I let go of fearing I will fall every time I leave the safe places of my known limitations?”

Fear was not as convinced of my capacity to weather every storm, to fly instead of fall, to take risks and put myself out there without feeling the slings and arrows of life on the exploratory journey of my life.

“But you know what happens when people see you living your dream,” Fear replied in his cautious way. “They judge you. Criticize you. Maybe even try to knock you down.”

I smiled lovingly at Fear, embraced him with Love and replied, “That’s not true Fear. Remember, other people’s opinions of me are not my business. My opinion of me counts. And, when I am living life fearlessly, taking risks and doing the things my heart yearns to experience, the only way I get hurt is by believing failure is a measure of who I am. The measure of who I am is found deep in my soul, in that place where I know I am worthy, of joy, happiness, peace, Love, just the way I am, where ever I am because I am enough.”

It was a long chat (there was a fair amount of garbage to haul out) and eventually, Fear and I came to an agreement. If he spies a Sabre Tooth Tiger or speeding train or out of control city bus racing towards me, he’ll let me know. Pronto!

In the meantime, I got this.