Sometimes you just have to dive in.
Go for it.
Forget about how you look, or what Everybody Else is thinking, or about tomorrow’s plans or yesterday’s laundry.
Launch all of yourself into all of your life, with full commitment.
Say yes, with your heart pounding, because it feels good, although also scary and messy.
So you can feel fully alive!
All senses tingling.
Connected with others.
In touch with something greater than yourself.
Last weekend, my ‘brave’ was running two Gelt Gladiators in a weekend – the 10k for the stretch and challenge, the 6k for the team experience.
We did the 6k last year so I knew I could do that distance. Even so, I was afraid of being cold, wet and tired, of not being able to get over the fences, of the slide (oh man was I afraid of the slide. Both days 😊).
And the discomfort.
Pulling yourself along backwards, head first, in a foot of muddy water with a metal grate an inch from your face.
Plunging into icy water and swimming for three long minutes. Running through electric shocked wires.
Summoning upper body strength to get over the 6 foot fences.
Getting a good pace on the running parts.
Coming down a steep slope with only your bottom for padding.
Knowing that the sludge that just went up your nose and in your mouth was almost definitely cow poo.
It was so brilliant. Mostly.
So much fun, and so much stretch and challenge.
This is the reward - The freedom. The fun. The spontaneous laughter.
The first noticing of my grey roots when I saw the photos and then thinking ‘wow! I look so happy!’. The best feeling.
The achievement – not for glory but for sheer pleasure and the appreciation of life.
The gratitude – for my friends and the team spirit, for the atmosphere of helping and encouragement from them and from fellow participants and bystanders. For hot baths and proud husbands.
The ‘happy tiredness’ – the after-effects of a cold, wet and muddy endurance run and the associated feelings of deep satisfaction, contentment, fulfilment.
Lingering over memories of hearing people saying ‘I can’t do it!’ followed by a helping hand on the bum to hoy them over the wall or ‘here, use my hands as a step!’ followed by the cheers of the team and the rallying cry of ‘yes you can!’.
Yes, You Can.
When was the last time YOU felt this alive?
I’m so curious about that.
What makes us feel that alive? That purposeful? That brave? That strong?
Where do we get in our own way? How do we stop ourselves from living the full colour of our lives?
What stories do we tell ourselves about not being ready, or not being able to, or not knowing how, or how being afraid is a good reason not to do something?
How do we connect with that part of us that says ‘yes, you can!’
Yes, you can sign up! For the mud run, or the art class, or whatever is calling you.
You can say yes to the conversation, the interview, the new project or business.
You can say no, to anything that makes you feel sadder, or tireder, or less-than.
Even if we’re not feeling ready, or good enough, or we worry that we won’t fit in, we can choose this way of being.
And we can do it for the joy and the aliveness and the vibrancy of it.
We can get our hands in that magnificently muddy messy life of ours, and feel ALIVE.
If you'd like some help being braver and happier - a group of us are gathering in September in Penrith to share the curriculum of The Daring Way - a supportive and challenging non-residential intensive workshop retreat - you don't have to do this on your own. We'd love you to join us! You can read more about that here.