Vampy moments in the sunshine

sunshine-love

DAY 87

What a relief! I have a vitamin D deficiency.

I’ve spent the past few months feeling ridiculously exhausted, even after marathon twelve hour sleep ins, and erupting into weepy dramatics over kleenex ads. My husband thought it was hysterical to joke about being pregnant. Not so funny if all of your kids have grown up and moved out of home. I love kids. I’m completely fanatical about them, but I don’t want another one full time.

It turns out, after some serious blood tests, that there is a drought in my vitamin D levels.  Hence the wailing and fuzzy brain activity. Underneath of course there are some more sinister consequences. From my research (Googling health sites) I have learnt of a list of dire health issues that start with rickets and finish with heart disease and have plenty in between. None of which is pleasant. Who knew that the seemingly innocent vitamin D was responsible for so much goings on in our bodies right?

Still, not all is lost it seems. Things can be easily fixed. Apparently nobody has died from a vitamin D deficiency – directly that is. My doctor, Kevin, bless him, gave me stern instructions to take a supplement and to make time for sitting in the sunshine exposing my lily white skin for 15 minutes every day. If I do this then things will begin to improve and my risk of, well…getting sicker and more unpredictable emotionally, will be drastically reduced.

Well okay then. This should be simple right?

Well…

The sun and I are not really friends. True, apparently vitamin D and I are not friends either, however fifteen minutes and I am usually burnt to a crisp, and not the salt and vinegar kind! I can’t use sunscreen because we red heads tend to have fair and sensitive skin, and I am allergic to all and any creams.

So how exactly do I sit in the sun (or UV rays) for 15 minutes without covering up, sunscreen and not burn or get skin cancer?

While pondering this dilemma  I started  thinking how sometimes, even when we know how much something would be good for us, we do everything we can to find the wriggle room. The grand excuse to get out of it.

Any change can be hard. Large or small.It takes effort. It means we have to give up something we are holding onto and move into the unknown. You would think that giving something up to move onto something better for us would be easy, but apparently it isn’t. We humans are very good at holding onto the very things that make us sick, angry or depressed, even when we are aware enough to know it.

There are some interesting reasons for this.

Even though we may not like where we are, what is happening to us or the situation we are in, at least we are familiar with it. It’s the ‘devil we know’. We think we know how to handle or control it. We tell ourselves that it’s easier to deal with the negative situation we are in than risk making a change. What if we take the risk and we fail?

We also hold on to things, situations, people because they are giving us something. Often we don’t change or move away from pain until there is no other option because we are gaining something significant. Now right here you might be saying, I’m in a horrible situation and there is nothing to gain from this. But think for a minute.

I have a friend who seems to have a crazy life of drama. Every day there seems to be some major crisis with him or a member of his family. It is as if the universe seriously has it in for this person. In turn my friend spends most of his day complaining or talking about what is happening, getting advice from everyone, colleagues and friends, on what to do, and garnering support to deal with the latest crisis.

Even though his life seems to be a mess, and I am sure he is not very happy at all with his situation, he is getting plenty of significance.

He is the centre of his whirlwind life. His relationships rely on him being both the victim of circumstance and the bearer or martyr of his families on going drama. It’s his jet fuel. Why would he change?

Change not only takes passion – beyond what is in our head. It takes being self aware; being honest with yourself about what you are holding onto. What are you gaining from the situation you are in?

Then it’s about being courageous and letting go. Taking the magical risk and move towards the unknown; the dream, the healthy you, the drama-less life.

What does this have to do with my vitamin D deficiency?

Well this morning I decided to let go of my reputation for being the family vampire (sun disliker) and all of the significance I have attached to it over the many years. I dragged a chair out into the back yard along with my ipad. I also took my husband…because this little vampire loves company. And I sat in the sunshine with everything covered but my forearms. These of course were exposed dutifully to the sun.

Hmmm. I looked up at the deep blue sky. The world buzzed around us as we read. Our dog slept under our chairs in the shade. A jet flew over our house. Birds called to each other across the neighbourhood.

 

I breathed in the smells of our garden and felt oddly connected to the world. Fifteen minutes and I was not only still alive and building my vitamin D reserves, I was really enjoying being outside and hanging out with my husband in the sunshine.

Wow! Who knew right?

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
― John GreenPaper Towns

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Share It Forward Sunday

Hello Lovelies,

A little late due to a spot of sickness, but I hope this makes your week a little more inspirational.

This one is from TED talks. If you haven’t checked out their site it’s a must. TED talks are full of inspirational and informative talks from all walks of life from many different people of all ages and cultures…it’s an awesome community to visit or participate in.

So today I wanted to share this talk from Maysoon Zayid. She’s a beautiful, funny smart woman, who also happens to be a standup comedian, a writer, an actor, a co- founder of the New York Arab/American Comedy Festival, and an advocate for refugee children amongst many other things. What I love the most? In spite of everything she has had to work with in her life her motto is her father’s motto: If I can, can – you can, can. Love.

5 Ways to start with your heart

heart-07

DAY 83

24th March, 2014

When Brene Brown talks about being worthy it gives me goose bumps. Like Danielle LaPorte, she doesn’t speak about worth as something you earn or deserve. Being worthy is unconditional. Brene simply states that we are each worthy, even though we are not perfect. Danielle adds that we are all important. Incredible. Loved. Even though we are not perfect. We still deserve to be loved. Our presence is needed here.

Think about it. It’s like looking at your life hanging upside down on the swing while all the blood rushes to your head.

To say that we are worthy even though we are not perfect goes against much of what we are taught as children and adults. How many of us think – if only I am good enough, then I will deserve a good life. If only I am perfect enough, then I will deserve a perfect kind of life. Or if I do this, then I will get that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself thinking “But I was so good!” “But I did the everything right!” while the bubbles disappeared down the drain and my world fell apart around me. I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.”

I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.” 

Of course our heads know that being good has nothing to do with some of the things that can happen to us or around us. Bad things can sometimes happen to good people. It’s just life.

What’s important though is how we respond to these very same things. Your car breaking down, or the house being burgled, your loved one dying or the relationship you hoped would work but didn’t, isn’t about what you deserve as a human being. And it’s not based on how good or perfect you are. You are a human being.

The nature of being a human being is that we are pretty flawed. Sometimes, no matter how good or lovely we are, we say horrible things or we do stupid things to people we love. Sometimes no matter how good or great we have been, other people can be mean or horrible to us. We know better, but sometimes we make mistakes. Often we fall over. But we are still worthy of being here.You are worthy of being here. Making mistakes doesn’t mean that you are no longer worthy of good things happening to you.

Being worthy, also doesn’t mean that you are entitled to everything. There is a difference. We are talking about being worthy in a healthy way.

So, let’s start with your heart.

Here are some questions to think about first:

What is the story you hold deep inside of your heart that you tell yourself? I don’t deserve this because…

I don’t belong here because…

I can only belong here when or if I work really hard, or prove myself in this way…

If you think that you don’t deserve to be here or you are not worthy, then no matter what you do you will always feel empty. You will always be chasing your dream and pushing it further out of your reach at the same time. If you don’t think you deserve something in your life you will be the first one to sabotage yourself. You may just simply give up because it is too hard, or you will make it overwhelming, or perhaps you will stop making time and space for your dream to happen. “I just don’t have the time to attend that class, build that business, create that painting, direct that film…” Sound familiar?

Or perhaps you think the opposite way? I deserve everything no matter what…

I should be given everything because the world owes me….

I only do things for people when they do something for me…why should I go out of my way for someone if they don’t give back…

I only do things to look good, get some mileage….

Both Brene and Danielle would link this kind of story to fear. Shame. And a distinct place of lack. This is a place where you believe that only some people are entitled to the good stuff, and that there us not enough to go around. It’s not a good place to be. Mainly because if you are playing in this sandpit you are likely to be very conflicted and find yourself very lonely and wondering why.

So lets start with your heart. Lets start with loving yourself. Really love yourself – no strings attached!

One of  Garla Darling’s activities is to start with a Radical Self Love Journal! Yep. It’s pretty radical!

You can check out her other self love programs on her website, but I think that this is a great idea to start with, because it makes you create some space for yourself and focus on you; even if it’s just for half and hour.

Her first step for creating your radical journal?

1. Purchase yourself a beautiful notebook and while you are at it, find some good pens, pencils, stickers, magazines, glitter…whatever makes you feel like your five year old creative self. And don’t forget the glue and scissors! You don’t need to have heaps of money to do this either. You can find some beautiful and inspiring stationery supplies in K-Mart or your local $2 shop these days. I bought a gorgeous pack of purple notebooks from K-Mart with inspirational messages on them. I also picked up a great little journal with a red leather cover and completely blank pages in a small news agency. Or you can go all out and head to KiKi or Smiggle. But get something that you love and that you can carry around with you in your bag.Your journal is moving in with you for the next month!

