Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

Benjamin Mee from the movie, ‘We Bought a Zoo’.

Not sure this is what Benjamin had in mind when he said those words in the movie:

Courage in a cup!

But, he’s right.

All we need is the courage to take that next step, the one that could change our lives in an instant. I don’t know anyone whose life is stagnant, without change. It takes courage just to keep showing up. But I think he is talking about something more. I think he is talking about reaching for those dreams and desires that we never seem to find the time or energy to devote to. Often we give up without even making the attempt. An attempt, that given just a bit of courage, that could turn into something wonderful.

How could our lives be amazing if we had the courage to make a different choice?

What could you do with that change?

What would be amazing in your life if you had the courage to take those first steps?

Perfectly Intentional

I’ve had this idea in my head, a romantic idea, of what living an intentional life looks like.

For me, this means each morning when I get up and run through my morning routine. That routine includes morning pages, writing to my goal word count and perhaps a morning walk, all in my own time. In my mind, I am able to continually work forward in my goal of finishing my novel and getting it published.

This intentional living carries over to other parts of my life. Eating healthy, appropriate finances and interactions with my family are all part of my dream of intentional living.

Perhaps a reminder of the definition of intentional living is in order:

performed with awareness; done deliberately, consciously, or on purpose

The reality is so different than the definition.

The truth is I tend to stay up too late to have the ability to rise in the morning. For years, the only time I’ve been able to truly be alone is after my hubby goes to bed. I like the hours between 10 and midnight, but that means the 5:30 am alarm is ignored. I still write every day, but it is most often at the end of the day.

I tend to live in my own little world until a patient, or not so patient, reminder that I need to connect with people, family and otherwise.

I deal with stress by spending money and throwing my life out of balance.

Intentional living this is not.

As far as the rest of my intentions, planning and making healthy food is but a pipe dream and I would much rather be alone than in a crowd, so interactions with others is a struggle. Even appropriate finances are often out of my reach, through a lack of intention.

I cannot be alone in this. People everywhere make New Year’s resolutions, and by February, most of them have been broken. We set goals only to completely fail, even if we set SMART goals.

Our intentions are good; the problem is in the execution.

Life, it seems, is a nonconformist.

Oh, there are some mornings where I manage to sit down to my morning pages and even get my writing done, but something always has to give. Seldom is there enough time for everything I think I need to live my intentional life.

So, what are the next steps?

You keep going. Every day, you wake up and try again.

If that means that I am only able to write one of my usual three-morning pages or perhaps a few hundred of my usual 500 to 1000 words per day, I still do it.

If that means that I have to make my morning coffee rather than purchase it on my way to work to keep the finances in balance, that’s what needs to happen.

If that means the only dishes that you wash are the forks so that the family can eat the take out you’ve managed to bring home, then so be it. At least you are together.

An intentional life isn’t meant to be perfect. Sure, I still have that perfect picture in my head of what intentional living means to me, the reality is that life simply goes on. It doesn’t wait for perfection.

Neither should you.

Do You Dare to Share?

Insecure Writers Support Group

It has been quite a while since we’ve had a submission to the Insecure Writers Support Group. As Wednesdays are the scheduled days for my blog post, I thought I would talk about insecurities that plague all creatives.

I’m not sure that it matters what you do whether it is writing, art in its many forms, music, photography, crafting or any of the other myriad of ways people express themselves, everyone arrives at the same point. What to do with your work? I know I am at this spot and I am certain that I am not the only one.

Some people are content with the creation process. They can spend hours creating and making something out of nothing, without further thought to what to do with their items. If you visit their homes, especially those in the crafting areas, to find their walls covered with the displays of their work and it is beautiful. The value is in the work and how it makes them feel; it is a good thing. If music is their thing, they appear to be content to make it for themselves and their families.

I am not one of those people.

Other people are able to create their work and find ways to market it. Regardless if they stay true to the creative process (this is where we create to popular demand or not) their main goal is to have their work be seen and judged, by the public. They are relentless in their pursuit of that elusive “success”.

I am not one of these people either. Apparently, I fall somewhere in between.

Creativity is a process, a soul bearing process, that can be difficult to send out into the universe. I also believe that the things we create can contribute greatly to the human experience. If we dare to share.

This daring to share comes with great risk to both our souls and our creativity. It is, for me, one of the scariest things when I hand someone something that I have poured myself into only to have to listen to their opinion and judgment about that item. The first time I presented my work at my writing group asking for critique, I spent a few days in recovery, not that the critique was a problem and people weren’t polite. No, in fact, they were incredibly helpful. My soul simply was battered and needed to be soothed.

Regardless of where each of stands with our work, we risk something when we take some type of raw material and use it to make something without knowing where the end result will be. This is creativity.

Only you can decide whether that risk is worth it.