Thursday, September 27, 2007

living adventurously.

While in an art supply store a couple of weeks ago, I spotted a card with this quote by Eleanore Roosevelt. I immediately thought of my mom and decided that I would buy it for her. Her life has been undergoing so many transformations lately. I hope to see her spread her wings out and fly--fearlessly. But you know how it is...sometimes we need reminding. I brought the card home with intentions of sending it right away, but somehow it found itself propped up against my vision board. For two weeks it's been sitting there nestled among images of the things I've been dreaming of...a new home, a light-filled studio space, a healthier body, continued studies in art, woods and leaves, water, words...

And it didn't take long for it to dawn on me that these words are just as important for me as they are for my mom. I've been meditating on this quote ever since. Not on purpose, but because it keeps working its way up to the top of my thoughts.

These days, I've been paying a lot of attention to myself. I've been noticing my breath, the way my body holds stress...or releases it. I've been paying attention to the roles I play in life, the things I desire, and the thoughts and emotions that pass through me in the course of a day. It's been getting pretty hard to ignore that, lately, I've been doing an awfully good job at holding myself back.

I haven't finished my thesis because I'm scared of writing crap. I haven't gotten serious about getting a new job because I'm scared that I won't know how to do something new. I don't dive head first into my artwork or web design because I'm scared it might not pan out as well as I'd like it to--and, let's face it, bills need to be paid. Here I thought I was all done with being afraid of things (oh, fearless me!)...but I guess fear has a sneaky way of creating obstacles and peeking in the windows. These fears don't really feel like fear. It's much more subconscious than this. But, nonetheless, I have been holding back from the forward movement that I find myself increasingly ready for.

And that's the key, isn't it: being ready. I have been feeling so much negativity over certain circumstances of my life. Uh-em...maybe it is time for a change?

Anyway, I sat down today and wrote my mom the longest letter that I've ever written her while on the same side of the globe. It occurred to me that my mom is just as wonderful as any friend or fellow blogger and, since there is always strength in numbers, why not do this together?! I think that, in the end, that quote was really meant for both of us. There's a lot of back story that I'm leaving out, but what it boils down to is that we inspired each other to take a leap of faith, each in our own way. But it's a process, isn't it. I made space for change...but now it's time to actually create the change!

Since this morning, something inside of me has shifted.

So here it is...
When I sat down to write that letter to my mom, I decided that, starting today, I am going to do one thing that scares me every day for a month.

I recently committed to doing a painting a day for one month and well...maybe I'm on a roll. Why lose the momentum now? Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of days that I really didn't feel like painting--but energy is a wonderful thing when creative forces come together. Karen, Leah, Elizabeth, Olivia, and Sheri joined me in the commitment in making art. They kept me inspired over and over and over again. There is strength in numbers--yes, it's true!

Starting today I am committing to doing one thing that scares me every day. It can be big or small or anything in between. I might apply for a job that I think is out of my league or I might write just one paragraph of my thesis. I might try a new painting technique or go shopping for more professional looking clothes. I might take a computer class or make more of an effort to learn on my own. I might do anything...but the point is that it should feel scary or thrilling or both! Wanna join me?

What did I do today?
I committed to this.
And asked you to join me.
Which makes this commitment all the more

What am I going to do tomorrow?
I'm going to respond to an add for a portrait artist.

After that?
That's the fun part. ;)
Who knows!


liz elayne lamoreux said...

this quote is one of my favorites...

and i love this committment! can't wait to see what adventures you will be on living this quote.

quiltcontemplation blogspot said...

Hi Jesse
I already see your spirit soarng:) I am in! I am not sure how I will do this but I will find a way and try to keep up-

bella said...

I cannot come to your blog without being inspired and fed and nourished.
Thank-you for this.
And YES, I will join you on your fear adventures. My own life has been going through some much transformation and so many endings and I feel myself now ready to begin, to forge ahead, to see what awaits. And this means doing those things that scare me.
I'll be here gaining inspiration and solace from you.

Tanaya said...

I am going to be away from my blog most of this weekend, but I will do this with you.

Your post is beautiful, I'll write more next week.

today's one thing for me: picking up the in-laws at the airport for a 5 day visit!! Tanaya

Deirdre said...

This concept is one that scares me all by itself. I have replace the word "scares" with "challenges" and then it's so much easier for me to go out and do something.

I'll be cheering for you and letting your courage pull me along with you.

Amber said...

"scared of writing crap"...Um...get out of my head!!

I will join you in this, because I know I need to. I need to just not be scared of writing crap. Who cares if what I write is crap? As long as I go there.

So thank you for being out there doing the same things, having the same thoughts.


Olivia said...

I so get what you're saying Jessie, and I AM IN! I am SO in with this and really want it. I am tired of backing down to fear. What an incredibly exciting challenge!! Thank you, and LOVE, O

Melanie Margaret said...

My friend!!!
You write the best letters ~ I am so fortunate to know this is true!

I am having a different experience with fear. I am ok during the day, but at night all this fear about stuff comes up for me~ especially about our house ~ there are many costly repairs we need to make and suddenly I get really worried about them. and then I try not to think about them, but I can't seem to stop!

I encourage you on your journey! I am thinking of how I can make this ring true for me so I can join in.

maybe for me it is more about the balance of play and silence.

Anonymous said...

I can so so so relate to your fears. I have been procrastinating in my job search like mad, so many small fears bog me down. Ugh. Thank you for this inspiration. I will put effort into acting more bravely this week.

Kate Robertson said...

I found your blog through Olivia and I love this idea. The quote from Eleanor is wonderful so I plan to do this along with you. I am a little late getting started but I will still do it.

Thanks for the inspiration


Karen Smithey said...

I'm going to do this, too. It has felt like during the last month or so the Universe has been pushing me outside of my comfort zone, so this comes at a perfect time! Now what can I do today?

[a} said...

OOoOoH brilliant post!

I agree, sometimes fear & holding back is so subconscious and hard to grasp...we have to jolt ourselves into action!

...So. Live adventurously. It's on.

Jana B said...

Okay, it is beyond wierd how I found this today, when I intentionally avoided something yesterday, that I KNEW I would love, simply because I was afraid I'd suck.

I'm in!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for this idea! :o)

Shaji.k said...

rwbghi jessie, it's a great project, a great commitment and i am in it as your follower. it will help the coward in me to die a natural death!