2. Make a promise to yourself. Gala has a number of first steps here, but the one that spoke to me was from her first ever video tutorials from the Radical Self Love project. You can check her out on You tube, but essentially the first thing you are going to do is write a promise to yourself for the month. “I promise to love myself this month.” “I promise to commit myself to my own personal growth.” “I promise to see the good in people.” “I promise to look for the beauty around me.” It can be anything that means something to you.

3. Find a totem. Gala also suggests that here you might like to find yourself a totem. Something that will remind you every day of your promise to yourself for the month. It can be a necklace, or a gem stone in your pocket. Perhaps it’s a scarf or a hat or a special ring? Something that you can preferably wear every day so that when you see it or touch it you will be reminded of your commitment to yourself. I bought a heap of love heart and angel wing necklaces in all shapes and sizes. My sister in law found an awesome website where we could pick up gorgeous heart and wing jewellery for only a few dollars. I haven’t stopped wearing them since. Every day they remind me of my commitment to not only myself but to others. They remind me of what I have to give to this world.

4. Write down every compliment you receive for the next week. Every single one. And when you receive them, say thank you. That’s it. Thank you. Nothing else. “Your hair looks awesome!” ‘Thank you.” ” I love that jacket.” “Thank you.” “You are so funny, you should be a comedian.” Thank you.” And write it down. When I started doing this I realised that I wasn’t too good at graciously accepting compliments. I felt awkward and would generally say something along the lines of “Don’t be silly”, or “you don’t know what you are talking about” I had no idea how offensive I was actually being to the person who was taking the time to compliment me. But I also had no idea how, with every denial, I was sabotaging myself and strengthening my story of not being good enough.

5. Write down all of the things that are amazing about you. Of all of the activities that I love, this is one of the best. I have used this when I am coaching or working with young people and it is an eye opener. Often people start out struggling to come up with just one thing that they think is awesome about themselves. It can be a mix of really not thinking that there is much to like/love. It can also be about feeling like we are being conceited or stuck up if we consider what may be awesome about who we are. I’m not asking you to walk around thinking you are better than everyone else. I am asking you to think about your own uniqueness. Who are you? Because you are beautiful. Special. You are definitely incredible. Important and you deserve to be here. If you get truly stuck with this one, then ask your best friends. What do they think is amazing about you? Perhaps ask your parents? Or your favourite teacher or coach.

That’s just the beginning of the process. It’s a start to realising that you deserve to be loved. That you deserve to be here. Even though you are not perfect; you are worthy.

The Game Changers in our lives

Gothic IMR 9

DAY 76

‘I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.’ Rosa Parks

What makes a leader?

Who inspires us to be better than we are?

Who calls to our hearts to step forward and be accounted for?

Who captures our imaginations and our strength, compelling us to strive for a new day?

For a long time I thought leaders were special people who stood out from the crowd. The type of people who gave grand speeches, stirring the troops before they marched into an un-winnable battle. I often imagined being a female version of Captain Kirk bravely urging the Enterprise into the far reaches of the galaxy to do what no ‘man’ had ever done before. You can imagine my excitement when Captain Janeway was introduced to the cast of Star Trek: Voyager! It’s true that many of our great leaders are just like this.

Sometimes they are artists who stir in us the passion to rise up and change the world around us. As a little girl I would lay in bed before sleep came for me, thinking of the day I might write a song like ‘I Am Woman’ by Helen Reddy; a song that I sang religiously every day for months on the way home from school and that generations would continue to sing.

At fifteen, my perspective on leadership shifted to lead singers of pop bands; they were the ones that stood up front and led their band to greatness. The ones that were the first to answer the questions while the members of the group nodded silently behind them. My obsession with good looking boys aside, these lead singers often showed us a side of leadership that is perpetuated in much of our culture. The image of a leader who knows it all and the followers who look to them for guidance and support. Our work cultures are often based on this model of leadership. So are our education structures.

I was convinced that leaders were born to be front runners until one day there was a fire at my school. We were sitting in the science lab that had a wall of windows looking over the school courtyard with a view of the triple story building and the newly built gymnasium and sports complex. Giant red orange flames and black plumes of smoke and billowed out of the roof of the gym and smoke was quickly filling the courtyard. The alarm bell rang across the school intercom. We could already heard the terror and mayhem in the corridor outside. Our teacher went a distinct shade of white and into shock. Not realising what she was doing she walked to the classroom door and locked it, essentially locking us into the room to await our fate. She told us to sit at our tables and not to move. In those days, you pretty much did what your teacher told you. In those days we were rarely taught to think for ourselves. So we sat. Quietly. Waiting.

Until one of my class mates got up and walked up to the teacher and held her hand and told her it would be alright. That he would take care of everything. He walked towards the door and calmly unlocked it, still holding our teachers hand. Then he told us all to stay calm and line up in pairs. We didn’t hesitate. Although we were scared of both the fire and our teacher, we lined up holding onto each other. Our eyes focused on the fire and our friend Wayne. Wayne smiled at us and told us it would be alright. Our teacher nodded along with him. Then he asked us to follow him down the hallway and out into the fresh air and safety of the school garden on the other side of the school. Wayne was not just a hero that day, he was an extraordinary leader. He was prepared to stand up for what he knew was right and prepared to challenge what he knew was wrong. He was prepared to risk himself for the sake of others. He was prepared to stand up and show up.

One of my favourite stories to talk about is the one of Rosa Parks. Rosa was a 42 year old African American who worked as a seamstress. One day in December, 1955, she got on a bus to travel home from work. Initially she sat in the ‘blacks only’ section of the bus, right behind the ‘whites only’ section. When the ‘white section’ filled up the bus driver told the  black Americans to move down to the back of the bus to make way for the white people. Rosa refused. She was arrested. But on that day Rosa started a revolution for her community; quest for freedom and equality. She didn’t make a grand speech and rally the troops. She didn’t have a position of power in her own life. She just stood up for what she believed in. In that one single act, she showed up for what she believed was the right thing to do.

Perhaps you have leaders in your life, or leaders from the past who inspire you?

I believe that we are all leaders. We all have the capacity to stand up for what we believe is right, and to act on it. Sometimes it’s a small act, a drop in the ocean. But the consequences of these acts are extraordinary.

Here’s the thing: All of us are game changers.

‘You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.’ Rosa Parks

Being Brave in a deathly life

dark-gothic-girl-wallpaper

DAY 74

Being brave is bloody hard.

So hard, that we will do almost anything to avoid it. Including dancing with the devil. By that I mean that we will hold onto the devil we know, even though it makes us completely miserable, and often sick.

I’m sure most of you have experienced a situation where you had to make an incredibly difficult decision which perhaps involved some vulnerability and risk on your behalf. You knew in your mind that if you could just make that decision, bite the bullet, jump off the cliff, whatever the analogy, you would be putting yourself in the best place possible. Perhaps you would be literally giving yourself the best possible chance of a fantastic life.

Perhaps your decision was about ending a relationship that was clearly not a healthy one. It would mean you would be alone, or a single parent. It might mean that you would have to be financially responsible, because you would be the only one bringing in the bacon.

Perhaps it was about leaving your 9 – 5 day job and full filling your dream career. Maybe this would mean you would have to go back to study, or survive on a lower salary for a while, or perhaps you could make the income but it would mean that you wouldn’t have the safety net of a secure job to pay the bills.

Perhaps it wasn’t about leaving a job at all, it was just about following your heart, and putting your ideas out there. Risking everything to write that great Australian novel, paint that picture, become that wedding photographer, direct that smash hit musical, produce that Academy award winning documentary or go on that round the world trip.

Maybe it’s about putting yourself out there in the first place and actually going on a date, or allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to have an intimate relationship. Maybe you just need to be brave enough to move out of home and set up your own home with your friends, your cat and a single bed.

Whatever it is, being brave enough to take the steps towards your dream, the steps that you know will give your dream the best possible chance, is a huge investment.

It’s true. Being brave and vulnerable is frightening and scary. There are a lot of ‘what ifs’. What if I can’t pay my rent? What if I write that novel and people hate it? What if I put myself out there and I get my heart broken? What if I go after my dream career and it doesn’t work?

Yep. Lots of stuff to be scared about.

But let’s ask ourselves another question. What if I keep doing exactly the same thing that I am doing right now for the rest of my life. Where will I be? What will I be thinking? How will I be feeling? What will I have achieved?

If I don’t change anything; if I’m not able to risk anything or be brave enough to give ‘it'(whatever your ‘it’ is) what will my life be like? Will it be better or worse?

