Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Thoughts Have Wings

The greatest albatross with which we burden ourselves is fear. It blocks us. It stops us. It paralyses us. It sits so readily and well-practised on our shoulders, around our hearts and in our minds that we scarcely recognise its presence.

I'm not thinking about the fear of parachuting and the like. I'm thinking about being scared to take that extra step, the one which in hindsight would have made a difference.

Sometimes we need to step outside what others tell us to do - the conformity and security of the approved way - and follow our hearts. We are then prepared to be ridiculed and to fail. For some people, the alternative is to live mediocre lives and to be paralysed by indecision and inaction.

As a teenager I was shy. So shy I assumed others didn't know or remember me. I often avoided making eye contact or saying hello. From time to time I would cross the street to avoid speaking to people I knew. Fear of rejection had its albatross wings firmly wound around me.

Now I recognise that we teach best what we need to learn ourselves. I spend most of my life now encouraging others to communicate from the heart. The way to do it is to hold that heavy albatross in your hands and go forward anyway. Soon the albatross will struggle to be free, to find a quiet resting place where it can be comfortable on someone else's shoulders. No albatross likes movement it can't control.

In business, and in life, I tried new ideas. I did some of the things I've always wanted to. Who knew where it will lead? Until I decided to give those things a go, nothing was going to change.

I have learnt that I will never completely fail. If nothing else, I have learnt how to do things better.

As I began to stretch and push my fears further away, I grew in awareness, confidence and strength. It has been a wonderful adventure and a great journey and I know it will continue to be.

This quote from the German philosopher Goethe speaks volumes.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness......
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can,
Begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now."

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - 1749-1832

This photo was taken at the top of Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia in June 2007. It took quite a lot of effort to reach the top and I was so pleased that I took up the challenge.

Kings Canyon is situated within the Watarrka National Park, Northern Territory, and is a huge canyon 270m high.

The line below is from The Killers song "Read My Mind". I loved this song from the first moment I heard it! The music is so tender and the lyrics just wonderful.

The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun.


Anonymous said...

Nice pics! DO u go on Scrapblog.com?

Anonymous said...

Oh yah. How did u put that pic on the very top of the page?

Keith Smith said...

Great post!! I absolutely love that quote from Goethe. Totally true!

What you said about fear is right on target also! It is what hold us prisoner if we allow it to. Thanks for an inspiring post!


Anonymous said...

Thanks! Im HAWAIIGIRL on there.

Here is my Easter sb!


Cozyflier said...

Peggy, you are part philosopher too. Very inspiring. Like you I use to be extremely shy, so to was my husband. However we chose to change and force ourselves into work that required us to talk to people!! Now, I hardly know a stranger.

Once again, your photography skills amaze and impress me. I zip corded in Hawaii on our 20th anniversary, I was very over weight, couldn't land on my feet, but enjoyed every moment of it and have beautiful pics and video because I chose to do it and my husband chose to overcome his fear of heights!

Paula and Skip said...

Hi, its great to find Goethes words being cherished around the world :-) His words always keep me going to find more of myself, new parts, regain etc.
"To know and love oneself its the begin of a lifelong romance" ( oscar Wilde ) Paula xx

miruspeg said...

Sophia - Happy Easter to you.

Keith - Nice to meet you, thanks for your lovely words.

Carrie - I have been studying philosophy for 3 years now so hopefully a little bit is sinking in! Isn't it wonderful when we tackle our fears head on, the outcome is always the most satisfying feeling.

Paula - So pleased you love Goethe's work. It is written that he is "Germany's greatest man of letters… and the last true polymath to walk the earth."
Thanks for the Oscar Wilde quote.

TheChicGeek said...

Beautiful post, Peggy. You are a great and positive encourager and I appreciate you so much :) I love your beautiful attitude and the quote is one of my favorites.
Look at you so cute in the wilderness :) I love that!

Have a Wonderful Day!

