Taking the plunge is not for the faint of heart

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Take the plunge

In any given moment we have two options:
to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.
~ Abraham Maslow

During my yoga practice the other day, the instructor praised me. Not for a flawless asana. Not for holding the pose the longest or for my kick-ass yoga shorts. No, he commended me when I fell out of the posture. ‘Good job, Chrissy,’ he said, as I caught myself before plunging into the mirror. Although my practice proved more grace-less than grace-full, I did the one thing the teachers encourage students to do: fall forward. This means I moved somewhere new—I stepped into growth. Yes, I fell, but I fell forward, the result of stretching more than I kicked. Had I fallen backward, my body would’ve missed out on what it feels like to dig deeper, which ultimately leads to muscle memory. Each time we seek safety over growth, I believe we set ourselves up for loss versus gain.

Which step will you take today?

Image courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taking a leap of faith

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[Image credit: tungphoto]

Last week a couple new opportunities came knocking.  On a Facebook post, I compared it to standing on the edge of a high dive, torn between fear of failure and hope for a big splash of success.  Some friends urged me to jump; others raised the question: if not now, when?  I look at successful writers, the ones who have their name in print with multiple publications under their belts.  And I want that (even just a little taste, thank you).  But it doesn’t come without risk (and sacrifice) — without taking that leap of faith away from the security of solid ground.  When I was a child, I climbed to the top of the highest diving board at the public pool, my peers lined up behind me in single file.  As I stood at the precipice and stared at the water below, my courage faltered and I turned around, pushing my way down to safety.  I did it again until the third time, I finally leapt (okay, more like stepped out and fell).  The shimmering surface stung as it slapped my skin, but I was no longer afraid.  Most of those who succeed in life jumped at one time too, working hard to keep their heads above water.  In case there’s any question, I did answer the door.

When opportunity knocks, do you dive right in or take your time to shore up the courage first?