Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let's Make A List

I love lists, big fan of lists. Lists are cascading, straightforward, physical records of intention that follow a delightfully simple organizing principle. And it is also delicious to cross things off lists with beautiful red ink.

A friend of mine challenged me to make a list of things I would do if I didn't have fear. My biggest fears are failure and rejection (not so much fear of broken bones – which is why skydiving isn't on this list). So here it goes.

If I didn't have fear of failure or rejection, I would:
  • Sing an original song at open mic.  Again, I haven't actually had the opportunity yet, but I have a feeling that if I were asked I would make some kind of excuse not to do it. 
  • Move to a new city. I haven't been given the opportunity, but I would make every excuse not to do it, most likely. 
  • Talk to strangers I find intriguing. I always want to compliment people, and for some reason I think they will be offended or find it weird. 
  • Work to create the life I want. One with higher engagement, deeper connections, authentic ownership, more risks, less excuses. 
  • Embrace the richness, fullness, wholeness, oneness. I have a life that is rich and beautiful, I have a disease that tells me otherwise, I have evidence of a different way of being. Instead of exploring facets, I tend to shut down or get insular, because it is easy and safe. Easy and safe is not working out for me right now. I'm getting restless.  

What does your list look like?


  1. Oh love. What a great topic. I love lists too. In fact I think "we" might a be a type of people, people who love lists.

    My biggest fears are being a shitty person and failure. I'm also scared of rejection as well, but a lot of it is self-rejection. I have very high standards and I'm scared I might not make the cut ;)

    1. Make more art. I have a total fear of making mediocre art, which I've been working my way through for the last few years. Making art in spite this, is one of my ongoing life-goals.

    2. Be more honest. I'm really afraid of letting my spiritual beliefs down and being an asshole, so I overcompensate by being nice and turning the other cheek, even when I should just stand my own damn ground. Engage people who I believe are being shitty in an honest discussion of their behavior. One of my first Zen teachers made a point of telling us that being compassionate doesn't mean you let people walk all over you just 'cos they're failing at being compassionate in that moment.

    3. Put myself more out there professionally. I'm totally a coward about "selling out", doing things I'm good at but don't believe are righteous for money. This is a fine line and I think I often err on the side of caution.

    4. Be less modest. I know that's a weird problem to have, but I tend to belittle my own accomplishments in order to not sound like a braggart. I don't really like people with an outsized of their own awesomeness and don't want to be one of them, but I think I need to own up more to my own strengths and abilities.

    5. Say no more. I give in too easily and do things I don't want to too often because I don't want to hurt others.

    6. Be alone more. Same reasons.

    I'm sure there's others but perhaps I should go muse on this. I will say that I've overcome my fears a lot in the last few years, I feel more adventures, more capable and more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have.

    Thank you, as always your posts arouse some serious thought.

    1. I'm so dyslexic. also I think number 7. would be. Try more and learn more. Sometimes I'm really timid about not doing things I might not be able to apply myself fully at. This one though, I'm over coming in leaps and bounds. Thanks for being an instigator♡

  2. I would:
    1 - speak my truth more and not worry what anyone thought
    2 - stop comparing myself to others
    3 - Milla - I will borrow from you - be less modest. I have a huge fear of people thinking I am bragging!
    4 - Increase the prices for my work and workshops
    5 - Approach galleries for representation
    6 - Take dance lessons!

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing your beautiful self with us!

  3. 1. Love people more recklessly - really scandalize them with affection! - without being afraid of rejection or intimacy.
    2. Let people love me more closely, stop throwing up the armed Border Patrol every time someone does something kind for me.
    3. Say what I'm really thinking when someone asks - even if what I'm thinking isn't very profound at the moment they say "so whatcha thinkin about?"
    4. Stop comparing myself and start joining into the stream of the living! What a gloriously colorful, shimmery trout stream we are!
    5. Play more piano - and unplug those headphones that prevent my neighbors from hearing how often I play wrong notes.
    6. Stop trying to quiet myself down whenever I'm laughing uncontrollably.

  4. Hello Nichole, thanks for inviting me to join in - I'm not a list person at all, but reading your list, made me realize how effective it must to confront one's fears when you can pin them down, and "see" them for what they are. did writing this list help you at all, in any way? (I'm referring especially to 1, 3 and 7)

    1. Thanks for writing, Francesca. Yes, in the few days the list has been in existence, it has completely helped. Writing the list provided reflection and pause, but also made gave my intentions weight, and I put them out into the universe. So now, when I'm not engaging with my coworkers and I feel myself shutting down, there's a moment of choice. I can continue to feed the self pity, or I can shift and take a risk.

      Let me know how this works for you!

  5. This is a wonderfully inspiring and empowering post, thank you for posting it and for particularly looking at with deep profundity. It would be so easy to just list 'bungee jumping, free-fall parachuting' etc.
    I am going to have to really think about this - I know that the person at the end will walk a little taller (and easier in his skin), his heart beat a little stronger, give a little more freely...

    1. Looking forward to your list, should you choose to share it! Thanks for reading!