Posts Tagged ‘ fear ’

picturing BURSTING WITH GRATITUDE

gratitude

Bursting. I am bursting with gratitude right now. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of all of the things that I am grateful for. A wonderful partner and puppy. Close family and friends. Health. Meaningful work.  Creative outlets. Also, I have some (very) exciting news…a new creative opportunity has recently opened my soul. It has made me feel both joyful and vulnerable at the same time. You know the old saying that “if you build it, they will come?” Well, I’m feeling like “if you picture it…who knows what will happen?” Over the past few months, I have been moving toward a more creative me. Carving out some time for work, play, and rest. Buying a dSLR and compact macro lens. Taking a couple of photography classes. Posting one new picture on my blog each day. I am enormously grateful for those of you who have been reading my blog. Thank you. Thanks to those of you who read and comment regularly and thank you to those of you who just check it out sporadically — just when you need a quiet moment to focus on something other than the hassles of everyday life.I feel like these small movements toward creativity have a way of turning into bigger opportunities. You take one small step and the universe leaps forward.It turns out that I am going to get the opportunity to display my photographs – yes, you heard me, SHOW MY WORK!!!! (bursting may be an understatement). I will be showing my photographs, along with the poetic photographer (and my very dear friend), Meghan Davidson of Life Refocused, at the Lincoln Community Playhouse during their upcoming show in January (thanks to another dear friend, Jenni). We even get to host an opening on January 21 (please let me know if you are interested in coming to Lincoln that weekend — it would be great to have you here — the more the merrier).This opportunity makes me giddy and nervous at the same time. The sense of sharing and possibility makes my heart grow bigger. Nervousness (what will people think? is it too soon? what photos should I choose?) has made my heart contract just a bit. However, I’m choosing to focus on possibility, not perfection. Being open, not closed. My heart over my mind. Acceptance, not evaluation. Love.

picturing COURAGE

Don’ t walk with fear in your heart.

This what my guide said to me after I slipped into the river about 10 feet above a waterfall we were hiking across in Tobago. It wasn’t a technically challenging hike. In fact, we had already done the brunt of the work. We simply had to hop across a few boulders in the stream to get to the other side. But my mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. What if I slipped and fell in? And guess what? That’s exactly what I did. After being fished out by Tom and the guide, I was perfectly fine, except for a few cuts, sopping clothes, and a raw ego.

So often we let fear of the unknown, fear of criticism, fear of rejection, fear of being imperfect, fear of seeming silly or self-centered, or fear of failure take up residence in our hearts on our life journeys. Ultimately, that fear rarely comes to fruition. And, if it does, we are often surprised to find that we have more courage in our souls than we gave ourselves credit for (and sometimes, in the end, we are grateful for fear manifest because we grow in unforeseen ways).

Most of the time, however, fear is much more insidious. It creates obstacles that don’t really exist. What if my manuscript gets rejected? Well, it definitely won’t get published if you never submit it. It makes the negative seem like reality, when the positive is just as realistic. What if someone thinks my photography sucks. Well, what if someone thinks your photography is inspiring? I don’t have time really means that I’m too scared to make space for this in my life.

Perhaps worse, we often pass that fear to others on our journey. Sometimes a well-meaning comment that stems from our own “stuff” — our worries and insecurities — can make our creative companions second-guess themselves. Fear can be like a virus, playing house in the spirits that we touch.

Today, I’m trying to picture the courage in my soul to move through the fear. Not to try to ignore it or act like I’m not sometimes scared shitless (about most things in life, actually), but to recognize it as a natural obstacle on all of our journeys. If we let the light, the universe, God,  shine on and work through us, it can replace that fear with courage. And that light opens our hearts and makes us bigger and stronger, ready to face and savor the inevitable challenges and victories along the way. Don’t walk with fear in your heart. I’m trying to focus on this simple statement in my photography, writing, relationships, running, and life, and walk out of the shadows of fear and into a bigger and more powerful me.