In a Pit, But Climbing Out With Color

Oh no, it’s one of those “full disclosure on the blog” moments.  The kind that make my heart race, my palms sweaty, and leaves my stomach cartwheeling around my body.

I read a great book last night.  The entire book.  I started looking through it to find a quote and next thing I new it was 12:30 a.m. and I was reading the last page.  The pages are covered with turquoise underlines and words as prevalent as snow on the sidewalks of NYC.  It’s like a turquoise ink blizzard hit the book.

The book is In a Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day (I can’t seem to get away from “snow” these days) by Mark Batterson.

The tagline on the book is “How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars”.  It takes a story from the Scripture and provides current day empowerment for following your dreams, living an authentic life, and the best part – an encouragement to look foolish.

“Something invaluable and irreplaceable is lost when we cave in to conformity.  We lose our personality.  We lose our originality.  And at some point we lose our soul.  Instead of becoming the one-of-a-kind original we were destined to be, we settle for a carbon copy of someone else…you have to be willing to look foolish in the world’s eyes.”

No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, this book is a powerful reminder that we all have gifts.  That fear-based inaction leads to regret.  That taking risks, looking foolish to some, means living as our authentic self.

These were good reminders for me.

I’ve been struggling with all of them.  I left corporate America a little over 8 months ago.  Before I left I had BIG , colorful textile dreams, a clear vision for melissaAnne COLORS and I was in BIG action.  Since I left, well, I’ve had spurts of action but mostly I feel a constant battle with fear and self-consciousness. I’m not good enough. I don’t know enough.  I’m not ready yet.  I don’t have the money to…

I don’t know where or when it happened really.  How I went from “I can do anything” to feeling like “I can’t do anything”.   How the clearest vision of my authentic purpose that launched me out of bed every day and was a beacon lighting my path became a hidden question I am afraid to focus on.  How I went from being so certain I knew my purpose to having no idea what my purpose is.

“Faith is embracing the uncertainties of life.”

So there I sat last night absorbing every word in this book.  Answering questions that the book asked…and some it didn’t.  Remembering the feeling of having that dream and that vision and not a single doubt or question in my head that I would reach it.

Change isn’t easy.  Fears aren’t immediately dissolved by reading a book and making notes with your favorite color pen.  But, awareness opens the door.  Courage moves us forward and supportive friends are the life-line of any dream;  both those who don’t think you look foolish and those who do but accept you anyway because it allows them to dream about a  little foolishness too.

I’m in my pit.  I’m fighting my lion.  I’m fighting for my dream and for what my vision can bring to others.

“…our greatest gifts and passions are often the byproduct of our worst tragedies and failures.  Trials have a way of helping us rediscover our purpose in life.”

I’m fighting with a little more strength and commitment than I had yesterday.  I’m refocusing on what got me through a year-long struggle before this:  Color.  Color is my passion, my purpose, and my “foolish” gift. It feels good to live in my “foolishness”.

Be a little foolish today and allow someone else to be foolish around you.

I believe that foolishness is an amazing gift to receive and to give others.

Thanks for reading my “moment”.  Tomorrow we’ll get back to being foolish and coloring our dreams.

Special thanks to Ann Cline for being a beautiful and supportive friend and encouraging my dream and supporting me with the gift of “In A Pit…” and to Zan Packard for the discussion of my new “tagline“:  Color Out Loud part of my motivation for “loudy” sharing my moment today.