It seems that I’m becoming more comfortable with embracing challenges these days. With that in mind, I’m embracing the A-to-Z Blogging challenge, by writing about the things that I most closely associate with being alive, when I show up and engage with life as fully as possible.
And with that, I give you:
I had no idea what I was going to write about for today. My first thought was to write on “United” (As in Manchester? States? Kingdom? In Orange?). I figured that I’d probably end up grasping at straws and making a huge stretch for relevance.
Enter my über-fantastic voice/life/creative/heart/humanity coach, Lynn. Her suggestion? “Understanding.”
Oh, yay! I can do “understanding” no problem! I have an almost pathological need to understand – PERFECT!
“On second thought,” Lynn said, “since you said that, I have a better suggestion. ‘Unknown.’”
One day I’ll either learn not to give Lynn an opportunity to push me out of my comfort zone and into another growth spurt, or I’ll get there ahead of her. It is not this day, but I digress.
I have never felt more alive than when I consciously take even a single step into unknown territory. Learning vocal improvisation showed me the strength of the wings I didn’t think I had. Getting involved in an on-line writing community seemed like an insane stretch and I certainly never intended to share anything I had written. But I did and I found that what I had written, much to my complete astonishment, resonated with people. I had found a tribe where I did not expect. Meeting my on-line friends face to face for the first time, I hoped that the connection we seemed to have on-line would carry over into real life. I never imagined how strong those connections could be.
Even agreeing to take this A-to-Z blog challenge was a step onto a different path, one that is leading me into places I could scarcely have imagined twenty-one days ago. I’m not sure what those places are or what they signify for me, but I take each step with my heart pounding out of my chest and trusting that with each step I will either find something solid under my feet or I will be taught to fly.
There is something about taking a step into the unknown that challenges me, forces me into a place where I have to be willing to be seen. For someone who has spent most of her life trying to appear of little consequence, of trying to blend into her surroundings so well that she may as well be invisible, this is not a comfortable place for me to be. I have to learn it as I go. I have to be willing to make mistakes, even if they cost me much, even if they threaten to crush me, and trust that I am braver than I know, that I gain my strength in the risking, in the falling, and even in the failing.
“Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
– Alan Alda