What are you doing with your life? Is it big enough, great enough, courageous enough? Kat sets the challenge to live out your best life’s vision.
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.” – Terrence McKenna
How courageous do you feel?
I think that one of the most useful qualities to thrive in this modern world is a sense of fearlessness. It’s funny, children have the benefits of all kind of qualities extolled – be smart, look great, have answers to everything. But I just don’t think that we’re taught, from a young age, that the most important thing for us to thrive, is a sense of courage. Maybe boys are taught this more, as they are encouraged to rope swing and tree climb, but it seems that most parents are so keen to instil the message of ‘be careful’, rather than ‘you can do it’ to all children.
Fearlessness was a quality I never had. I stayed in a very safe job, in a very safe life, until my life was whisked from under my feet when my husband left me very suddenly, and I was left with no job, no home and no husband. And no courage to deal with it all!
I was terrified
I needed to learn how to re-frame my life and set up and start all over. But I was terrified. The thought of starting a new life seemed like a daunting chasm, and I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to hide away and make the new disappear. I just wanted the safety of my old life back. No, I was a very long way away from fearless, when it all started.
It took a year or more for me to really understand that there was no old life, and I couldn’t have my old life back. The life I had created in that year was very similar to the life of my past, and I think that this is the default position for so many of us. When things change in your life, when you are forced to start again, we often change things to a very similar format to how we had things previously. The familiarity is comforting, we have our old habits which need to be kept and it feels very safe to set up life in a similar vein. I do understand that.
I can also understand why, to an extent, us humans are maybe ‘hard wired’ to seek the comfort of the familiar. Our ancestors would have had a very turbulent and precarious existence, so we would have needed to seek familiarity, comfort and security in a danger out world.
Time for a system update!
But somehow our physiologies and neural pathways which are created for a dangerous world full of predators and wild creatures about to kill us, need to run a system update! We need to tell our biologies and our brains that there really is no danger out there, and that we are now safe to go beyond our comfort zone and start to stretch ourselves. Of course, part of human nature is this boundless curiosity, and that’s why humans are such a successful animal, and I think that we need to harness this aspect of ourselves a little more, be a little more courageous, a little more fearless, in our exploration and adventures in life!
Back to my story…
…and living my smaller life, in my safe job, my lovely husband and house in the countryside – all the trimmings that we’re told are the outward signs of ‘success’ were ripped away so suddenly, and of course the first thing I thought is, ‘I need to recreate that’. I have a vacancy for a husband and house in the countryside! And I did date a man who was absolutely wonderful and fulfilled all requirements, complete with beautiful big pad in the countryside.
The adventure I wished for
When he asked me to move in – I just felt a panic. Suddenly I realised that I was missing the opportunity to recreate life as big, as exciting and as full of adventure as I wished it to be. It’s funny how easily somehow I had started to set up a new life, but in the same model of my old life that one day I just looked at it and thought, hold on.
A lightbulb moment
I get the chance to create life in whatever way I wish. Why on earth have I chosen this way?!! It was a real ‘lightbulb’ moment. So I left the man who was filling in for the one who’d left me (poor guy really was a case of bad timing, wrong person, he’d done nothing wrong!). I left the lawyer-job I’d taken up to fill in for my old lawyer-job and I decided I’d do something completely different (at that stage I had no idea what, that’s the next instalment!!)
I’m so very glad that I had the moment of lucidity that I was stepping into a different version of the same life, and that I found the excitement and formed the intention to do something else. Funnily, after I’d had this realisation, the next steps to change my life, leave my job came really easily.
Fearlessness is like a muscle
What I found is that fearlessness is like a muscle. My first move was to decide to live courageously. To say no to the very lovely safe man and life in the countryside with him. To say no to the job which had given me financial and emotional security and been great for my ego – ‘Hi, I’m a lawyer’.
That decision to live courageously was the most important thing for me in the steps of creating a business, a life, that I truly could never have even dreamt of.
If there’s one thing I could pass onto anyone, it would be to make the decision. Like doing anything – starting a new exercise regime, starting a new diet, quitting smoking, training for anything, or even preparing for a big event, day or board meeting – nobody relishes the prospect of these things. It’s not fun. But it’s a decision. So the first thing to do is to very consciously decide to live a courageous, bigger life.
I took my first fearless step when I first made the intention. I had a sense of clarity. I knew that I ‘had’ to take the big bold step, even though I had no idea what that involved or what any of the next steps might be.
The best thing about living life fearlessly, is that it’s a muscle, like discipline is a muscle. You start to exercise it, and if feels unfamiliar and hurts. So I ran back to safety and set up my life as I’d always known it. But when I formed an intention behind it, when I realised the very simple realisation that there is just one, short life, and what on earth am I doing playing this game in this life – well, everything else came easily. So now I exercise courage very consciously and try to live as fearlessly as possible, always knowing that there is no right answer, I might fail, but that’s OK, as there is no worse fail than not ever knowing what would have happened!
Decide what to do, then do it!
My maxim for life is very simple: ‘Decide what to do, then do it’, but it does take courage to simply decide and then do. And I hadn’t really realised the element of courage needed in following a dream, in living an extraordinary life. Until I met Vidya Heisel, Founder of Suryalila yoga retreat, Founder of Frog Lotus Yoga teacher training school, Lifelong yoga practitioner and senior teacher and Founder of Dandyadara. When I asked her about how it was that she just set up these amazing projects, she had a twinkle in her eye and said ‘I just did it’.
And it has to be said, that resonated with me. When I set up MFML, I didn’t know how websites worked, I didn’t know how to make videos, I didn’t know anything about ‘brands’ or marketing or have any skills whatsoever that would have given me the job had I applied for my current role.
I simply wanted MFML to be in the world and, like Vidya ‘I just did it’.
Don’t think about the detail
The key is don’t think about the detail. The detail will come. You will never know what you need to know, and you will never know what your future self will think of you doing this now. You’ll also never know what others really think of you.
Since there are so very many unknowns, you may as well just decide to do something great, courageous, powerful – to live your best life’s vision. I do hope that this has inspired you to ‘Decide what to do, and then do it!’
Our core chakra is associated with manifestation, so if you need to build up your courage and fearlessness, try our FIRE CHALLENGE!!
This post was written by Kat Farrants, founder of Movement For Modern Life.