Tag Archives: risk

Can we talk about sex?


Can we talk about sex?

Yes we most certainly can but we often don’t.

Guys, think about this scenario: -your wife makes you a new dish for dinner and afterwards she asks “How did you like it?” She wants feedback because she wants to know whether she should make it again or change it anyway before she does. You say things like “Needs a little more spice” and “I like this part but not that part”, or “It was totally delicious.” Hopefully you used phrasing that was clear, helpful, complementary and thoughtful of the effort she put into cooking the meal. She, on the other hand, is hopefully receptive to hearing the feedback because she wants to please you. If so, she can take the information you provided into consideration and next time make the meal even more delicious and to your personal liking.

Gals now it’s your turn. Imagine this: You go to your hairdresser and she says what “What would you like?”   Now admittedly there are occasional times when you don’t know and might tell her to surprise you. But more often than not, you have the placement of every curl down to a science.   In fact, you may very well pick up the hairdresser’s tools and show her exactly how you want it done.

 

I have long fantasized about writing a book or at least book chapters with the following titles: the male version would be, You Can Have My Penis But Not My Heart and the woman’s would be, You Can Have My Vagina But Not My Heart.   These titles represent for me the idea that, so often people give up their bodies without really giving to the other, what’s in their heart about what happens to them in terms of emotional satisfaction. More specifically in this blog it refers to the unwillingness to give of one’s desires that will result in satisfaction.

Of course food and hair are not as intimate as sex. On the other hand, food and hair are not as intimate as sex. That wasn’t a typo

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. The argument is that we don’t want to “talk” about something so intimate… but then why are willing to DO something that is so intimate? It’s easier to talk about things that are less intimate because we may feel shy or even embarrassed or we don’t want to upset the other person. Yet, the idea is, if we are engaging with something so intimate, we should be doing that with someone with whom we feel safe and very close. These are the people we need to trust and believe will trust us, thereby making talking a very safe act.

If we are having intimate relations with someone we believe loves and cares about us, then why would we withhold information that would enable him or her to make that the best experience for us? Similarly, why would we not seek out information from them to increase our confidence insuring our efforts are as close as we can get to providing them with the best experience.

This week, how about taking a risk and starting a conversation or two about S-E-X.

 

 

 

Is it time for you to lose wait?


NOTE to readers:     There was an issue with the captcha for new commenters- If you were not previously permitted to leave a comment, I believe this has been fixed.  I apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this may have caused!

Is it time for you to lose wait?

I know I’ve made a lot of typos lately, but the one above isn’t actually one of them.

I heard a story the other day about a guy I’ll call Fred who was estranged from his family for several years.   When Fred learned that his mother, in her late 80’s was on her death bed he tried to make the arrangements to visit her. The arrangements including getting time off of work, and creating travel plans. Unfortunately, Fred didn’t get everything worked out in time and he never saw his mother again.

A couple of years later Fred learned that one of his siblings had passed away from a sudden illness. The person telling me the story reported that Fred was once again devastated as he had been when his mother passed. Although he had not had any contact with his sibling in 30 years, he said he regretted not having spent more time getting to know him when they were kids. Despite these two occurrences, Fred remained distant from the remainder of his family.

Even without seeing Fred, I can tell that, he the kind of person with a lot of wait. Too much wait. Fred is waiting to do things he thinks are important, until the wait is over because the opportunity passes. He just sits around feeling sad that his wait has kept him from really enjoying life as he should.

Our wait is personal. We all carry it differently from each other. Some of us, like Fred wait to let people in our lives know they are important to us. Some wait to start a project, finish a project or develop our talents

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. Others wait to start their career, get an education or acquire skills. And still others of us wait to change behaviors that are setting us up for consequences we hope we will never have to face.

Would you be willing to start a wait reduction program? What area(s) in your life are you waiting to take action on? What are you waiting to discover about your passion and let yourself move forward on? What holds you back? Are you allowing yourself to fall victim to the rewards of short term behaviors that satisfy your urges long enough to help you postpone the longer term successes?

I’d love to hear your comments and stories!

Leap of Faith


 

 

For an audio version of this post click on the link below:

There is a movie from 1992 called Leap of Faith starring Steve Martin and Debra Winger. Martin plays a con man Jonas Nightengale, who poses as an evangelical preacher that goes from small town to town creating “miracles”. But what he actually does is use a crew, led by Winger to feed him information about the audience into a hidden ear piece so he can “appear” to know things about the people. Of course, everyone is impressed by his great capacity and gives him money. Then he moves on to the next town and repeats this scenario.

Jonas and his crew find themselves in the impoverished town of Rustwater Kansas after their travel bus breaks down. Jonas looks around and declares “A town this deep in the crapper’s got nowhere to turn but GOD!”   Among their many problems, the drought plagued town needs rain to survive. Jonas plans to run a show or two while he waits for repairs before being discovered.

Shortly into the movie however, he is intrigued by a young boy Boyd and the sister who cares for him. Boyd can walk only with crutches since an accident that killed his mother and father and left his legs dysfunctional. The sister warns Jonas to stay away from Boyd, explaining that once before a preacher tried to heal Boyd. When it failed, the preacher blamed the boy for not having enough faith. However, despite her cynicism, Boyd is mesmerized with Jonas and wants to be healed by him.

Jonas continues to prey upon the vulnerabilities of the towns people. Each time they suspect God has spoken to him on their behalf, they add money to his coffers. Boyd makes his way to the stage and seeks to be healed. Jonas tries to ignore his presence because he doesn’t want his cover blown. But Boyd actually begins to walk without his crutches and the crowd goes wild. They throw money at Jonas and shout one more miracle. They now want him to make it rain to benefit the town.

Jonas is angry, believing that Boyd was a bigger conman than even he presuming the boy faked his impediment. The next night the town gathers in a field to camp out waiting for the miracle of rain. Knowing he will be discovered as a fraud, Jonas slips off and hitches a ride on his own leaving his crew behind. Ironically, he isn’t very far out of town when the truck driver notices it has begun to rain. Jonas laughingly calls out “Thank You Jesus.

Okay, I ruined the movie for you I’m sorry. But I wanted to give you an illustration of something I think best illustrates a principle one of the classic theorists in psychology, Alfred Adler. He calls it the As IF principle.

Adler suggested that when we are trying to make a change, we need to behave as if the change has already taken place. For example, if you want to get promoted, wear the clothing of someone at the next level. If you want to improve your marriage, act as if it is already improved and treat the other person from that mindset. If you want to be more financially sound, live as if there is money around you and operate from confidence rather than fear or deprivation.

Please don’t confuse this as simple and easy. Actually, it is somewhat simple, but it isn’t necessarily easy. It requires clear goal setting, commitment to the goal, letting go of obstacles you may be holding on to (crutches), and the willingness to experience the discomfort of being in transition or even limbo between the self you have been, and the self you wish to be.

Even more than changes in behavior on the outside, acting as if, requires significant changes on the inside. It means to practice seeing yourself as successful

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. And, while many people have this desire, as the move suggests, it often requires a leap of faith.

While Martin is a clearly stated con man, Adler is not. However, in this exchange between Jonas and Boyd, Martin actually demonstrates in a crude way how Adler’s theory works:

 

Boyd: My sister says you’re a fake

Jonas, “Well maybe I am and maybe I’m not

If I get the job done, what’s the difference?

When we act as if, we begin projecting outward the image of us as having the capacity to live in the role where are seeking. Others, seeing us in that role begin to respond to us that way, which reinforces that confidence within us that we can handle the change. From that confidence, we continue to develop and strengthen the skills needed to make the change permanent and natural for us. Essentially what Jonas told Boyd is that whether or not it starts out as pure and legitimate, belief can make something become true.

