Farther than you think you can…

My fellow Art Jewelry Elements contributor, Linda Landig, wrote a post a week or so ago about the “evil fear bully” and how it felt to push herself into areas outside her comfort zone. For Linda, this meant brushing off her old metalsmithing skills and tackling some things that had been challenging for her. And it meant giving herself permission to see a less-than-perfect outcome as a learning opportunity, a stepping stone to what’s possible and what might be. I so admired her willingness to put herself out there and share her experiences.

There’s an exhilaration that comes from pushing yourself into new things, from stretching yourself beyond your own boundaries. One of the reasons I love the show “So You Think You Can Dance” is because it’s founded on that concept: you may be the very best contemporary dancer in your circle of friends, but we’re going to put you in a whole new environment ask you to do hip-hop… and do it with excellence. Last week, a young tap dancer named Curtis Holland had an experience that summed it up perfectly.

Was he the best dancer on the stage? Nope. But there was something unutterably moving and inspiring about his tearful response to the experience. “I never danced like that in my whole life. And it was great!”

More and more, I am hoping, praying, working for a life that is full of moments like that. I may never  be the best dancer on this stage, but I am willing – eager, even – to be pushed and challenged and to try things I never considered possible before… to dance like I’ve never danced in my whole life. I’m standing on the edge of some decisions, opportunities, and life changes that are potentially huge, a combination of scary and exciting, of sweet and bitter-sweet. We’re taking our time, Nick and I, considering all the possibilities but at a certain point the time for talking will be over. And I want to be like Curtis, diving in with my whole heart and ability, giving it my all, and reveling in the experience, even if the outcome isn’t the best thing in the room.

What about you? Are there areas where you need to give yourself permission to be daring, brave, fearless? Where is your jumping-off place, and how can I help give you a push?

2 replies
  1. Marie
    Marie says:

    So many of us are at a crossroads right now, it seems like turmoil at one moment, and sweet release at another. I am in the middle of trying to figure out what I will do with my life, and what will be best for my son, my mother, my health and my own happiness. It is such a tough time, yet… seems like there is such opportunity to change everything for the better. Good luck in your journeys.

    Reply
  2. LaDonna Gatlin
    LaDonna Gatlin says:

    I took a HUGE plunge two years ago when I quit my job as an educator to pursue my love of creating jewelry. Over the past two years, I have made a few leaps (okay, most were small jumps:-) toward my goal. FEAR is what I find most paralyzes me in my journey. Fear of failure…fear that people will not like my work…fear that people will not buy my work…however, the one of largest specters I seem to face is that of being afraid to let go and, to borrow from Melissa Cable, “create recklessly”. I find that I must continually remind myself of 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

    I appreciate your honesty and find it refreshing and inspirational. I’m happy to have found your blog!

    Reply

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