fear.less, Pt. 1

How would your life be different if you didn’t fear the unknown? Or didn’t make excuses why you shouldn’t try something new? What would you be doing? Would you live where you live? Would you hold the job you currently have, or be doing something different? Would you feel anchored to your possessions or more confident without them? What would you be doing?

Like most everyone, I’ve been held back by fear my whole life in one way or another. Choosing the practical over the fabulous. Not even taking a shot at something I want for fear I won’t get it. Holding off on things until I lose 10 pounds.

Lately though I have felt the overwhelming urge to start saying YES to myself. The last two years have been the healthiest in my life. I went vegetarian. I (re)started practicing yoga. I started training for a half marathon. I started cooking mostly vegan. I’ve been inspired to do more good for myself and my health. Finding reasons why I should instead of shouldn’t. Some stories:

Late last year, I took a yoga workshop. I’ve taken yoga classes off and on for almost 10 years, and have been consistently doing it twice a week through all of 2011. I’ve wanted to advance my practice but was feeling nervous about leaving my comfort zone. I went for it and signed up for the workshop (it helped I didn’t go home and think about it but registered on the spot). This studio is on the creaky third floor of an art gallery, run/frequented by advanced yogis, and exactly the atmosphere I told myself I would some day practice yoga in (as opposed to the all-levels class next to the racquetball court at my gym!) This was by far the best yoga experience of my life. An entire hour was dedicated to understanding the history and healing powers of yoga. (As someone who healed my gimpy, weak, chronically hurt wrists, I am already a believer!!). Followed by an hour of practice more advanced than I am used to, but that I happily could keep up with. I’m so glad I didn’t talk myself out of going.

In November 2011 I took my first belly dancing class. Ever since seeing belly dancers as a kid, I wanted to do this. It’s even on my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30. But I never did because I was afraid I would look silly. I LOVE dancing of all kinds but there’s just no place in the adult world for it, unless you MAKE a place for it. My notions about it were so wrong. I thought everyone would be very good at it and I would be the awkward girl.  Truthfully, once I was there, I didn’t compare. I noticed and appreciated the talent of some of the others, but it didn’t make me feel inadequate. It made me feel inspired. It makes your curves, the same ones you curse and pick apart in the mirror, look beautiful – you need curves to make belly dancing look good. Empowering! I went back for more until my school schedule changed and overlapped the class. However, it got me in that door and I frequented lots of weird things at that studio since. Pilates, Zumba, candlelit yoga. In a studio run by a renowned pole dancer. Really. When my wrists really strengthen up I’m going to try Pole. Can’t wait.

I’ve since been bouncing around from obsession to obsession, getting my fitness on in weird and awesome ways. I just finished Ripped in 30 {Jillian Michael’s program} and moved on to p90x this week. A year ago when my husband started p90x I said there was no WAY I would even try it. It took a year of baby steps but last night I was doing pullups from a door frame in our basement and chanting “FIGHT FOR IT!!” over and over. Who is this girl?

I am a firm believer in writing life lists and making goals. Had I not put “belly dancing” on my 30 before 30 list, I wouldn’t have gotten around to trying it, and I’d be missing out on a positive, women-centered, empowering experience.

I’m writing my bucket list right now and plan to post it, for accountability/cheerleading/inspiration purposes, knowing it will evolve, grow, adapt, but also knowing that putting it in print helps me make great things happen.

I challenge you all to try something new, or start working on your bucket list now. Let me know if you do! We can cheer each other on.

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1 thought on “fear.less, Pt. 1”

  1. It’s been awesome watching you make these changes and commitments and then go on to do even more amazing things. You’ve become quite the inspiration and I think you should be really proud of yourself for all that you’ve done!

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