Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take a Risk!

What risk will you take today?

That's a loaded question. Particularly since we tend to think of risk taking as engaging in reckless behavior - bringing harm to ourselves and others. But what about the little risks? Daily risks we all take just by getting up in the morning? With the exception of debilitating circumstances, we get up every day, regardless of the risk involved, because there's way too much living we'd be missing out on if we didn't.

So, I ask again - What risk will you take today?

One of my sons is very shy. Starting a conversation with another kid petrifies him. So we practice. I pretend to be a kid in class, and I lead him through a very basic, "Hi, how are you, how was your weekend," scenario - It takes his breath away. He resists the practice and I hug him when he tells me that I'm a mean Mom, and I let him know that I know it's hard. But, we've learned some interesting things along the way. He didn't understand that when he ignores another childs greeting, that it makes them feel sad. He didn't understand that when he keeps his ideas to himself it robs another person, and himself, of the opportunity to collaborate, and that friendship is all about growing ones strengths with the input of another. Through our practice, he's learning that with one kid, a simple interaction may lead nowhere, but with another it can be the beginning of an amazing friendship, and that even with the person who we have nothing in common with, the simple act of acknowledging them reminds them they're important - that they are noticed in this world. He is compassionate, so this resonates with him. He's still not ready to try it at school, but he is practicing, and I feel him getting ready.

We all have things that are challenging for us and we all have our gifts. Sadly, we tend to take our gifts for granted and resign ourselves to being unsuccessful at the things that we find hard. The truth is, however, through practice we can all broaden our experience and become active participants in life. You do not have to be an expert, to be good enough - and good enough is all it takes to open yourself up to a world of possibility. 

So take a risk! 

Sign up for the spin class you've been drawn to yet avoiding. What's the worst thing that can happen? You slow down and take a break - It's not like those bikes actually go anywhere - you're not holding anyone else back!

Take a walk somewhere new. You'll be amazed by what you discover and your body will thank you for it.

Try a new food - You don't have to finish it, but maybe you'll want to!

Most importantly, share your gifts. You have talents that nobody else has. They may seem so miniscule and insignificant to you because to you they come naturally, but to someone else, they're huge. I guarantee you - If you share your gift you will touch someone, and by touching that person, you're changing the world.

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