Spring: growth, hope and risk taking

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You can’t be in California right now without noticing spring. It’s bursting out across the land like a woman decorating herself with jewels. Formerly barren branches are filling out with new growth, deep green shrubs are tipped with a bright lime color, and the gardeners are busy. Weeds are pulled and dead growth is being cut back to make way for new life. And the flowers…oh the flowers.

I come to California every spring because, as a Nevadan, I have sensory deprivation. Yes, the desert is blooming too, and I love it, but it is nothing like the abundance in California.

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And I can’t contemplate spring, without thinking of my soul, your soul, souls in general. Many of us have been in spiritual winters, as well as the physical season. Many of us still are. But spring is a reminder, that there are seasons, that nothing lasts forever, that hope, new life, and resurrection come to all.

So, what does Spring hold for you? What new risk, new adventure, new joy will you try? I asked this at a weekly group I attend and one couple said they were going to take the plunge and buy a house, one brave single woman is adopting a child, and one man will finish writing a book.

For me, I want to take more risks in letting the world know about my books. I’m applying to speak at writers’ conferences. I’m applying for grants; I’m querying agents. These risks make me feel vulnerable, nervous and vastly alive.

I have a writing friend who hates speaking in public. Recently, she had to read her work in front of a crowd. She was scared, and told us so, but you know what? She did it anyway. And those of us who heard her words were better for them. I’m thankful she faced the fear and did the hard thing. The world needs your gifts, your words, your love, your energy.  It’s time to come out of that cocoon and spread those new wings.

Two books have been challenging me to take risks this spring: My Year of Yes:How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhymes and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I love listening to these books on audio as the authors themselves read their books aloud. Both will give you a push to get out there, take risks and create.

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If you feel stuck in winter, I recommend Rising Strong, by Brene Brown. She’s so helpful about our hard times and our failures cause growth. We all have dark times; it’s how we rise that matters.

I’d love to hear your hopes for this spring. What new thing will you try? What new risk will you take?

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