Monday, October 24, 2011

Many Ways to LEAP

Recently, a friend wondered aloud with me about a possible acronym for the word LEAP:
Learn
Evolve
Appreciate
Practice

Hearing her words, I instantly saw her in a deeper way; four words revealing her essence in such a simple, poetic way. I hoped that it did the same for her. I imagined that her spontaneous, operational definition for how she uniquely LEAPS, gave her a guiding principle for her life's journey. Whenever she feels lost or looking for a foothold, she can return to her home base by reminding herself to keep Learning, Evolving, Appreciating, and honoring her chosen Practice.

I hadn't thought in terms of an acronym when I titled my blog - but my friend's idea got me thinking about how each of us LEAPS in different ways. Perhaps we LEAP based on what we hold to be most important in our lives. The notion of LEAPING registers in our awareness in a unique way, dependent upon the qualities we most value in ourselves. I'm guessing that our style of LEAPING is contingent upon what we long to actualize in our living years.

Mary Oliver, in her poem The Summer Day - cuts to the core of LEAPING when she asks... "tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" 

Following both my friend's and Oliver's lead, I LEAPED into my own acronym:
Listen
Explore
Alert
Presence
My guiding principle is to Listen and Explore with Alert Presence whatever new beliefs and actions stretch me out of my comfort zone in the most courageous way possible.

And, I must add, Love is in the mix all the time with my relationship to the L of LEAPING; falling in Love with my less than perfect self; bringing a Loving (gentle, friendly, open) approach to the hidden gifts and lessons of seemingly irritating others; Loving my life, such as it is, with all it's challenging curve balls and annoying invitations to stretch out of my fear-based, self-constricting and self-judging habits.

This idea of different ways of LEAPING, brought to mind my years of dancing and how long it took me to value and enjoy my innate way of moving. I spent many years comparing my movement style to others, coming up short, and so often feeling that I needed to change or improve in some way. It was only when I began doing authentic movement, that I finally came home to myself and was able to honor my unique way of moving/being. In the inward focused, contemplative process of letting myself move without judgment or shoulds, I found my home base. This more self-embracing ground of being allowed me to begin LEAPING with confidence, courage, and joy - in all areas of my life.

Of course - it's not always this easy, there are many moments when I still lose my way and don't lovingly embrace my way of being. But naming what is most important to me; what brings me alive and in my flow of valuing who I am and what I have to offer, has helped me to remember that I do have a sturdy home base to return to. It gets very confusing in the judgment, should zone. It's important to have a simple reorienting reminder to kick-start the clarity zone.

Thanks to my friend, I now have a new tool for kick-starting clarity: Four simple words, on the spot, to quiet the noise, self-judgment, and confusion.

So, I'm keeping it short and sweet today. I invite you to come up with your own acronym and your own anthem and scrawl it on a piece of paper. Tack it up in a prominent place in your home and/or shove it into your back pocket for those moments when you forget that you do have the confidence and courage to.....

KEEP LEAPING!
PS - I'd love to read your four words. Please do send them along to me.


6 comments:

  1. L= Luck, always hoping it's on my side.

    E= Expectation (have none to lessen the fear of moving forward

    A= Action, keep moving even if the direction is unclear

    P= Persevere, never give up

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  2. I recognize and admire your commitment to perseverance (huge component to staying in the leaping zone) coupled with a deep sense of faith (luck/hope) as you remember to keep throwing open the windows to possibility (not confining yourself or triggering fear with a focus on a limited sense of the outcome of your actions). A mystical worker bee kind of leaping! Thanks for sharing your four words.

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  3. This is a fun challenge; here's mine:
    Love - centering here towards myself and others
    Enjoy - savor the moment, present in the now
    Appreciate - the glass half-full, the gifts I have
    Passion - pursuing what I've chosen with soul
    It was a toss up at the end with Peace, so maybe I'll spell it LEAPP:-)
    I love your acronym, it powerfully encapsulates what you wrote about in your previous post.

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  4. Love, Enjoy, Appreciate, Passion/Peace.
    A very yummy anthem for life!
    It so reveals your core essence.
    Now if I may be a push Leo - please do honor that acronym and create a beautiful note to yourself and keep it handy when you need to kick-start clarity - in the midst of a muddle.

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  5. Loving (unconditionally)
    Entering (vulnerable spaces)
    Awe (at God/dess's creation)
    Play (some every day)

    Enjoyed this exercise! I could see using it as a self check-in and seeing if the words that choose me change over time...

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  6. J - totally inspired by your style of LEAP-ing. Reminds me of Pema's definition of courage as - the shaky tenderness in the center of the heart.

    Someone else posted to my FB page their 'acronym of the day' - which is in keeping with your idea that our LEAP-ing also changes as we keep LEAP-ing. Again, it helps to translate the acronym into something we can tell ourselves - in moments of losing our way.
    Like whispering to ourselves the secret message we tend to forget.
    Thanks!

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