bravery

“time doth flit; oh shit.”

-Dorothy Parker

ImageLately I have noticed that this whole commitment-to-authentic-beauty thing requires almost constant bravery.  I live with my nose shoved up against my fears. Constantly.  Why is it so frightening? Because I have to look at the reality of who and what I am.  And I have to tell the truth about myself instead of putting a pleasant face on things.  And I have to look at all the places I am falling short of being/doing/creating all that I truly want to.

Seeing all of the beauty there is, and all that I have the potential to create, I come up against the very real limitations of time.  As in: I’m going to die.  How many of these dreams am I realistically going to realize?

Tara Mohr recently discussed originality in terms of moving closer to the origin.  The closer each of us are to source, the clearer our self-expression grows. Our originality is a constant well, born in the reality of who we are. It’s not something we can scavenge and sweat and search for. It’s something we ARE, effortlessly.

I am almost allergic to this concept of effortlessness. Another thing I am almost allergic to? Asking for help.  I break out in a sweat, my stomach tightens, I feel dizzy and compelled to run.  So, after reading Tara’s insightful post on originality, and discerning that I want to focus on the dreams that are closest to my source, I did the bravest thing I could think of.  I wrote an email to people I respected and admired, people whose opinions I valued, and I ASKED FOR HELP. I asked for their assessment of my strengths and weaknesses.  I asked what gifts they believed I had to offer.  And then I sent the thing!

Now it may seem slightly self-defeating to look for one’s own source in the opinions of others. But one of my favorite places to hide is in the inferred opinions of others.  I can stop myself from doing something just by imagining what my third-grade teacher would say.  For me, it is an act of incredible bravery to step out there and discover what those opinions actually are. And already I am learning so much from the response, learning the places where I hide from life and friendship, learning that I do indeed have very clear and consistent strengths.

This morning I lit candles and spent the thirty minutes of my yoga practice repeating these strengths like a mantra.  When I rolled up my mat it was clear to me what I want to do next.

This.  This–writing, expressing what I know and am learning, linking my love of plants and herbal preparations with my interest in counseling and facilitating women’s circles.  Letting all the pieces of my life come together and letting my strengths support me.

And finding the bravery to DO it. Authentically.  Effortlessly.

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