BOLD is one of my core desired feelings- a word that truly represents how I want to feel and be in the world. Being bold for me means playing the edges, speaking my truth, taking risks and not being afraid of the chaos that could ensue.
I’ve learned to step into my boldness often through sheer will and a faith that there is something to be learned from the process. Yet I often feel myself freezing up or losing my focus after going beyond my comfort zone. I put on the brakes and retreat or become unfocused and hopeless.
During a yoga teacher training last year, I was literally placed on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. I was told to open my heart and listen to what was ready to be released so that I could soar beyond my limitations. I walked confidently right to the edge and threw my arms up in the air. I felt the fear and unworthiness leave my body- I was thrilled to feel the freedom it brought me!
Yet my bigger challenge was still in front of me and a very telling one.
When I went to walk back from the edge, my knees buckled and I had trouble finding my way back onto solid ground.
I knew I was stepping into something new and it scared the hell out of me.
I’ve become very good at gutting it out and pushing my limits in a controlled way yet living more into my boldness every day requires me to let go and be ok with the messiness or uncertainty.
It’s easy for me to be scared about letting go and leaning in but then I remember that I chose to be bold. I chose it because it reminds me of my power and worthiness; and because it makes me feel alive and a part of something bigger than myself.
Transformation entails faith in the unknown.
Think of a seed that’s been planted in the ground and needs to burst through its skin to blossom into the flower or tree it was meant to be. It needs the optimal combination of soil, water, and sun to evolve into its greatest version of itself. The seed may struggle if there is too much sun or not enough water or nutrients in the soil but it keeps on its mission to blossom because that’s what it was meant to do. I uncovered my own truth about living a life based on feeling bold but found that when I get too close to big transformation, I get befuddled, out of balance and frozen in my tracks.
So how can I keep bursting through my fears without getting stuck?
By re-thinking my perception of being stuck.
What if stopping in my tracks is just what I need to see and feel the transformation into more boldness?
When I couldn’t walk back onto solid ground from the edge of that cliff, I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to sustain the freedom and joy I had felt and that I would sink back into my old habits and fears.
The lesson I needed to learn was that just like the seed bursting through the soil, I needed to nurture myself and let myself be supported just as I was- even if I did slip into limiting beliefs and fears and stop in my tracks, I was still willing to struggle and go into the chaos in order to feel the way I wanted to feel. It was truly a leap of faith that changed me.
I think of the great words of Lao Tzu:
When I let go of who I am, I become who I might BE!
So what limiting beliefs are you carrying around that cause you to be befuddled or stuck? I urge you to step to your edge and get clear on how you want to feel.
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Beth Nelson is an inspiration and leader for women who are ready to awaken into the fullest version of themselves at midlife and leave a meaningful impact on the world. As a Women’s Midlife Mentor, confused and disengaged women in their 50s and 60s hire her to build the necessary confidence to reinvent themselves and create a life full of passion, purpose and authenticity.