Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On risk taking

Well, it seems an appropriate title to my first blog. I used to hide what I did on-line and although Facebook has done a lot toward letting me be in the digital world openly, having a web site and now a blog are still challenges.

"Nobody move and nobody gets hurt."
It's a line from an old rap song (and every bank robbery scene in old movies), but it sort of summarizes the way I think lots of us are taught to be in the world.
"Do what you're told" "You don't need to make a fuss."
Isn't this what we heard as children in school and at home? Sure some of us may have had different messages, but by and large it is a message of conformity that we consider appropriate socialization and acculturation.

Of course the problem is that without risk, there is no passion. Without passion is there life? I mean a real life?

I realized recently that I often find myself in situations where I am second in command and miserable. I *like* being a leader, but I am afraid of the commitment that takes and of the risk! If I am the one in charge then I am the one responsible. What if I don't get it right? And even if I could get it right, how much work will it actually take? Maybe I am better off to just blend in and lay low.

When I was in my 20's I used to do stupid-ish kinds of risk-taking in order to keep myself from taking the big risks- like dropping out of University and driving around in my car. So instead, I jumped out of an airplane a couple of times; I went tandem hang-gliding; met strange people in strange places and probably did things that were strange and unsafe. A kind of risk-taking that is of limited value and more so: misdirected.

That's the kind of risk-taking I think lots of people do. People take stupid risks: drink too much; drive too fast; spend more than they can afford; fool around with birth control; don't wear their seat belts; are careless in the relationships with the people they love the most.
Why do people take these misdirected risks? I think most of it is an unconscious and unaware sense of life, but some of it is searching for a thrill or something that feels good for the moment. There are other ways to fulfill the need that these stupid risks temporarily fill.
One way: be real.
(Wow, what a risk!)
It's hard to be honest with our self and with those in our life. I don't mean brutal honesty, but how about brutal vulnerability? How about living from a place where you can appreciate the fragility of life and the value of relationships?
It is said best by Anais Nin:
And the day came when the risk to
remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.
So what am I risking by writing out my thoughts and claiming myself as a spiritual counselor & teacher?
That who I am will be judged.
But that is a risk I am willing to take.
If you want to, here it is: a spot in the digital world where you can point and say: "Really? Is that what you think? That's so dumb!"

But if you want, this is a place you can come back to and read my thoughts about how to live a fulfilled and wonderful life. That's what I (dare I say it) teach!