The choices for today were:
1. Write down a list of authority figures of your childhood. What was their relationship to risk? How are you like that or not like that? Write an affirmation for each part of you that might be like that? If mom was cautious, you might say to this part of yourself, “I’m independent. I can decide.”
2. When have you seen risk in a movie or read about a character in a book taking a risk and admired that action? Is there a place in your life where you could make it your own behavior?
3. Do dialoguing with Mr. or Mrs. Risk and learn the first steps to overcoming barriers.
Ok, so I know that these were the inspirational things to think about as I reflect about risk taking, but as I was reading what Janelle wrote about risk taking, there was this one sentence that stuck out to me. She wrote, “Every time someone shares a struggle, he or she is saying that this is what counts and I’m trying to learn how to live it.” It made me go wow. For the last few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about why I have felt so compelled to share my journaling on my website. At the core of my being, I knew this was something I had to do. I have been thinking to myself, how can I expect others to do the hard work along the way of this journey if I am not willing to do it myself. And I felt like it was important to be transparent with those I am journeying and say look it is not always easy and sometimes we all fall down, but then we get back up again. So reading Janelle’s statement made me go hmm – I am a risk taker. I am willing to make myself vulnerable and to allow others into my world and into my heart and know it is going to be what it is supposed to be. You rock gurl!
When I first began this process six weeks ago now, I am not sure I could have envisioned how much I would have grown in just a short amount of time. Just writing daily for the last six weeks has been about taking risks. It has risked me looking at myself in the mirror and writing my way to my soul. It has been about me taking the time and saying “gurl you are so important. This is your gift to you. Do this. ” and so here I am six weeks later, well actually five and I am finding myself growing each and every day. I was reminded yesterday of a teaching by the Dalai Lama who said do one thing that terrifies you daily. Sometimes for me it is about walking or calling someone from my past to repair a bridge that was damaged. Sometimes it is about me telling me what I need to tell me and keeping it real. Sometimes it means I have to peel back the layers of my defenses and press my way through the stuff that the fears that keep me from doing what I feel called to do.
Even starting Inspiritual meant me being a risk taker. I remember talking to my friend Will about my vision and he asked me “so what is keeping you from doing this now?” and then I came back to him with a whole list of excuses and he let me off the hook. But I did not let me off the hook. Because I knew I had just put up a smoke screen and not addressed the questions. The real question was what am I afraid of. Afraid of failing. Afraid nobody would be interested in what I had to say. Afraid that I was not prepared to do this work because I had not taken formal courses on how to be a spiritual director and then this voice in the back of my head said oh bull. You have been doing this for years. It is where your passion and your gifts are. So just do it. And I did and now it has been six months and the ministry is growing slowly but surely, one person at a time.
And if I look back, I can see where I need to take some risks and where my ability to take them comes from. My mother was a risk taker. She adopted me knowing she was breaking all the rules. When I was a young girl, she became more of a risk taker when she risked leaving my father and taking the three of us to try to raise us on her own. I can leave a dysfunctional relationship. I do not need to settle for the crumbs on the table. My father at times scared me, especially when he was drunk and would lose his temper. I can express my anger in a loving and compassionate manner.
I am a risk taker. Every time I come out to my students, I am taking a risk. Every time I apply for a job, I am taking a risk. Every time I walk, I am taking a risk. Every time I go to bed, I am taking a risk that I might not wake up in the morning. If I can have faith that I am going to wake back up, then I can also have faith that I will be able to move again, that I will have a full time income, that I will make a difference in the world, and that the love that I am putting into the universe is changing the energy in the world.