 

Are there any areas that you could benefit from acting “as if”? How might you change if you took a leap of faith? I’d love to hear your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to be a Birdbrain


 

 

For an audio version click on the link below

 

 

The recent storms created a lot of fallen trees in my subdivision which is mostly wooded. In fact, one of my neighbors had a rather large tree fall across their driveway. It was a pain to remove, but it’s also one of the expectable hazards of living where we do. Trees get old; storms knock them down.

I’m not so much of a nature watcher, but I suspect when a big storm hits birds don’t hang out in the trees. I have to guess that if they do, they fly somewhere pretty quickly if they feel a tree starting to sway and tumble.

But on a regular day, I imagine birds hang out in the trees for the most part, unless trees are not prevalent. And it reminds me of a quote I like very much:

A Bird Sitting On A Tree Is Not Afraid Of The Branch Breaking Because His Trust Is Not On The Branch But On Its Wings .

I guess to be a bird means to have faith when it walks out on a branch that, it will either be fine or it will do something else. In contrast, as people, we tend to think in advance about the branch, look at it, research branches, finding out the statistics on how many branches will break per year and under what conditions, and then try and make a calculated guess of whether or not we should step out onto the branch. After that, we invest more time still discussing our findings about branch safety with others to try and validate our plan. Very often this results in either not going out on the branch at all, because we haven’t finished the analysis, or forgetting what we went there for by the time we arrive. Possibly, what we went out there for has already passed

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On the other hand, there are also some humans that will tromp on out to the branch before they learn to fly which doesn’t usually end well either. One could argue that real faith means not even worrying about the flying part- trust that God or the universe or whatever you subscribe to will simply take care of the falling bird.   And so when they inevitably fall, they use the bump on their head as justification that God doesn’t really care about them, or even that, there is no God.

Do we really want to live in a world where something other than us takes care of every single for us? While it sounds tempting in those moments that we feel overwhelmed, the truth is that we derive a vast amount of our satisfaction and esteem from mastering things. We learn from the struggles and to have them taken away from us leaves us without much purpose in living. Faith is to fill in the parts we don’t need to struggle with. Faith is the connective tissue between the parts we do, and the parts we don’t.

The parts we do are simply “our part”. It means to develop the strength, skills, resiliency and in some cases, patience and understanding. And probably a few other qualities that I’m forgetting at the moment. So in short, it’s not about developing how to anticipate everything and account in advance for every unknown. It’s about developing a plan A to try and get down the right path, and a plan B for when A doesn’t work out. Plan B isn’t just a more developed A. Plan B is a strategy about how to be okay when Plan A doesn’t get you where you wanted and accepting that you have to live with the way things are now, at least for now.  Another way of looking at his is that Plan A is your willpower and Plan B is your willingness.

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Which Way is North?


 

 

 

For an audio version of this post,  click on the link below:

This morning I had to run some errands before work. I tried to leave myself enough time. But I was day dreaming and I, unfortunately, took a wrong turn. I was actually on a familiar road, but that road had nothing in common with my first destination. However, since it was familiar, I drove pretty far down the path before I woke up and realized I had to turn around.

But turn around is what I did. It cost me enough time that I cut it close getting my tasks done while still arriving at work on time.

This is similar to the feeling I have when people tell me about their life not being on the right path. The dilemma is that, often they are afraid to turn around and take another direction. The road they are on may look familiar, so they stay, even when they know it won’t lead them to where they ultimately hope to go. They may stay the course because they feel safe knowing which twists and turns lie ahead. Another thing that keeps people stuck is the feeling that sometimes it may feel like it’s too late to turn around. They’ve lost too much time. So they concede to live the remainder of their life going where they don’t really want to go, rather than risk ending up some place else in between.

My first career illustrates this challenge. I fell into a line of work and then kept doing it because it fulfilled financial needs. I hated it, and knew my growth was pretty limited, but taking another path meant I had to get an education. For awhile, that seemed unsurmountable. I shudder now to think how miserable I would have remained, had I not turned around and gone in another direction. Now I love my job and have for 23 years.

When I contemplated a divorce in my first marriage I was scared of the unknown. I remember thinking what if I leave in hopes of something more and end up with everything less. I recall a friend who said to me , “It’s true, that if you leave, you might not get what you want. But if you stay, you guarantee that you won’t.” That advice helped me make the decision and I started down a new path.

