I adore my friend Sarah Markley. She pretty much rocks it in every area. So it’s always a blessing when she writes for me. May her honesty and grit inspire you today.
What would it look like for you to live uncaged in 2012?
Living uncaged for me would be truly practicing what I preach. Getting up off the metaphoric sofa and looking ahead at what is to come rather than behind at what has been. Last year was a year of “licking wounds” and not a year of being proactive. I think that I’d rather have a year in which I ran forward and lived with intention rather than in a reactionary way.
What has prevented you from living a truly free and unencumbered life in the past?
In a word, fear. I grew up afraid of a lot of things: of being away from home, of having my heart broken, of my parents disapproving of me. And those fears led to a lot of my safe (too safe) young adult decisions. I got married too young (fear of getting my heart broken); I only applied to – and got into – 1 college which happened to be 30 minutes away from my parents house; I didn’t tread outside the tiny box my parents drew for me until the stakes were much bigger than normal teenage rebellion (my “rebellion” came at age 25 after I’d already been married for 4 years). I grew up in a church with a lot of rules and not much grace so a lot of my choices were based on a fear of hell as a destination rather than on what the truly beneficial and holy choice was.
Give my readers advice. What’s one practical thing they can do this year to live uncaged? (This can be silly like dancing in the rain or serious like eat more chocolate.)
Practical advice for 2012: Be a person of intentional adventure. Meaning, look for adventure on a daily (or weekly basis). Do something in your hometown that you’ve never done: Hike a trail, go to an old movie when the theater plays them on Wednesday nights, eat at a restaurant you would never try. If that’s not adventurous enough for you, do something only a kid would do: take a horse riding lesson, put on your wellies and the next time it rains, go outside for a walk, climb a tree or a hill, take your spouse on an “active” date (go kayaking or bike riding). And if you have a fear of something that actively keeps you from engaging others, make this year the year you conquer your fear (for example, if you have a fear of plane travel, address it and push through it this year.)
Who in your life is an excellent example of living uncaged? Why?
My six year old really is an example of living uncaged. She climbs up high and jumps off of walls before figuring out if she can really land well; she goes down the slide without looking to see what’s at the bottom. She loves big and she loves hard. Any child, actually, is a good example of uncaged living. They don’t really care what others think or how they look. They just do what they know to do and it’s always fun to watch.
If you could design a Live Uncaged sweatshirt, what would it look like?
Don’t ask me this!! =) I’m so bad at stuff like this.