Call me Crazy!
My life has had many forms of “crazy”.
I have been told I am crazy in many variations of language:
… name calling ranging from aggressive bullying to playful teasing
… manipulative back-stabbing because I am a threat
… the dreaded smiles and lies followed by gut-wrenching isolation and silence
… and even wild admiration for out of the ordinary talents and skills
I’ve often felt like I can’t escape crazy no matter what I do:
… crazy for being too out of the box
… crazy for figuring out how to fit into the box
… crazy for being too small
… crazy for being too big
On the flip side, I’ve had many amazingly crazy achievements:
… when I was 13, I wrote to Jane Goodall about our lonely chimpanzee in the local zoo. She came to Chattanooga, TN where I was honored to be a tour guide and introduce her before speaking engagements.
… in my early 20s, I had written, recorded, and toured in a rock band, playing over 200 shows all over the U.S. in 2009.
… within the span of a year while working at a super corporate healthcare organization, I was promoted from temp to employee and when I gave my 2 weeks notice, they tried to convince me to stay by offering me a big salary increase and a supervisor position.
… I’ve even technically been on Oprah when a TV show that I was an actress on was featured on Oprah with a clip of me.
I have also had many crazy experiences I can’t as tangibly explain:
… moments of emotional agony so devastating I’m not sure how I made it through.
… moments of bliss, presence, and flow that felt like infinite connectedness.
… times when it felt like I am exactly where I need to be and each step has been conspiring for this time and place along the journey.
… times when something I’ve said or done profoundly changed someone’s perspective and their life and there’s a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment.
I’ve realized … life IS crazy!
We are ALL crazy and every day is a chance for a treasure quest of crazy.
Crazy can either be squashed or it can be harnessed for flight. The choice is whether to see the crazy as risky and something to avoid. Or to see the crazy as inspiring and something to nurture.
Boredom is less about the actual experience and more about a lens that is inhibiting the fullness of an experience.
Mediocrity is less about something not being special and more about settling for something other than your deepest desires.
Crazy is found in the extremities and it’s seemingly much easier and safer to stay inside of the margins.
It’s our primal response to protect ourselves from the extreme and unknown.
But, is it truly safe if you are neglecting parts of yourself?
Is it truly easy if you are having to push through a life uninspired?
And, I’ve personally found the more I go to the extreme, expanding myself and my life into the craziest of ways, the more flow and faith I experience.
So I say, YES, bring on the crazy!
Where might you have an opportunity to expand?
I love to inquire of myself regularly: Where am I resisting? What am I avoiding the most? Which part of me might be holding back?
Because that’s where I’m suppressing the gifts of crazy.
Here’s how you might find your own gifts of crazy:
1) Map it out: Use your imagination and creativity to picture your inner self or your outer life as a map with all of the details. You can even draw it out if you’d like!
2) Traffic patterns: On this map, where are the places you attend the most and where are the places you stay away from? This may feel uncomfortably honest and it may be helpful to ask a loving and trusted outside perspective if you’re feeling disconnected from seeing yourself fully. That’s totally ok. It’s all a part of the process of the expansion.
3) Underlying motivations: Then, you can ask yourself in a curious way, why might this be? To look underneath the patterns while keeping the compassion. This isn’t about beating yourself up, but instead gently bringing attention to both the known and the unknown places. There’s always a truth based reason for avoiding something. That truth has to be honored first before any movement into that area can feel true.
4) One small step: Next, create an adventure to explore one of the less traveled parts of yourself or your life. An experiment! Make this something fun, it can be a little bit scary, but still something you feel good about doing. For example, if you’ve never ran consistently before, if may feel too overwhelming to sign up for a marathon. Which is totally ok! So, start small and simple with something such as running around the block. If signing up for a marathon is highly motivating for you, go for it, but it still begins by running around the block first!
5) Bonus – let’s declare it together! Share your one small step towards crazy in the comments below with us. This way we can all be inspired by your commitments to courage as well as cheer each other on this week!
I’ll be checking back in next Friday with some more inspiration for living provocatively outside of the box! Talk to you then :-)