Why is it that some people seem to live so large? There are those individuals that have seemingly done everything you can imagine. Perhaps it is diving, whether it is sky or scuba that they have tried. Or maybe it is the amazing career paths that they walk, paths that can lead us around the world, the likes of which many of us only dream of, or fear.
I have always been of the belief that courage should be defined as action in spite of fear. How can there be courage, unless one experiences fear? The fearless feminist writer Anais Nin wrote that “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” By her definition, you can’t truly experience life, without courage. Courage is revealed by not succumbing to fear, but conquering it, much like Nin seemed to do in her full life.
Courage is what is required to live a full and expansive life. The more courageous one is, the more they will be open to experience and explore the vast possibilities of life. In contrast, a lack of courage can lead one to live a sheltered and diminished existence.
Nin’s choice of the wording, “shrinks and expands”, are well chosen. Life is fluid; there are many twists and turns on the highway of life. Where we are on that road can affect our level of courage, shrinking and expanding the life that we are living, or the life that we allow ourselves to experience. If you are afraid to get off the main highway, you will miss some incredible countryside.
Not everyone needs or wants an expansive life, but if you do want to live large, know that you must have courage. Climb in that plane and strap on your gear. Muster your courage and jump out. Now open your eyes; that is your life opening up before you.