So last summer I was at the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute Alumni Convening. It was a four-day gathering of truly amazing dancer/organizers who had come together to refresh skills and (re)inspire one another. One morning, one of the company members/organizers was leading us in creating a cypher. She happened to be next to me in the circle of almost 50 people, and turned to me with a big smile and asked if I would be the first to enter. I said no. I was immediately ashamed for not accepting her genuine invitation. But I still couldn't bring myself to enter the cypher. How could I, when in the company of such greatness? What did I have to offer? How could my dance begin to compare? I was overcome with shyness and embarrassment and lack of self-confidence. I did eventually enter and dance, though I have no memory of what I did. But that "no" stayed with me. I wanted more than anything to take it back, to be able to unreservedly say yes, to take a risk and be ok with however it worked out. Therefore, in 2014 I resolve to: BE BOLD. despite fear or panic or reluctance or laziness or fatigue or lack of resources or the cop in the head. (And remember, it's not doing away with fear but acting in the face of it.) (And while I'm at it, how about reinterpreting anxiety or fear as excitement?) This includes running my first marathon and turning in the manuscript of my first book, things that both involve regular and repeated action (despite fear or panic or reluctance or laziness or fatigue or lack of resources or the cop in the head). Because sometimes being bold takes planning and persistence. I also resolve to say, "YES, AND..." This involves paying attention so as to take advantage of surprising opportunities that may lead me to do things that I might not normally do (because of fear or panic or reluctance or laziness or fatigue or lack of resources or the cop in the head). Because sometimes being bold requires spontaneity and discomfort and being willing to accept things however they turn out. Finally, I resolve to make time for the things that make life worth living.
This means doing more of the things I love (despite fear or panic or reluctance or laziness or fatigue or lack of resources or the cop in the head), like seeing more movies and live music and art. Discovering new places. Making art. And perhaps most importantly, this means cultivating exciting and rewarding relationships. The long term ones and the brand new ones. With people in the next room and in the surrounding square mile and thousands of miles away. And this means shifting priorities. And remembering that things things shouldn't be put off until next month or next year. If it's important, I need to be bold, say yes, and make it happen.