Friday, April 17, 2009

In Search of...a good turn of phrase

I love a good turn of phrase. In fact, nothing tickles me more. So there I sat watching American Idol this past week (because yes, that's what I do), and out of darling, sweet, and usually completely incoherent Paula's mouth came just such a delightful surprise.

Now, I have to admit that I'm usually with Simon when he says to her, "I have no idea what you just said." (And you have to picture it with his trademark British accent and accompanying look of disgust.) However, this time was different. This time, not only did Paula make sense, she was profound.

"Fortune rewards the brave," she said. And it stopped me dead in my tracks. It was only four little words, but to acknowledge their veracity was to admit that I have not been living that way for quite some time.

So it got me thinking about brave choices and what that means. It is so easy to let our soul's voice be drowned out by the craziness of the world that we don't know who we are, or what we're doing here, or what we truly want if we would let ourselves want anything.

A Course in Miracles says that peace of mind is our only goal, and for years I didn't get it. Peace of mind couldn't possibly be the only thing I wanted. But years later I have found that it is. I know that this is so because I have seen people who have the things I wanted, but who are terribly unhappy. And I have seen dying people who are at peace and joyful regardless of their circumstances. I have noticed that neither wealth nor poverty guarantees virtue. And at the end of the day, (or at four in the morning, as the case may be for me sometimes), I can tell you that peace of mind is indeed what I long for.

I think peace comes in a variety of ways, and, getting back to Paula Abdul for a second here, (and who ever imagined that I'd be saying that?!!), I think that bravery is one of them. There's obvious bravery - like the captain who was willing to trade his own safety for that of his crew's - or the dashing young black man who ran for President at the worst conceivable time in our history. These are obvious examples of bravery. But there are not-so-obvious ones as well - like going for a dream. No, I mean truly going for it. And it doesn't really matter what the dream is, just as long as it's yours...and you go for it.

My friend Robin went sky diving once. Fortunately, she had it video taped for posterity. While sky diving has never been on my personal list of things I always wanted to do, I found watching her do it positively liberating.

But maybe it's not something that radical. Maybe it's going back to school and getting a degree, or speaking in public, or traveling to an exotic destination. At one point for me it was trying to meet George Stephanopoulos...which led to writing a book...which led to a whole host of experiences I never would have writing a blog, for instance.

It really doesn't matter what the dream is, or how crazy it seems to anyone else, or the odds of succeeding as determined by a cynical world. What matters is doing it with bravery...because, like Paula Abdul said, "Fortune rewards the brave."

So be brave, and thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

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