On leaping... / by LIZA SNYDER

"Leap and the net will appear." - John Burroughs

The above quote is inside a book that I go back to over and over, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Reading this quote the first time, my first inclination was to speak back to it..."but what if?" What if: I don't know how to create anymore? It won't come out the way I want it to? I've forgotten? I am criticized? It is ugly? My brain has deteriorated after having three children? (wink wink) And then comes the total opposite whirlwind illogical fear of doing something good...what if something goes right and I'm supposed to be creating art and it becomes fun and maybe just maybe success follows and then folks will have expectations of me and I will have deadlines and then I'll mess it all up?! What?! Total insanity.

I have a friend, B., who reminds me often, "as humans our two most basic needs are to be known and loved." She also gently tells me something like this - everything we "feel" that's yuck boils down to three fears: the fear of not getting what we want, the fear of having something we possess being taken away, and the fear of not being loved. So...fear...and the desire to be known and loved for it. Big heavy stuff.

To be honest, big heavy stuff intrigued me for many, many years. I specialized in staying up late talking about important topics with friends on front porches. Pursuing knowledge and hashing things out intellectually created a sort of energy that drove me. It almost drove me off the deep end. Don't get me wrong - I love reading, writing, continuing to hash things out in fellowship and friendship. But now I feel there are people who sit around and talk... and people who DO. I want to be a do-er..a LEAP-ER. The people I admire most are leapers. They are humble, loving, often eccentric men, women and children. They have an energy about them, a knowing, an honesty, and more of a "holding things lightly" approach to life. But they get up and get in on the action, sometimes backstage. Often, it takes time to realize people like this are do-ing, because they're not doing it for show. When I look at the handful of folks that come to mind, I see that incredible pain marks most of their lives, during one season or another. Maybe it's this pain that has created this do-ing/leaping in them...this urge to "take up [their] mat and walk." Pain in my own life has woo-ed me to my Creator, opened my faith up more. I don't succeed in do-ing all the time. There is rest and reflection and self-care which matters a lot to me.

Thankfully it only takes baby steps, in my experience, to be a leaper. Listen to wisdom, act on it. Bonnie Christine, the teacher of an amazing ecourse I took this spring, often says, "it only takes 10 seconds of bravery..." Believe, just for 10 seconds, that you are an artist and you need to head to the store and grab a canvas or journal. Believe, just for 10 seconds, that if you give your money to someone in need, you will be richly provided for. Believe, just for 10 seconds, that you can pull off those fringe booties like your best friend does. Believe, just for 10 seconds, that you may need a therapist or counseling, and it may turn out all right. Believe, just for 10 seconds, that you are known and loved right where you are by something bigger than you. Believe, just for 10 seconds, that your leaping and act of faith will enrich the lives of those around you. Believe, just for 10 seconds, that you are worthy.

And ask for help. Safe people are important. The most.