If you can’t think of anything to write, just start writing, and something will come to you!
Truer words! As I started my meditation today, I had a great idea for a blog topic. As usual, I thought “Sure, I’ll remember it when I finish meditating!” Needless to say, the only part I remembered was the “5 things…”
But as soon as I typed my title and started to write, I glanced at the new and improved blog title and remembered. I was going to write about five things which we take for granted, but which are truly leaps of faith.
First, let me qualify my position. In my mind, every step outside our comfort zone is a leap of faith. We don’t know whether we’ll be safe or not. We don’t know if our little adventure will be successful or not, so we take that step only because we have faith that things will turn out, at the very least, OK, and if we’re lucky, it will be so great that we’ll want to venture even further.
So what leaps of faith do we take on a regular basis?
Leap of Faith number 1: Have you tried that new Brazilian/Persian/Pho/Thai… place? Why don’t we go there for lunch?
You’ve never eaten this kind of food before, have no idea what half of the stuff is, but a co-worker invites you to join them. You think to yourself I enjoy their company and lunch is a great excuse to get out of the office for an hour. Surely I’ll find something on the menu I’ll eat, and it’s kind of an adventure to try something I’ve never had before. What’s the worst that can happen? I end up eating the granola bar I have stashed in my desk for emergencies!” I don’t know about you, but some of the greatest meals I’ve had came out of this particular leap of faith.
Leap of Faith number two: This job is taking me nowhere and I swear, it’s killing me slowly. I think I’ll start looking for another one that suits me better.
Face it. Most people don’t get excited about going through the interview process yet again. Often, we wait until we have no choice, which frankly is the worst time to look for a job! When we start the process because we want to make a change, especially when the job we have pays the bills and could be a lot worse, we are taking a huge leap of faith.
Leap of Faith number three: I think I want to move to a new place, maybe even buy a house/condo/apartment.
Moving is one of the most stressful things we can undertake, and when it involves actually purchasing a residence, you might as well magnify that stress level by about a million. Just the sheaves of paper you have to go through are enough to send a normally stable person right over the edge. We put our faith and trust in realtors, lenders, escrow agents and many nameless, faceless sorts to make this seriously major commitment happen.
Leap of Faith number four: Instead of staying home tonight, I think I’ll try that new restaurant/bar/club/dance venue everyone’s been talking about. Maybe I’ll even see someone I know, but if not, I could meet some new people (Yikes!) who could be fun to hang out with.
To some, this might seem like nothing, but to those introverts like me, going to a crowded public place is extremely daunting. We often need to gird our loins, so to speak, just to put ourselves together and walk out the door.
But how about something even simpler? Because what is a leap of faith, really, but a choice, and a choice to do something which differs from our normal pattern?
Leap of Faith number five: Why not take a different route to work today (or ride my bike, or walk, depending on circumstances and distance)?
There’s definitely an element of chance in this one because you aren’t familiar with traffic patterns or how quickly you can bike or walk, so you might agonize over how much extra time you should allow just in case. But it could be worth it to take a prettier route or to be moving more slowly so you actually see the world around you on your trip.
These days, my life is one continuous leap of faith.
If you’ve been following this blog for the last year or so, you’ll know that I basically jumped right off the cliff about a year ago, and haven’t looked back yet. Sure, it hasn’t turned out as I planned, but the journey has been interesting and educational. From quitting my day job to be a writer (who has yet to actually earn anything for my efforts), to just beginning to learn what is truly involved in publishing a novel, to leaving home for a few days at a time quite frequently since my daughter moved nearly three hours away; I could bore you with a bazillion different leaps I’ve taken, but the point is, those adventures, both large and small have made life interesting for me.
Now, my life is truly one of extremes. I go from spending three or four days alone in my house to spending three or four days away from home, or that same time period going from gym to errands to dancing to visiting friends. In short, both my hermit self and my social self are well-satisfied, and the self who doesn’t do well with authority, I’m in heaven. I do my work with a cat or two curled up on the desk which suits them and me just fine. I don’t have to talk to people unless I want to, and that also suits me fine. I realize this idyllic lifestyle will have to be altered when I’m finally ready to promote my writing or seek paying jobs which might call for a little more structure, but by then, I’ll have learned how to balance both sides of my personality.
Balance: it is what makes life work. Part structure and consistency and part leaps of faith.
It truly is about balancing things out. You leap; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. When you start feeling a little shaky, you can take a step back onto familiar ground until you get your bearings and gather your courage to leap again. But each time you need to step back, you’ll find that it isn’t as far back as you used to have to step. Each leap, whether a rousing success, a complete disaster or, most often, somewhere in between carries you further outside of that comfortable little world you allowed yourself to grow used to; the world I like to fondly refer to as “the rut”.
My point with all of this rambling (and yes, Virginia, there is a point) is that we often fear those chances, those leaps of faith because we’ve convinced ourselves that we just don’t take chances. Yet we do! Maybe not every day, but at least once a week. We do something different without even realizing it. So why not do it where it will really shake things up! I did, and I’m still here to tell the tale!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my leaps of faith, both grand and simple.
2. I am grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way who understand how confining our habits can be.
3. I am grateful for the courage to be different, to not conform and to try new things.
4. I am grateful for the love I feel for myself and the comfort I get from being in my own company. I can and do dine in restaurants alone, take trips alone and just spend time alone, doing my own thing.
5. I am grateful for abundance: self-confidence, self-reliance, leaps of faith, successes, lessons, love, joy, health, beauty, friendship, courage, harmony, peace and prosperity.