In the shadow of ourselves we worry not. We punch the time clock promptly @ 5 pm and hurry home to prop our feet up and forget about the day. Not a minute more will we exert ourselves for that crappy paying job. In the comfort of the shadow, we proclaim the police or local neighborhood watch group will take care of the recent string of burglaries wreaking havoc all around us. Never does it occur- that we should stand guard.
The shadow is our safety net; it is what author Steven Pressfield refers to in his book The War of Art as Resistance. Resistance is the consummate lover of fear, rationalization as to why you can’t or won’t do what your heart longs to do. This clever enemy will suffocate your soul with self doubt and familial critics.
It is a slow and sinister dance with the devil disguised as your Muse.
Steady your gait, feet properly aligned, eyes fixated on the rope, slow your breathing. Yes! You’ve done it. You peer back at the tightrope with great adulation. The rope is 20 feet off the ground and the net gleams with pride. With a sly grin and a wink of the eye, Resistance calls it a night. His work is done.
Nik Wallenda, the American acrobat has set nine Guinness World Records walking tightropes and riding bicycles at great heights soaring far above packed soil.
He got out of his way and chucked the net.
Ever breathed in the endless beauty of Yosemite National Park? Walked quietly among the Badlands?
Teddy Roosevelt stepped out of the shadow of his unspeakable grief and preserved these natural wonders and wildlife into an everlasting gift of 150 million acres of national forests, created the USFS and many national parks throughout the land that we still enjoy today.
Whatever calling or gift we possess within us- story teller, healer, protector, acrobat or conservationist must be excised from the soft silhouette and catapulted into the world.
Be not among the timid souls but dare greatly in stepping out from the comforts of the shadow and into The Arena.