Growing What You Love As a Daily Practice Grows Your Courage

I've been quietly working to become better at the things I love without rushing, without chastising myself when I am not already at my goal, and without losing my love for these things while I still occasionally fail at being good at them.

me in a window at the Farmer's Market

When Susannah Conway wrote about how she does one thing or commits one hour towards her dream every day, I realized that this is what I have been doing. It is easy to get caught up in jobs and laundry and emotional entanglements and so lose focus on the ideas, pursuits, and dreams that actually feed us most when we are so caught up. I realized some time ago that, over time, I had relegated what were once my dreams to the domain of mere hobbies, mentally shelving them with my unused yarn and dried up glitter glue, and that doing so had left me with a life full of tedium, tasks that kept me physically cared for but spiritually empty.

I have made a practice of spending, if not an hour, at least 20 minutes a day on one of my dreams outside of paid work projects. I don't have to make great headway, and some days I do little more than look at the thing I am working on, but I at least keep my eye trained on my dreams.

It's this type of daily practice that has grown this weblog, my writing, my design work, and the creative community that sustains me.

Lately, I have my eye trained on writing poetry. I've been a once-a-month poet for a long time, and this does nothing to further my ability or my goal to be published, so I have been chipping away at writing poetry as a daily practice for the last two months or more. I am not perfect, and I am not great yet, but I can feel myself training a new voice, and it is powerful. It's like learning how to turn a cartwheel. Every time I hit the landing without twisting anything, I have more confidence to carry me through the next turn.

Growing yourself beyond the daily pattern changes you. It doesn't just grow your skills; it grows your courage. It grows your ability to say I can or I will be able to.

Growing what you love, growing yourself beyond the pattern of daily life, grows your courage.

If you are waiting for a burst of courage to start working toward a dream, stop waiting. You can actively grow your courage by putting one foot toward your goal, even if that foot is terrified and shaking in its boot. I'm not shitting you.

What would you grow if you carved out 20 minutes just for you every day? What are you growing right now?

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