Please be sure that as I describe these two major turning points in my own life, neither of them landed me on a shiny road made of gold with clear painted signs and beautiful flowers along the perimeters. Sometimes my car stalled, I got lost, it rained, sleeted and snowed on my journey. But each new day, the sun rose and I resumed my travel

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. I had to learn to remember that the sun is still present even when I can’t see it through the clouds.

One of the things that helps a traveler is having a good map. So often, we forget to ask ourselves at the start of our journey, where is it we really want to go. Many of us end up going where others suggest. Perhaps well meaning others, but in the end, no one can really know where each of us needs to go better than we will. It’s personal. The answer needs to come from within.

Another useful tool is the ability to stop and ask for directions. Though no two people will experience the same journey in an identical way, others can still help you seek out and recognize milestones.   They can let you know at least some of the pitfalls ahead to expect, or caution you about detours or construction. In non metaphor terms, this can mean someone with a lot of marriage experience teaching you that marriage happiness ebbs and flows. Another example is a career mentor who might tell you the pros and cons about a vocation with honesty.

But probably the most useful tool for a traveler is willingness . You have to be willing to stay awake at the wheel and not daydream like I did on my morning adventure. And in that state of attentiveness, be willing to ask yourself if you are going where you want. And if the answer is no, be willing to turn around, no matter how much time you have invested.  Because even if you don’t ultimately end up there, at least you’ll know that you were headed towards your happiness, rather than going further away.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this entry. I’d love to hear your comments and I hope you’ll pass it on.   Until net time- take good care.

 

Justin Bieber gets religion?


 

For an audio version,   please click on the link below:  On a smartphone, you may need to scroll to the end of the message and click on the sound icon.

 

I heard recently that, Justin has reportedly found God, is doing bible study and trying to use that avenue to turn his life around. The skeptic in me thinks Justin is trying to turn his plummeting stardom and likability ratings around- but who am I to judge. And frankly, I hope the skeptic is wrong. Not because of a religious conviction, but because at the end of the day I do firmly believe that the path to change always begins with the decision to do so followed by a single step in a different direction.

This morning I received a text from an old client I haven’t seen in a while. He told me he had been thinking of coming in for a while. I said I was looking forward to seeing him and we set up an appointment. He said I shouldn’t be too excited, because he wasn’t feeling very proud of himself. I don’t know what we have ahead to work on. Frankly, it doesn’t change how I’m feeling. I’m fairly confident that regardless of what he has to present, the fact that he already has an internal feeling that he knows he is behaving in ways he doesn’t feel good about, and is willing to talk about this, is justification for my optimism.

I am often asked if I think people change. My answer is yes. And it’s based on more than the PolyAnna optimism I’ve been charged with at times. While many people don’t change, I believe more often than not, people are capable of change. However, it is unlikely to happen unless there is something more compelling to go towards, or something compelling enough to motivate them to move away from. What qualifies as compelling varies from person to person.

 

From the outside looking in, we tend to view the need for someone else to change as pretty straight forward. Woman beaten by husband- leave him. Husband using alcohol with poor health- Don’t drink. Wife disappearing in emaciation- just eat. Employee losing wife due to overworking- just set boundaries.

I think the important thing to remember is that people don’t develop problematic behaviors in a vacuum because they are attractive or fun. Behavior is meaningful. It serves a purpose. The woman may tolerate the beatings because she is financially or emotionally dependent. The husband may be using alcohol to self-medicate other issues. The emaciated woman may use her body as a way to set boundaries between herself and others that she has been unsuccessful doing any other way and so on. I do not offer these as excuses, but as explanations or as a small glimpse of what might lie under the surface that we do not see in others when we judge.

That said, dysfunctional or maladaptive behavior needs to be addressed. But change in my opinion is a process that occurs over time, not an event from a short term burst of enlightenment. People can have an “aha” moment, feel the heal, and seal it by singing a little Kumbaya during a group hug. But chances are when they return to the mundane routine of their everyday world, the very factors that led to their choice of behavior will still be waiting for them. Real change involves learning how to be different internally even though the environment hasn’t changed.

Change takes work

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. It requires introspection, objectivity and honesty. It also requires a willingness to tolerate the uneasiness of stepping out of your comfort zone while you wait for something better to grow in its place. It also requires a willingness to fail and start again, sometimes over and over again.

I think I’ll wrap this one up with a little humor with a joke that although corny, does make the point.

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one- but the light bulb has to really really want to change.

 

I hope you’ll leave a comment and pass my blog on to someone else suggesting they subscribe!  Thanks for stopping by and Take care.

 

 

Dont shoot purple cows


 

 

For an audio version click on the link below-If you are listening on a smart phone you may need to scroll to the bottom to find the sound icon.

Please don’t shoot the purple cows

I have to say my last post inspired ME. I hope it did you as well.

I started to think about what purple cows really look like and how would I recognize them if they were only a dim shade of lavender in the process of becoming deep purple.

My son Andrew likes to mix his ketchup and ranch dressing together for dipping French fries. I’ve criticized him for doing that in the past. It’s not normal.

I wonder if the mother of the kid who invented honey mustard was more flexible and said to her son “great idea… run with it”

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My son Alex is constantly creating large scale contraptions out of old junk. I often tell him to get the mess out of the way.

I wonder if Walt Disney’s mom told him to stop wasting so much time in his imaginary world. Or did she say,  “Wow those are such creative ideas. I bet millions of other kids would love your stories as well.”

My husband the inventor uses the microwave in increments like 33,  44 seconds rather than 30 or 40. He says it’s more efficient because it requires the hand to search for other keys.

I originally told him I thought that was the laziest thing I had ever heard. Then I realized (with much reaction from him) that this is the mindset behind process improvement in manufacturing something he knows a thing or two about. Significant manufacturing dollars are recouped with sometimes even microseconds of improvement in efficiency.

How does one become a purple cow? Some are born that way. And if they are lucky, they don’t have someone like me who talks them out of it before it flourishes and takes root.

But for those who aren’t born purple it looks a little differently. Someone asked me yesterday if you decide or become and then decide. My reply was “Once you decide, you have already become.” Let me explain.

If I take two clay pots of dirt and plant the seed for a daisy in one and a geranium in another and set them on the windowsill, anyone passing by will see only 2 clay pots with dirt in them. But at the point of deciding, and planting the seeds, they are in fact already a daisy and a geranium. They are uniquely different from each other, even though no one can see that yet. Each day as they start to make their way to the surface they take on more and more of the qualities that let’s others recognize them.

So once you plant yourself, you have made the decision to grow in a particular direction. You can water and nurture that growth and become either a vibrant daisy or a sickly one. So similarly, if you want to be a purple cow, or a purple daisy, you need first to decide what variety, plant, and then start growing. Unless of course, you are one of the lucky natural born purples. If that is the case, your work is largely the sum of not hiding your purple. And, it is a good idea to seek out and nurture other purple cows to preserve the species and protect them from extermination from people who don’t understand the benefits of purpleness, or that lavender can lead to purple.

Think about posting a metaphoric “no hunting purple cows” sign in your household or business environment. If they are wandering around, they may just be the person who comes up with the next great idea. And think about hanging one in your own brain. Eliminating the energy expenditure to mute yourself into the “normal” bubble, may just free up the creative energy you needed to accomplish something really important to you.

Thanks for reading. If you find this helpful, I hope you’ll pass it on to someone else and suggest they subscribe. If you aren’t a subscriber, please take a moment to enter your email so you won’t miss a post. Until next time take good care.

 

 

 

The Places that Scare you


for an audio version of this post, click on the link below- if you are listening on a smartphone, you may have to scroll to the end of the post and look for the sound icon

 

I had a boss when I was about 18 years old who gave me the following advice: The best thing that can ever happen to you is to get fired.

I can’t say I’ve had that joyful experience, but I certainly understand what it meant. Simply, that once you’ve been fired, and you survive that, you quit working in such a way as to “avoid firing” as your primary motivation and guide. Instead, you begin to work focused on what is the job about, how can you be good at it, how can you enjoy what you do and so on.

Fear is an insidious and debilitating worm. It crawls into places that we may not even know about and sits waiting to call out the shots with a megaphone. While this is of course indicative of other maladies as well, I’m going to use eating disorders as the metaphor to illustrate a point.

Ive had the experience more than once (or a hundred) times, where I’m working with someone who is terrified at the prospect of gaining weight. Perhaps they are already at the upper end of their comfort zone, or potentially even emaciated when this discussion occurs. I’ve learned its universal, regardless of one’s size because its about the fear, not the size. And the fear is always extremely heavy.

So I say “you need to gain some weight to get beyond this”.

The other person looks at me like I could not possibly be any more stupid or insensitive.

See here is the deal “I am not trying to get the person to “gain weight”. I’m letting the person know that their constant fear of what will happen IF/WHEN they gain weight has a death grip on them and it is filling every waking moment.. and for some a bit of their nocturnal dream world as well. And because of that death grip, they are not able to use their energy in other places of their lives. So when I say gain weight, what I’m really saying is go to the place that scares you and learn that you will and can live in that place- you might not enjoy it – but it won’t kill you- and you might find it isn’t nearly as scary as you thought it was-or even as terrible- but if you don’t like it, you can still change it- but not not because you’re terrified of it-

This is usually when the other person says “I’ll just stop thinking about it”. Bzzzz- wrong answer- here’s why- try this little experiment. If I ask you to not think of any four letter words for one minute- I’m pretty sure you will come up with a list of at least 20 in no time. It’s how our brain works- Tell us we can’t do something and the brain kicks into high gear going to work to figure out exactly how to do what we told it not to.

So if you tell yourself to stop thinking about it…. You’ll only think of it more. The way out is through, not around.

How do we get a kid to learn that they aren’t going to die by sleeping alone at night with the light off? Remember, from the child’s perspective its terrifying

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. We know otherwise. So we tell them the words but it isn’t until they actually sleep through the night, and wake up on the other side there is any measure of convincing that takes place.

Gaining weight in this scenario is about losing fear. It’s about telling the fear that it cannot continue to have a death grip on you.

What form does your death grip have? Money? A job? A relationship? How would you enter into the place that scares you? What might be possible in your life if you didn’t have that fear?

 

 

 

Deep Waters


for an audio version of this post, click on the link below- if you are listening on a smartphone, you may have to scroll to the end of the post and look for the sound icon

Deep Waters

As a kid, my family was always around water.  We had a boat and, a dilapidated shack of sorts on the Mississippi river.  We called the place, the Clubhouse, and it’s where we spent the bigger portion of our summers.  But the intriguing part of this tale is that neither of my parents could swim.

Despite his limitation, my father had no fear of the water.  He would drive the boat faster than he should have.  I especially remember how he would make sharp turns to create a wake for those of us swimming nearby.  The turns would cause the boat to careen in such a way, so close to the water that, it was as if, anything not buckled down, including the people, could roll out like marbles in an open bag.  Although it never happened, I can still see the fear and disdain in my mother’s face as she tried to admonish him from the shoreline.

My mother was a woman of great fear.  I don’t offer that with the same harsh judgment I once did, but rather as statement of understanding what better governed many of the choices she made in her life, both for herself and for her children.  Although she too, spent many hours in the water, it was a relationship precariously balanced between her love for it, and her fear.  Fear of water is not irrational, people do drown.  But my mother’s fear was more of a philosophy than a reaction.  Sometimes she sat near, other times venturing in with her life jacket, ski belt or more commonly, an inner tube.  We had a stockpile of used car and truck inner tubes inflated as flotation devices that anyone could use to just lounge about the water.  For my mother, they were literally her life preservers

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There were times over the years that she tried to become more engaged.  She took a lesson here or there to increase her confidence.  And sometimes it worked.  But then life turns would take her away from the water for a bit too long and she would forget what she knew.  Mostly, she forgot the confidence that her body was capable of keeping her afloat with just a little effort and a smidgen of skill.