If you are in an unhealthy relationship, it can only get worse. Unhealthy relationships destroy people. They mess with your head, and make you sick in many ways. The longer you are in an unhealthy relationship the more you will convince yourself that you are trapped. And the longer you are trapped the less likely you are to believe that you even deserve to be in a healthy relationship. It’s a never ending spiral. Downwards.

If you are in a job that you don’t like, that doesn’t make you feel like you are contributing, that you don’t bound out of bed every morning to get to – then it won’t get better. You will just become one of the corporate zombies. One of the living dead. The less you feel good about what you are doing, the more you will lose your confidence and struggle to find any joy. The less passionate you are about your work, the less you will invest in it, the more likely you are to be at risk of depression and anxiety. No amount of job security is worth your soul. Ever.

If you don’t actually go on a date, or give relationships a chance, then you won’t learn the intricacies of intimate relationships. There is only so much you can learn about relationships without getting involved with someone. It’s a bit like riding a bike. You can read about how to ride a bike, but you have to get on one to understand the ‘feel’ of a bike and how to balance your body and the bike so you can actually ride it.

If you don’t write that novel, direct that musical, or paint that picture, how will you even develop the skills to become that great novelist/director/artist? We don’t tell babies to get up and run. We encourage them to give it a go. We expect them to fall down all the time. But it’s in the falling down and getting back up again, in an environment of encouragement, that we have all learnt to walk…and then run. Some of us have become Olympic champions! But none of us would have become great walkers or champions if we hadn’t fallen down a fair bit, and gotten back up again.

And if you are still at home in 20 years…dude…what are you doing?

When you read the autobiographies of people like Madonna, Richard Branson, Kylie Minogue, INXS, Martin Luther KIng, J.K. Rowling and Oprah (just to name a few), none of them had their careers or achievements handed to them on a silver platter. They all took massive risks, fell over quite a bit, then rose up to achieve and live extraordinary lives.

They all talk about being afraid. But they were all brave enough not to live a ‘safe’ but deathly life and fight for what they deserve: An extraordinary life filled with passion and joy.

In 20 years time, if you had a chance to travel back in time to speak to your younger self today, I hope you would say something like: “Don’t ever give up on yourself. Because your life is all that you want it to be – be brave.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

5 Quirky ways to love your body

DAY 73

12th March, 2014

A while a go ‘I fucking love science’ posted this cute pic:

cells

I thought it was pretty cute, and also pretty spot on. Our cells are totally in tune with us. They are totally connected with what we are thinking and how we are feeling. Getting ready to party and feeling pretty excited? Then your billions of little cells are partying right along with you! Feeling like you are trapped in the darkness and can’t get out? Then your massive population of cells are rocking in the corner too, moaning and groaning in the dark with you. Falling in love and consumed with passion, well don’t look now, but you have a few billion copy cats hanging around you…

Pretty awesome right? And quirky.

So it got me thinking, what are my top 5 quirky (but effective) ways to love my body?

  1. Hot stone massages. It might feel a bit weird to have someone massage you with oil and rock hard stones, but as long as the therapist massaging you is qualified and knows what they are doing, this is total bliss. Your body will love you for it! Essentially the therapist massages you with the hot stones and then positions them down your spine to heat your muscles and relax you. Hmmm…heaven on a stick!
  2. Eat colours! This is about giving those billions of adoring cells the nutrients they need to keep you alive. So feed them a range of colours from each food group. So for example: orange coloured food such as carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin! Purples, such as blueberries. Loads of green coloured foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli and celery. One of my favourite food websites is Joe Cross’ website. You will find loads of juicing recipes and good food recipes to try.
  3. Get physical! In any way you can. Walk up and down the stairs. Dance in your kitchen to your favourite KPop or metal song on your IPOD! ‘Snuggle’ with your love…if you know what I mean! Maybe snuggle twice! Walk your cat. Swim in the ocean but only on moon lit nights.
  4. Mirror it! Find a mirror and give your reflection a good pep talk. Remind yourself what you love about your body. How cool you are. If you feel a bit awkward, take some time to write down your favourite things about yourself on post it notes. Then pop these up on your mirror so you can refer to them if you get stuck. Remember to be kind. Do you love you eyes? Think your hands are pretty cool? Love the way your smile lights up your face? What about your insides? Do you love how clever you are? How quick witted and funny you are? Do you love the way you can sing or the way you look after your mum or grandma? Still feel a bit awkward? Then imagine that you are telling the throngs of cells how much you love them. How cool they are when they sing in the shower or volunteer at the local soup van.
  5. Dress to impress …yourself of course. This one is about loving who you are and feeling good in your skin. When you love who you are, your body (aka billions of cells) usually reflects that loving. Dress in your favourite colours, or favourite 1970’s tee’s or designer outfits that you won on E-Bay. Let loose your quirky style and be true to who you really are. Because you are wonderful! And you have an entourage of billions of tiny cells that follow you every day to prove it!

