“Dare to live the dreams you have dreamed for yourself.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why is it so daring to follow your heart? To pursue a dream? To create? To say yes to an adventure?
All of these things are one in the same.
Have you thought about why they require courage?
An act of daring?
Pursuing your path of the heart isn’t as romantic as it sounds. Not at the beginning, maybe not even in the middle of the journey.
I remember reading Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, as a teenager, and thinking it all sounded pretty romantic. Living in the wilderness alone and being self-sufficient. Note to young self: be careful what you wish for.
To take any kind of leap toward what you really want, requires letting go of something familiar. Comfortable. Known.
It was one of my backcountry mentors, the man who taught me how to hike alone in the Alaskan wilderness with just a small day pack, who gave me some clues about courageous living.
“Beware of comfort,” was one of his mantras. I was young and working so hard to get my life in order so I could have the security and comfort I craved. The security and comfort I didn’t feel as a kid.
Beware of comfort was his response to my striving. Which I resisted then.
This is a man who chopped wood and carried water not as a zen metaphor, but as a lifestyle. I remember thinking, Yeah, well, he’s a dude and no way am I going to live this austerely. Especially in a place of perpetual deep winter.
I had to seek and create those comforts (nice house, thriving business, international lifestyle) only to find that outer structures didn’t give me what I was looking for.
Learning to navigate the world and the wilderness as a solo traveler is what has taught me the most about living creatively.
If I can climb this mountain, surely I can write a book, I remember huffing to myself during one harrowing climb in a blizzard.
Writing my first book was harder than climbing that mountain.
Different technical challenges, but the willingness to dare follow my heart and get outside my comfort zone, was the same.
If you’re like me you may wonder: why does our heart always lead us beyond that perimeter where we feel safe and secure? Why always the unknown? Again? I was just getting comfortable…
We have to keep being brave. It’s not like if we’re brave once, we’re done.
The creative path will always pull us toward a new act of daring.
Can I give you a specific example? (Vulnerability alert.)
There’s another book I’ve been wanting to write, a visual memoir called Drivin’ & Cryin’.
I’ve mentioned it before on my blog and in my memoir, Sketchbooks. It includes stories about my time in the wilderness and also a difficult threshold I passed through (barely) when I lost everything in my life all at once.
Spoiler Alert: I don’t jump off a bridge in Portland, Oregon, and I do find a way out from under grief so fierce I feared I wouldn’t survive it. It’s about how creativity saved my life. It’s about daring to live my dream.
The thing that stops me most when I consider putting this book into the world is that nagging voice in my head that says: Who Cares?
Why do we need one more memoir of a woman finding herself through a travel adventure? Hasn’t it been done umpteen times? Haven’t these other writers done a fine job of documenting their own journey? What’s so compelling about my story?
I’d like to be bold and share what I’m discovering as I create this next book. You can think of it as the next mountain I’m climbing.
I’m going to dare and keep telling the truth about my experience. Right here on my blog.
I have a lot of fear about this, but also a lot of excitement.
When this particular cocktail of emotion comes together, it’s a sign I’m on to something.
Will you do me a favor?
If you’re interested in this journey, will you do me a favor and let me know?
You can do so in any or all of these ways:
Just showing up here to read (you can subscribe to get posts by email over there in the sidebar)
Sharing this post and / or liking it (sharing buttons below)
Leaving a comment
Today’s Journal Prompts:
One of my biggest dreams is…
A dream I’ve never sharing with anyone is…
It would be daring to dream of…
A dream for myself I’d like to rekindle is…
What is a dream you have dreamed for yourself? How is it daring?
This post is part of the FIRE: 30 Day Journal Project.
Journal Writing Made Easier
During the first 30 Day Journal Project, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my writing for the day.
This is my lazy writing & journaling method. It works!
Get ALL 30 days of prompts & quotes (plus one bonus day) with 2 different layout designs
FIRE: PRINTABLES | $12
My goal with this project is to help you discover the power and magic of regular creative journaling.
Whether you are brand new to writing or journaling or simply want to break out of a rut in your creative practice, these printable prompts make it fast and easy to get going.
Now I live in Oaxaca, Mexico, a magical place I first discovered back in 2000.
Before I moved here, it was a dream I held for a long, long time. Here’s more on that story: