We woke up at sunrise to walk through the city before everyone else did and we ended up on an isolated road, wandering through the sage brush and breathing in that clear and quiet air. There was an actual instance where I could feel myself opening up to this new season.
I felt an internal sigh of relief in knowing that that everything is impermanent. Standing in my own personal resiliency, I recognized the slow comfort I’ve developed with discomfort.
And what that means for me is that I’ve had the courage to learn how to be brave. In some ways, it doesn’t come natural for me; I like the security of mastering a skill, of growing confidence in a particular area and then planting roots there to stay. In other ways, I’m comfortable with risk, but I forgot about the courage these challenges required. The courage that landed me in a big ten school without knowing a single soul- the first time to leave my small Wyoming town. The courage to share my heart with others without knowing how it would be received and the courage to be authentic, to be unwavering in who I feel to be as a person. The courage to be unshakable in my commitment to expanding my highest potential, of searching for inspiration, and then trying to live it.
For the first time in a long while, I really paused to see where I’ve landed. I stopped long enough to question whether this is where I’m meant to stay. The lesson is that if we don’t stop to take a look at where we are, we might find ourselves in a job, relationship, city, situation, or lifestyle that we didn’t intentionally end up in and definitely didn’t mean to stay with. Without exploring our internal landscape, life will pass us by. What I know is that in pursuit of comfort we might forget the other possibilities that exist within us and end up complacent.
This isn’t a quit your day job and follow your passion post. This isn’t a travel around the world and live out of your backpack post. Of course you can do either of those things, and it would be beautiful. But equally as beautiful is living a creative life, a slow and steady existence characterized by the intentionality of each of your actions. This a post inviting you to pause; to look at where you’ve landed as a result of your most challenging days and your greatest successes. This is a post asking you to stand strong in your grief and heartache after losing the person you love the most, after wandering in this world trying to figure out why you’re here, and especially after deciding that it’s time to let go. This is a post reminding you to remain curious about who you are, because it’s changing in every moment. This is a post reminding you that our time here is finite, that we won’t get the chance to try all of these things ever again. That at the end of our days we all want to look back and know that we did every single thing that was planted in our heart.
Is this who you are supposed to be?
What about that book you wanted to write? That idea you wanted to invent? That country you wanted to explore? That job you wanted to get? The children you wanted to raise? That dream only you were meant to chase? Those mountains you wanted to climb?
Living up to our greatest possibilities requires constant evaluation of where we are. It requires a dedication to learning how to be uncomfortable and making brave choices- even when you’re scared. Fear has a very definitive power of keeping us from doing the things we were meant to do- of taking those risks and opening up to the possibility of failure. Fear of course, is just doing it’s job- but if we only listen to this side of who we are, we will never live out our purpose or grow into our ultimate completeness.
What I want more than outward success is that freedom to try things I may not be good at. The personal strength to take a risk without being attached to the outcome, the ability to move through fear with strength and ease. And for me, this means living fiercely. This means taking a leap before I am ready and showing up every single day- with persistence and devotion- to doing the work. And not only the work, but my work. This means living authentically, without the need for validation or external approval This means giving myself permission to be different tomorrow than I was today.
Don’t get stuck where you are out of comfort. Stay ever-changing. The only way we can affect change- within ourselves and the world- is to be committed to failure. Let it happen. Breathe when it does. And know that you will thrive.