I am learning so much by the anonymous responses I keep on receiving to the questions I posed this week (and you are warmly invited to add yours).
One the recurring themes I am reading is fear of failure.
It goes like this:
Q: If you could do anything you wanted to, right now, without worries, limitations, or hurting anyone, what would you do?
A: XXXX (play the guitar. Learn to speak Italian. Perform in a play. Sell my art....)
Q: What, exactly, is in the way of you doing that?
A: I'm afraid I'll fail.
Over and over again.
Today, I am studying a book on podcasting, as I get closer to launching my Essential Happiness Podcast . And I find these words, by podcast guru Paul Colligan. They ring true so much for me, I want to share them with you (and really, forget the podcasting part. It does not matter. These words apply to just about anything we are afraid to BEGIN.)
"I wanted to be a podcaster. I had zero experience; I had zero online presence. I'd never spoken into a microphone before or interviewed anybody... but I wanted to be a podcaster. The only way that I was going to be a podscaster was by doing that thing, was by podcasting.
I was willing to have the courage to be bad, because it does take that courage. For a decent amount of time, slowly getting better by practicing the craft, by pressing that red button every single day, talking to somebody that was so much more successful, so much more eloquent, so much more polished, so much more impressive than me. Bumbling around, acting the fool, stumbling on my words, trying to have a coherent conversation.
But every time, I'd think "Wow, that was bad, but I did a little better on this or on that."
I love this. Having the courage to be bad. Having the awareness that even though we may be bad, we won't die. And that we may actually, eventually, become really good.
As someone who started a bakery without really knowing how to bake, I have a whole lot of respect for the power of this awareness.
"Every time I read your blog I am so profoundly happy I did. The truth you speak is just mindboggling. The real, real voice you have. It makes me almost crazy how much I love your words and your way of telling stories that cut to the quick- and I never have the words to really say how much this all means to me.
Thank you for digging in there and finding the gems of wisdom and then just sharing them out as if there's an endless supply ... which with you, there is."
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"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
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You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.