Moxie week is here. Once again I feel like I should be kicking things off with huge heroic fanfare but I am sitting here like a school girl who hasn't studied for the test she is about to take. I don't feel prepared. I don't feel particularly brave and I while I admire moxie when I see it I really haven't cultivated much of it around here lately. This is because I have gotten pretty comfortable.
This is MOXIE
She is the first lion born in the Bronx Zoo in over 31 years.
My dear friend Tamara has often warned me with a line from "The Sun Screen Song," Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. I, a former New Yorker, have been living in Northern California for seven years now. I may have actually reached the "soft" to which this line speaks. My husband has promised to woo and wow me for life and we have the means for me to stay at home to raise our daughter. My day to day life is pretty cushy, as I told you during gratitude week. I have easy access to good organic food, beautiful beaches and mountains are each less then an hour from my door, human rights are respected. I worry for the planet, helpless animals and oppressed and hungry people but I do not need to worry for me.
When I was younger I spent a lot of time flying by the seat of my pants. Traveling around Europe for a month with less then a hundred dollars in my pocket. Moving to another state with nothing but a gas station credit card to support me until my first new paycheck. My threshold for personal risk was very high. Don't get me wrong. I was smart and I calculated the risks and carefully plotted my path to success. I never would have seen Greece and those beautiful white hillsides of Santorini if I hadn't been brave enough to sleep on the less expense roof tops of youth hostels and actually admit to fellow travelers that I would not be able to join them for restaurant dinners.
As I think now about my gas card month, eating a lot of corn chips, and other prepackaged food, I was brave but another factor was also at play. Pride. I did not want to admit to my new employer or to the girl who let me crash on her couch, that I truly had nothing. I was convinced that the job might not have been offered if they knew how desperate I really was. Living through those tense weeks I had a glimpse of what might happen to cause homelessness. I was pretty close. Of course I went to the end of my personal rope knowing that if that rope broke I could call upon my family for help (although that pride kept me from letting them know my true situation) but I did everything in my power to insure I would not need that luxury.
I displayed bravery that month but with the lens of experience I can not say it showed Moxie. Moxie would have been coming clean about my situation and asking for help from my new boss, my friend with the couch, or even my parents. Moxie means looking squarely at the thing that scares you and acting anyway. I really wasn't afraid of eating hot dogs and orange macaroni and cheese for a month but I was afraid of having an honest conversation with my dad.
Considering moxie in this light makes me realize that even in my happy little home there are places I don't go and conversations I won't have. This is going to be the week to change that! To keep me on track, and not allow the possible distraction several initiatives could provide, this week I am only going to have one Bliss Initiative:
- Do one thing everyday that scares you - We know all know what these things are. There are conversations you have been avoiding for weeks, if not years. There are opinions you don't air in certain company. Each day do something unexpected and brave. For example, I will go out of my way to meet a neighbor, strike up a conversation with a stranger, offer my opinion on the website of someone I respect, rather then just reading and watching. I will ask if there is a way I can get a better deal when I am shopping instead of unconsciously paying full price. In short I will step outside of my comfort zone, I will create opportunities to be brave and speak up instead of quietly going about my business.
How will you be showing your moxie this week?
Next post: Moxie Failings...
My 13 bliss virtues are joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.
This week we are studying Moxie. Next up is Humility Week.