25 September 2008

A Niggling Idea ...

I'm not sure how I ran across this website -- fate, maybe? But somehow I did, and it's stuck with me. 

Based on the Eleanor Roosevelt quote "Do one thing every day that scares you", Jessie has put together a wonderful project and challenge -- the "Be Brave" project. Jessie decided to live this quote for a month, everyday doing one thing that scared her. She claims that it has changed her life. I believe it! So much of what we aren't doing with our lives is fear-based. We afraid of how we are going to look/sound to others. We're afraid of trying something new; we're afraid of the unknown. It's easy for our lives to become "same ol' same ol'" as we live within our comfort zones, only doing those things that somehow feel good to us.

Us? What am I saying? I'm trying to be more in touch with my life and my thoughts. The reality is -- so much of the way I live my life right now is fear based. I am afraid of how I am going to look/sound to others, so I often don't speak up in a crowd. I am afraid of trying something new; I am afraid of the unknown. My life isn't exactly in a rut, but it's very comforting. I recently adopted the practice of not doing anything that didn't feel good. I think there's room for balance. Doing one scary thing a day sounds like a way to push beyond the growing list of things-to-do that feels like the list of never-to-be-accomplished. 

So, what scares me that I'm not doing? I've got phone calls to be returned, mail that is unopened. I don't write as much as I'd like to, because I'm afraid that it's going to sound like crap. I'm timid in my art, approaching new techniques as something scary. Rather than approaching a canvas with an artist's abandon, I want a complete list of instructions and step-by-step photographs. Originality scares me; my visual journal scares me. The life that I want to live -- big, loud and open -- scares me. I want to live well, as I mentioned in a previous post -- purposefully and consciously.  I live with generalized anxieties, so some days, everything scares me! 

Kal Barteski has, as a headline on her blog, "MY LIFE IS JUST THE WAY I MADE IT: GOOD." How awesome is that? Judging by her blog picture, she's a young woman -- in her 20s, I'd say -- but she's already got that so much together. I certainly believe that our lives are just the way we make them, and that scares me some days. Knowledge is supposed to be a powerful thing, but the realization that my life is what I make intimidates me a bit, because it puts all the responsibility on me. No longer, am I allowed to be a victim of circumstance. It's all on me.

Things are happening really quickly in my life right now -- and for the next few weeks, I'll be terribly busy with company, my Featured Artist Show, the ATC show-in-a-show at the Redlands Art Association. I'm just not sure that I'm ready to take on another practice (is that fear talking?) -- especially one with the power to shake up my life like this one can. But this one, doing something everyday that scares me, is kind of nagging at me. I'm going to try to put it off until the first of the year. Maybe my word for 2009 will be "fearless".

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