Anonymous said...

Just 2 let u know, Ive added to my blog.

Anonymous said...

OK! See u when u get back! Im also going to be very busy this April. 4 B-days, The County F. etc.!

miruspeg said...

Kelly (ChicGeek) - Very kind words, and I must say I do enjoy your blog very much.
I was attracted to philosophy by a need to think through my problems. I learnt to stop fantasising about life because that can be an excuse for not living.

Poetikat said...

You're so right! Fear holds us back from realizing things we wish we had the courage to do - things we need to do. I find the older I get, the less fear I have.


miruspeg said...

Kat - Yes that is the wonderful thing about aging. As we get older, our mind settles, and we become more at peace with ourselves.

Nina P. said...

You have a beautiful soul and are an insiration!! Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself; your hope & happiness of life shine in your work. I'll be back! Love and Light, Nina P (http://ninapthoughts.blogspot.com)

Fly Girl said...

Once again, your writing impressed me. You have a marvelous way of putting your thoughts into words! (And also a marvelous way of finding music and quotes to support your ideas.)

I've always liked the idea of tackling fear head-on. I was shy, too, and forced myself to try out for a part in a play. Although most people probably wouldn't consider me shy, I still am!


Sarah Lulu said...

So true Peggy ....

love Goethe ...hesitancy has been such a problem of mine ...so fear driven but thank God ...I've started moving forward in the last year or so.

miruspeg said...

Nina - Look forward to getting to know you....I wish you love and light as well and thankyou for your very kind words.

Roban - And once again I appreciate your words, they warm the cockles of my heart.
How interesting that you tried out for a part in a play. I did as well back in my 30's and found it extremely difficult to overcome being so self-conscious.

Sarah - Once we take that first small step in dealing with our fear it can feel so liberating. I agree hesitancy or reluctance to commit ourselves sure can hold us back.

mscherrylane said...

Like you I was so shy. Like you I've needed to learn to be more bold and "carpe diem" and like you I refuse to live a mediocre life! I also love that Goethe quote and climbing King's Canyon!! No wonder we share the same word for the year!! How are you going with that? I think I might actually be getting a grip on it now :)
cheers Peggy!

jenX67 said...

truly, i believe everything you write. i'm going to tweet this blog post.

Sherer said...

Awesome post Peg, I really am inspired by this. I share the same feels you have talked about in this very article. And although in business for example I consider myself very successful, I think with persistence and even LESS fear - one may become unstoppable


miruspeg said...

Macs - I love that we share the same word for the year....BALANCE!
When I read your posts they help me understand the effort it takes to stay balanced or at least be aware of when we are not balanced!
I am pleased you refuse to live a mediocre life!

Jen - Thanks very much. I try and write from my heart and with an open mind.
I have to tell you for a person your age your writing is so heartfelt and honest. I truly admire and am inspired by you.

Jesse - Unstoppable..what a great word. Unstoppable learning...unstoppable as the wind.
Thanks for "stopping by"...lol

Anonymous said...

Oh Peggy, what a wonderful post. I think everyone should read this! I love how you write this: "I'm thinking about being scared to take that extra step, the one which in hindsight would have made a difference." That is so true and very motivating for me to read today. Thank you!

miruspeg said...

Caroline - I read somewhere that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that first step is always the hardest one. It sets the momentum needed to more easily knock out the remaining steps.
Each Monday when I look after Joseph (2 year old) we watch Dora the Explorer...I love the part after she solves a problem she sings "we did it"....we dance around the room as well singing the song....ahhh
Happy Easter to you and lovely family my friend.

SILVER said...

overcoming fear.. i know that one.

I'm so proud of you ! and such awesome pics and view! must have beeen breath taking from where you were..

hugs and love enclosed..

Lilly said...

Peggy, wow what an achievement that was. And I have to ask, how come you look so damn good in that photo after that big climb. You are really inspirational you know that? Spectaculor photos too.