One day when my mom was about 87 years old, she joined me and my boys in the pool at our home.  My youngest son was about 5 and still trying to get comfortable with swimming into the deep end of the pool without his water wings.  I was going back and forth from end to end alongside him trying to build both his confidence and endurance.  My mom watched on from the shallow end clinging to a noodle despite a depth of only about 3 feet.  After a bit, I tried gently at first and then more forcefully to get her to venture out into the deeper water.  Annoyed, she snapped back “I’ll do it later”.  And in a harsh frustrated and sarcastic tone I retorted “Mom! You’re 87 years old, just when do you think you’ll finally get around to this?

My mother died three years later.  If my memory is accurate, and believe me, these days people should question that before assuming it is, I think that day in our pool was the last time my mom was ever in the pool.  I started to write, “went swimming”, but I realized as I wrote the preceding line, she didn’t swim that day.  She got in a pool.  She stood in water.  But she did not swim.  She was too afraid to swim.  And in a very real way she, at least partially so, knew how to swim.

I just did a google search on the word fear.  137 million entries in .29 seconds.  It’s a pretty big deal fear is.

What are you waiting to do that you are afraid of?  What are you waiting to do that you don’t even know about yet, because the fear inside won’t even let you conceive of the idea of that something?

When you think about things you want to do, what comes up? What are the stories that your head tells you that you cannot do and why?  If I tell myself I want to be a world class ballerina, a myriad of stories are going to come forward.  Stories about how I’m too short, out of shape or too old to achieve a goal that requires training I should have begun 40 years ago.  These are not fear based nor are they judgments.  They are simply assessments of reality as it currently exists.

But if I say I wouldn’t want to dance because people would laugh at me, that instead is a story based on fear.  If I more cleverly try to disguise this by telling myself, I don’t want to dance because I don’t have time, then it’s a story born out of a seed of fear that is nurtured with the soil of convenience to help it grow.  The improbability of becoming a world class ballerina does not mean I could not take a ballet class.  It doesn’t mean I could not perform in a local recital.  It doesn’t mean I couldn’t dance at home.

Fortunately for me, I have zero interest in becoming a ballerina, world class or no class.  My fears lurk in other domains.  Where do yours lie?  Are you willing to pull them out, dust them off and have a thorough look at them?  Are you willing to schedule them far enough in the future to assure they will never confront you?

Take a look backwards at your life for a moment.  Look for the themes or patterns of events that may have been opportunities to get you started towards something that is important to you, that you have perhaps ignored.  In the story of my mother’s reluctance to swim, opportunity had presented itself many times over her lifetime.  How about you?  Has opportunity invited you to join in the fun but you have allowed fear to persuade you into thinking it was calling someone else?  Did you tell yourself it wasn’t the “right time” or circumstances?   What are you putting off “’til later on”?

Are you willing to just make a list of those things for now?  You don’t have to act on them.  But even making a list of them gives the universe a little hope that, you are still interested.  It says to not cross you off the list just yet.

In the next blog, we’ll get a little more personal.  So for today I’ll end today with a couple of quotes of inspiration.

 

There comes a moment in every life when the Universe presents you with an opportunity to rise to your potential. An open door that only requires the heart to walk through, seize it and hang on.
The choice is never simple. It’s never easy. It’s not supposed to be. But those who travel this path have always looked back and realized
that the test was always about the heart. …The rest is just practice.”
? Jaime Buckley, Prelude to a Hero

 

For if the talent or individuality is there, it should be expressed. If it doesn’t find its way out into the air, it can be turned inward and gnaw like the fox at the Spartan boy’s belly.’

— Shirley McLain

 

I’m no more a wonder than anyone. And that’s what makes the world magical. Every baby’s a seed of wonder – that gets watered or it doesn’t.”
? Dean Koontz, Relentless