“I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
― Maya Angelou

 

Be bold, be brave, be vulnerable!

gothic-love-rani-de-leeuw

DAY 69

10th March, 2014

One of my favourite films is The Notebook, and no, it’s not because Ryan Gosling or Rachel McAdams are the lead actors. (Although yes, both are extremely gorg!)

There is a scene in the film where Ryan Goslings character, Noah, renovates a house. Noah and his love, Allie, have broken up a good few years before, but he renovates the house that she loves. He thinks that if he works on re-building the house that she wants, that she will come back to him. Of course the film is a romance, so Allie does eventually come back to Ryan. But the moment I love is when Noah is brave and takes the biggest chance of his (fictional) life. He works his ass off to build the house that he believes his Allie will love. He is brave enough to step out of his comfort zone to do something extraordinary, even though he has never built a house before. And throughout the adventure of re-building his house, his home for his love, Noah is completely vulnerable; he wears his heart on his sleeve. It’s what makes him risk everything when Allie finally turns up in his driveway to see the house.

I know it is a Hollywood film, but I also know many people around me who have lived in similar ways, who have taken the risk to be brave. Who have been bold enough to be vulnerable. Not everyone has received what they wanted. Some have lost the love of their life. Some have had businesses fail, or been betrayed. Some have retreated to the comfort of their beds and stayed there for a while.

What gets them back up? What gives them the ability to be brave, even though they are frightened. The courage to be bold, even when they are not quite sure they have what it takes. But most of all the strength to be vulnerable again, because in spite of everything that has happened, they have the strength to open them selves up and try again.

As Richard Branson once said: “The brave may not live forever – But the cautious do not live at all!”
― Richard BransonLike a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School

Be brave and do the thing you think you can’t do!

poppies

DAY 63

4th March, 2014

‘You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is funny how we can give up the very things that we love, that we hold precious and dear, because we are full of fear. We are not frightened of the thing that we love to do. That beautiful thing that we get caught up in and lose time over. The things we wish we could spend our days doing. We are frightened of what people will say, what the critics will think, what people might think of us. What we think of ourselves.

We think we are not good enough.

We think that we are somehow not deserving enough, and that eventually someone will find us out!

We are frightened of the things that we imagine will be said about us.

So we give up the very things that we love, beyond measure, and we settle for a life that is small and safe.

It is true. It’s scary to vulnerable. It is also frightening to take a risk and show up. To dare to give your dream a life. It is scary because you will make mistakes. You will fall flat on your face sometimes – perhaps most of the time at the beginning. It’s also scary because in the world we live in today, people can be mean. They will sit in their comfortable chairs on social media, or in the real world and will comment on your abilities. They will make comments about you.

Just think of all the gossip shows that attract massive ratings. Apparently we all love a good gossip and a nasty little story.

But  here’s the thing: we are all afraid. We all think that we are not good enough, (even the hosts of that horrid TV fashion show!). We all think that we do not deserve goodness and success in our lives. We are all vulnerable and afraid. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also be brave and courageous.

I always remember Carrie Fisher being interviewed about when she got the role of Princess Leia on Star Wars, A New Hope. She kept thinking that someone would realise that they had made a mistake in hiring her. Even when they started shooting the film, she kept waiting for someone to tell her that she wasn’t good enough. Of course she went on to make all three films in the trilogy, and later on played some great roles in more films like, When Harry Met Sally, and then she became a best selling author. I remember being surprised when I read the interview though. Surely all successful people are confident and talented? Isn’t that how they become successful?  It turns out that most successful people are just as scared as everyone else. But they show up anyway.

Being afraid and doing the very thing that we think we can’t do is about being courageous. And being courageous and pushing through the fear to show up anyway, is where the magic happens. It’s where we find ourselves. It’s where we find love, joy, gratitude and our creativity. It’s where we can finally live.

So, yes, it’s really scary to move beyond the fear and show up. But, as Brene Brown says, “It’s not as scary as getting to the end of your life and wondering – What if? What if I had shown up?”

Picture from: Hope Red Sunlight from wallsave.com