Monday, May 23, 2016
risk and authenticity
I've been inspired to start this blog while reading 'Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life', by Bernadette Murphy. It's about a 48 year old woman who takes up motorcycle riding while she's going through both the death of her father and the dissolution of her long-term marriage. She does it to show herself her own strength and to face her fear in the service of expanding her life. So many people fall into ruts in mid-life, and she doesn't want to be one of them. Neither do I. Like Bernadette, I have often been a cautious person (with notable exceptions). It's easy to keep doing the predictable and comfortable. I want a big life. So I decided to start this blog to commit to and chronicle my brave acts toward living as big a life as I am capable of. I am committing to (at least) one brave act a day. A brave act being something that takes me out of my comfort zone in the direction of what I want. Something that makes me feel more alive, more exposed, more in flow with life. I'd also like to inspire others to do the same. To live their big lives. It's not going to be easy. I have a strong tendency to want to stay safe and hidden to some extent, but also a strong desire for authenticity and aliveness, too. I've tasted what happens when I go outside my comfort zone. It often comes with some amount of discomfort and sometimes outright anxiety or even terror. It also often brings exhilaration and joy. I want more of that. It's a choice that you have to keep making over and over. Yesterday, I took a tiny taste of this feeling when I decided to go swimming in a pretty cold pond at a yoga retreat I was at. I am especially cautious about physical discomfort and risk. My boyfriend dove in and I slid in slowly down the ladder. It was really really cold. I got out quickly and dried off. He asked if I wanted to go in again and so I did. This time we swam around for a while and it was beautiful with the sun on our faces and the water bracing but better the second time around. When I wasn't able to close my hands properly because they were so cold, we got out. I felt happy and empowered all the way home, and decided to start this blog. Today my brave act is publishing this post.