About a month ago I was at Village Books with my daughter Annie, and I spied a copy of Pema Chodron‘s Taking the Leap. This is a book I’ve picked up multiple times, held in my hand, read the first few pages…and put back on the shelf. $14. Do I really need one more book?
Annie was in a hurry and had no patience for this. “Mom,” she said, “it’s called ‘Taking the Leap!’ Buy it!” So I did. Here’s the opening paragraph:
As human beings we have the potential to disentangle ourselves from old habits, and the capacity to love and care about each other. We have the capacity to wake up and live consciously, but, you may have noticed, we also have a strong inclination to stay asleep. It’s as if we are always at a crossroad, continuously choosing which way to go. Moment by moment we can choose to go toward further clarity and happiness or toward confusion and pain. (1)
All stuff I know. Right? “…the only way to experience our pain is to experience it fully” (28).
Whether you’re in the middle of a writing project or contemplating a big change in your life, the key is to not let your fear — and your aversion to that fear, your tendency to flinch away — dictate your actions. As someone else once told me, fear can come along for the ride, but he can’t drive the car.