Until two days ago, I was the executive director for a non-profit that helped kids succeed in life, but funding (or lack of it) was our downfall. After being a part of our community for 37 years, we closed our doors on Monday. That means my job is ending. I have about ten more hours of work to do before I can say I’m officially finished, but my future is staring me in the face.
Sometimes it stares at me menacingly as if to say, “So, whatcha ya gonna do, huh? You think you can really publish your book? You really think you can do public speaking. Dream again, honey.” Other times, and I’m pleased to say more often, my future looks at me with a gentle, supportive expression that sends tingles down my spine. She is nudging me to live more fully, to be bigger. And the familiar feeling of butterflies swarms in my gut.
I am reminded of something I heard in a course I took from Excellence Northwest here in Bellingham (I highly recommend their courses): the physical manifestations of fear and excitement are very similar. With both, we feel butterflies in our stomach, maybe we get a little sweaty and our palms turn clammy. The big difference between fear and excitement is that with excitement, we’re pretty sure we know the outcome of whatever is coming; with fear we don’t.
I am currently enrolled in Tara Mohr’s online course, Playing Big (I highly recommend this as well!). This is a course for women who want to step up their game and live more fully into themselves. In the Fear module, Tara explains that in ancient Hebrew there are two words for fear: Pachad and Yirah. Pachad is a fear of imagined or potential threats – the meaning that most of us think of when we use the word fear. But I was intrigued by the other word for fear: Yirah. This meaning of this word has an element of fear, but it really means awe or reverence, often toward God.
That’s how I feel right now as I stand on the threshold between my past and my future. I reverently bow to the power of the possibilities, I am in awe of the potential, I am excited for the opportunities. Though Yirah implies awe toward God, I hold reverence for the god/des within me, the part of myself that is connected to my soul and is urging me to live bigger.
Stay tuned, world. I’m expanding!