How long has it been since you have really bet on yourself? View your choices as an opportunity to unlock more of you, to save your life.
by Mary Oliver
There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.
Like, telling someone you love them.
Or giving your money away, all of it.
Your heart is beating, isn’t it?
You’re not in chains, are you?
There is nothing more pathetic than caution
when headlong might save a life,
even, possibly, your own.
I have been circling three projects for years.
Each holds an electric charge so powerful, so exciting that when I allow myself to get closer to it, I feel a shockwave course through my heart and gut. I indulge in fantasy, considering how each would play out. Envision myself working on making these ideas become real, 3-D creations.
I see details months into the future. Living in a new reality that I have brought into being. I am firing on every cylinder, alive with connection to my creativity and courage.
“Consider All the Risk”
After several minutes of carefree visualization, a dark figure creeps onto the stage of my mind from behind the curtains. It whispers a foreboding message from beneath its heavy, black, hooded cloak: “You know, there is considerable risk to putting yourself out there to that degree. Your exposure—to your reputation, finances, your predictable life—is enormous.”
A wave of nausea rolls through my abdomen. My shoulders roll forward. I lower my head.
“Yes,” I think to myself. “Consider all the risk.”
Gone are the technicolor imagery and emotions. The zingy pulse of aliveness that rides shotgun with working and living right at one’s edge. And in their place, is a sickening, moldy station of staying in the Known, the Familiar, the Safe.
Typically, when I land on this square of the gameboard, I shrug my shoulders and turn away from the dream, myself. The choice to bet on yourself can lead to loss. But lately, more and more, my soul has been conspiring quietly off camera. It refuses to let me go to sleep on what it is that is calling to be brought to life.
“Consider All the Reward”
The Universe has joined forces. At first, I’d be given a hint here or there. Maybe a passage from a book, a comment from a friend, or a scene in a movie.
Now, the affirmations, signs, and nudges come daily, hourly.
I know exactly what I am to do.
While I am pretty fuzzy still on the How(s), I know that figuring those out is not really my job.
My job is to embrace the risk and use it as leverage for taking the next step. My job is to suit up with an expectant heart and walk forward where there is no path. My job is to stay in faith and hold the visions of what it is I crave to create top of my mind.
Take action—left foot, right foot.
If you, too, are in a similar, Mary Oliver Moment, what choices are being asked of you? Where are you being prompted to show up bigger, more courageously in order to live the fullness of your life? Where are you craving expansion, bold action, and freedom?
In response to prompts from the depths of your soul, are you turning away as I have been?
Bet On Yourself
My destiny is to step forward and do the things I think I cannot do. Perceived safety in a dimly-lit existence is not a win. I have risked everything before and won. I have risked everything before and lost.
I have seen what it’s like to bet on yourself. If it means living a life that surfaces the best of my brain, the fullness of my happy heart, and the healing power of my creativity, I am more than happy with those odds.