Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Friz and Me

I'm not especially keen on Sir O's latest attachment to my parents' collection of Magic School Bus books.  I've been trying to get him attached to The Little House and Bread and Jam for Frances.  But he's determined that the most colorful book with the least palatable form of didactics will be his favorite.  Se la vie.

boys reading together

But while reading one of his favorites, The Rot Squad, Miss Frizzle told her class, and subsequently told me, to "Take Chances!  Get Messy!  Make Mistakes!"

Wow.  Really.

If I could get over my fear of doing exactly those things, then I could experience such a revolutionary freedom.  I think a lot of us get so caught up in trying to avoid risk, avoid messes, and avoid mistakes that we create a rather narrow version of reality for ourselves.

Which reminded me of a favorite, if over-used passage from Marianne Williamson,
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

So I've been contemplating what fear is keeping me from doing lately.  And sadly, the answer is "quite a lot."  I'm awfully afraid of failure.  But I'm also aware that life is too short to be afraid of good things.  And a lot of good things require that you're out in the realm of taking committed chances and living on purpose.  So I'm recommitting to my principle of not making decisions based on fear - and I'm mapping out some concrete goals, a few of which involve this blogging space, a few of which involve my family, and a few of which involve just little old me.  I don't want to wake up and be in my twilight years and wonder what I did with my life.  It's time for being alive, and living intentionally.

A few small adjustments I hope to make in the coming months:

  • planning date nights in advance so they actually happen, at least 2x/month even if they cost money.
  • actually starting a company for wedding flowers and events (I need a tax id# to have an account with a wholesaler).  I was going to wait until after our move - but I figure having a Utah tax ID might be useful anyway - since I will inevitably be in and out of Utah for the rest of forever, and want to be able to do weddings here.
  • allow myself to start planning a garden without an actual garden to plan
  • encourage Mr Renn to go to every job interview that he can secure, and not pressure him to make a choice until we have all our cards on the table
  • Purchase a web-domain so I can begin the process of weaning myself from blogger and exercise more control over my site.
  • Start keeping track of all those blog-post ideas that I never actually remember when I sit down to compose a post.
  • More actively seek out opportunities to learn from other people - both for the knowledge and for the relationships.  This means not being afraid to ask - or rather asking despite the fear.
  • Find more ways to be cognizant of people outside of my home, and look for opportunities for me and my family to serve others.  (Even if our service comes with sticky fingerprints and missing pieces)
  • Find more ways to show my Husband I love him, and that he's important to me.  (Because severe sleep deprivation sometimes takes it's toll in the most important places, and taking one's spouse for granted always seems to be the first thing to slide).

What can you do, big or small, to make your life a little bit less afraid and a little bit more on purpose?  Is there a chance for failure involved?  Can you try it anyway?  Do tell.


hairyshoefairy said...

I love that quote. I need to remember it more often. I think your goals are great ones. There are so many things I'd love to do but am too scared and/or insecure with myself to really give them a good shot. I hope your endeavors go well. Also? I can't wait to see what you do with a domain of your own!

shelley said...

What a brave an optimistic post Em! I applaud you! I think your goals are both attainable and will stretch you. You can do it, I believe in you!

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