What is one of the scariest things you have ever done? Think about it- was it when you were little, or later in life? Riding your bike, a job interview, telling your parents or someone else the truth? Signing up for a hiking trip you weren't sure you could master? Asking someone for a date? Making a bigger commitment to a person, a job or a project? What was it?
One of the scariest things I did was to go back to graduate school after the death of my young husband. I had three young children and I seriously did not know if I could do it! I was scared. Could I manage the workload and a family and compete with the other students that only had to attend school? Could I manage a family as the solo parent and give them what they needed and go to school as well? If I started could I finish? I had no idea how this would play out in my life but I knew I had to do it. Something inside of me was pushing me to do this and for some reason I said, "yes" to that small spark of intuition. I listened. At the time I had no idea if any of this would work out. It certainly did not seem logical or the best timing with three small children. But we can always rationalize a lot of reasons, really barriers, to not do something if we want to get out of it, right? Or, fear, which blocks us from our dreams, keeping us from letting go, and take " the leap".
Fortunately I did say yes to graduate school, and all those scary questions got answered. With the support of many amazing friends I did complete graduate school. I did find time for my kids, and make good grades. But, the amazing thing that happened is, it did not seem difficult. Now I am not a genius, but all the doors seemed to open, and kept opening in regard to school and then my new career. There were bumps along the way, things I needed to learn, but doors opened that I could have never imagined that continued to connect the dots together.
"You enter the forest at the darkest point where there is no path. Where there is a way or path it is someone else's path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else's way you are not going to realize your own potential."
- J. Campbell
In Joseph Campbell's work, The Hero's Journey, he talks about the cycle where we are thrown out into the unknown. An external event or internal movement happens and pushes us into that unknown path. The unknown path is usually a scary place. As we enter the path of the unknown we struggle to find the cue's to lead us on the new path. Being lost in the unknown is a necessary step in the process of transition, exploring for new answers. We gain new insights as we disengage from an outlived way of doing and being. As we allow new circumstances to unfold doors will open where there were no doors. But, we can't see the doors until we step into the unknown path.
The trance of staying on the old path is the wasteland called " should". Letting go of the agenda of others or an old agenda that no longer is working is another component on the new path. There is a huge almost magical power in letting go. We do not have to construct the details of the plan. If we try to control too tightly we block new insights and our Higher Power from assisting our path to unfold in a way that serves us best. It might not be perfect, it may be messy, allow it to unfold.
Making small decisions to stretch builds the muscle for the bigger decisions. Think back on the scary thing you thought about at the beginning of this article. That scary thing you did that took you out of your comfort zone and pushed you to learn something new. Whether the result was positive or negative you learned something new. And whatever that experience was prepared you for another part of your life. It was the door to the next place.
So, think about some internal movement or dream that has been gnawing at you for a long time. Something that stretches you and makes you feel a little tingly and scared. Whatever that thing is that you have been secretly thinking about but afraid to move forward on. It might be signing up for a class, putting your resume out there, finding your voice with a parent, significant other or spouse, or signing up for an outdoor adventure. What is your next step?
Glen Frey said, " People don't run out of dreams, people run out of time".
Take the leap, the step, and see what juicy experiences life offers to you!
The Art of Waking UP
Where do you want to change your life? Each day we write the story of our lives. Each day we have the opportunity to move our lives to match our desire. We have the opportunity to operate at a high degree of consciousness or to remain unconscious, less effective, and less responsible for the results in our lives. In this class we will explore spirituality and the findings of contemporary science as we use the tools of journaling, mindfulness, meditation and discussion to create and implement our unique, 40-day plans for change. Each student will receive a 40-day Journal to use throughout the class and keep as a record of their process.
The Art of Waking Up
Please join us for this exciting class!
Jung Center Course
Tuesday, February 2nd- February 23rd
To Register: http://junghouston.org/program-offerings/