Thank you for reading my articles here. If any piece resonates with you, I encourage you to share your reactions, as they will likely resonate with other readers, too. I also invite you to visit my website to learn more about REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life. Much Love and Many Blessings, Alice
Friday, April 15, 2011
Choosing to Perceive Grace
Last night, I had the great honor of dining with Gregg Levoy, before attending his workshop at Conscious Living Center in Mountain View, California. Gregg is the author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, my go-to book for sage words on courage and saying Yes to inner nudging. Gregg was full of kindness, wisdom and generosity. He gave me great tips on what to do next with my book while it’s in production. His workshop was insightful, thought-provoking and soul-stirring. The 150 minutes melted away in the blink of an eye. It was every bit as enjoyable as – if not more so than – the first workshop of his I experienced in 2003. This wonderful time with Gregg is a very special gift of Grace I will always cherish.
During his talk, Gregg said that fears are unavoidable. We’re wired to be afraid – just think the fight-or-flight response. Feeling safe is our most fundamental human need. From Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we learn that, until we feel safe, it’s challenging for higher-level desires to flourish – think your dream job, your dream relationship, your dream life. When we’re afraid, our physical, mental and psychological resources are instinctively directed to achieve or restore a sense of safety. There isn’t much left to fuel our dream engine, to power the gumption to head toward what calls to us, however faint that call is to start. Our well-meaning ego, whose sole mission is to keep us safe, readily steps in to provide ample evidence as to why it’s prudent to stay right where we are – in divine discontent or controlled misery.
Paraphrasing what Gregg also said, it’s when we feel something stronger than our fears that we are compelled to respond. That’s the stuff of callings. So, it got me contemplating: What keeps fear in check? What powers that “something” that calls to us, such that the latter is always greater than the fear that chains us to the prison of our comfort zone?
I don’t know about you, but for me, saying Yes to that “something” isn't just a discrete, one-time answer. It's a commitment to make over and over again. My “something” happens to be my soul’s calling to fulfill my life purpose. It’s huge, and big fears come with it, too. It stretches me to grow very rapidly into the best version of myself, to venture into something in which I have no established track record. It requires me to answer to my inner judge’s scrutiny every day: What makes me think I can do this? Why do I, once again, want to mess up my nice, comfortable life? What if I lose everything I’ve spent my whole life to date building? In other words, my inner safety wires are tripped constantly – especially last week when I literally had my life flash before me. As Gregg points out in his book, saying Yes to calls is a constant choice that we make over and over again.
This is where faith comes in – faith in life, faith in the many faces of Grace supporting me, faith in myself and who I’m called to become. Whenever I feel scared by the enormity of the call, I keep reminding myself that, if I keep saying Yes to stepping into my life purpose, the Universe will never, ever leave me stranded. As the fear meter fluctuates from day to day, I’m given the opportunity to graciously receive the magnificent gift of free will. I get to exercise the privilege of choosing every day to do my human best on that day, to do the part that’s mine to do on that day. Meanwhile, I also choose to trust that Grace will line up the rest to support me – whether it’s you, my friends, especially in my time of need, or a special guest in the form of Gregg Levoy to eloquently remind me of my truth.
Faith is what keeps fear in check. Choosing to perceive Grace is what cultivates faith.