The Power of Risk


Today I flipped open “The Artist’s Way” and was struck by these words:

“So do it. If you win, you win. And if you lose, you win.”
It’s always that way with taking risks.
To put it differently, very often a risk is worth taking simply for the sake of taking it. There is something enlivening about expanding our self-definition, and a risk does exactly that. Selecting a challenge and meeting it creates a sense of self-empowerment that becomes the ground for further successful challenges.

These words were really timely for me. I think it’s true that challenges make us more alive, and that constantly avoiding them can become a kind of illness, a debilitating fearfulness that hides us from life, like turtle in its shell.

When we get convinced that things are “just too hard” we start to shrivel up inside. We set up comfort as our ideal but the worship of it makes us miserable. We feel incapable of anything different or new. We isolate ourselves and can become morbid.

Risk helps us break free from this cycle. It’s empowers us to recreate ourselves. Life becomes an adventure as we realize it contains new depths–that we also contain new depths, new possibilities.

It’s been said that each person is a universe unto themselves, and it’s exciting to know that we have unknown vistas to explore within. Maybe there is hidden courage and beauty we were unaware of, or had long forgotten.

Taking a creative risk opens ourselves up to the possibility of new things: our yes opens the door to unimagined blessings. Likely they were waiting for us all along, but required us to open our hearts to receive them.


So today I encourage you to examine yourself with a spirit of openness to new possibilities. What secret call has been sounding in your heart? What risk have you been too afraid to take?

Instead of focusing on the obstacles, which are always larger in our heads, think about how proud and happy you will feel if you take this risk and succeed, or even if you take it and fail. Courage is about facing our fears, instead of hiding from them…it isn’t about not having fears. To face your fears is brave, no matter what the result.

So be emboldened to take a risk, try something new, and break out of your routine. You’ll be surprised by the power within.


Live Free: Smash your Fears

The wise Aristotle once said,

He who has overcome his fears will be truly free.

Today I want to share an amazing true story with you. It’s the story of a woman who was expected to die, but lived instead. Her name is Heather.


Her husband Cameron shared her story with me:

Eight years ago, my wife Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer that kills most people within 2 years of diagnosis. She had just given birth to our daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, LungLeavin’ Day was born. On February 2nd, we celebrated 8 years of Heather being cancer free.


The purpose of LungLeavin’ Day is to encourage others to face their fears! Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire. We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life!




Marcus Aurelius wrote long ago in his Meditations,

It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

Heather wants to encourage all of us to truly live. To see life as a great gift and a joyful adventure, rather than something to be feared.

So what is it that you fear most? Rejection? Loneliness? Failure? Weakness? Poverty? Suffering?

Or perhaps responsibility, commitment or even success? What fear is holding you back?

Can you imagine if an eagle chose to sit in a cage because it was afraid of heights? It would never experience that glorious feeling of flying!

We are made for greatness, made for happiness, made for love. Sometimes these things scare us so we hide behind bars of fear we mistake for control. We convince ourselves to be stoic, to remain steady and unattached, to not get sucked into life lest it involve suffering.

But this is not freedom. This is not truly living.

Life is so much more of a beautiful adventure when we let go. Our real stories are more amazing than the ones we would write for ourselves; it’s the struggle and the suffering that makes the other moments so precious.

So what fear would you like to smash? What small step can you take today to face your fear and win your freedom?

It’s said that sometimes we fear what we desire most…

Since I was a teenager, I’ve had great desire to write, but I used to be so afraid of people reading my work. It was too painful. One great step to overcoming my fear was starting this blog. It was really hard to press publish that very first post. I literally had to force myself.

But what I feared as a source of rejection and failure has turned out to be a source of joy, encouragement, and liberation. I am more inspired and write more easily than ever before, because I gave myself permission to smash my fear and live. I feel part of a community and can rejoice in the successes of my fellow writers, because I too am pursuing my dream.

Sometimes if we ask for miracles, they really do happen, many little ones all the time, and sometimes big ones too. Our job is to be grateful and enjoy them!


Please visit Heather’s page for more of her story and links to more info: