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Monday, June 16, 2008

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Day 4

Did I fail to mention that if you'd like to remain a UDC member in good standing or still get invited to the annual Camellia Ball, you should probably commit to memory then burn that list you made on Day 3. A small thing I know, but we southern ladies are all about the details.

It's those same details that prevent us from living fearlessly. "Oh, I've thrown caution to the wind," you pshaw me. But have you really?

It's much easier to live fearlessly in the big moments than it is in the small ones. I never had any trouble, during the births of my four children, grabbing my husband by the collar and threatening to levitate off the delivery table and donkey kick him in his sensitivities if he didn't get off the phone with his mother. But I would never have the guts to make that same promise on a random Sunday afternoon.

The reason fearlessness is easier in the big moments is because there just aren't that many of them. There are thousnads upon thousands of small moments in our lifetimes. Adrenalin drives big moments. We wrestle with worry in the small ones. The details detour us from fearless living. We can't let go of our well-laid plans. For heaven's sake, what would people think?

Ladies, I'm here to tell you, that life, real life, is wrapped up in all the moments between the plans. The only way to live fearlessly is to embrace the uncertainty and roll with it. Take for example my friend Heloise, who found herself in a rather tight spot - her day for garden club refreshements and her daughter decides to get a gushing wound. Helpful Miss Betty Sue Renfrew offered to drop by and collect the refreshments early so Heloise could scoot on to the ER with her daughter.

Early! Early was no good. Heloise hadn't purchased the refreshments yet, but what diva of perfection would ever admit that. So she grabbed a container of strawberries from the fridge and arranged them on a platter. She scurried to the back porch and plucked some sprigs of mint for garnish. But she was fresh out of powdered sugar for dip.

What did she do? She grabbed a ladder and visited her secret stash on the back of the top right pantry shelf, where she found a jar of chocolate body paint (she apparently is an old pro at living fearlessly). She poured that chocolate paint into a small crystal bowl, placed it in the middle of the strawberries, and smiled as she passed the whole platter out the door to Betty Sue, who later reported how much the ladies raved over the refreshments.

YOUR ASSIGNMNET: Today, write a letter to that timid woman inside of you, who always whispers "What if," right before you decide to step outside of the plan, to break out of the worry, to let the details fall where they may. Don't fuss at her, encourage her. Ask her why she whispers those worrisome thoughts in your ear. Ask her what it is that she is afraid of. Tell her the story of Heloise. Let her know that if she will let go and let you live fearlessly, you will take good care of her.

Don't scrimp. This is an event. Write this letter on your best monogrammed stationary with your best pen. Don't stop writing until you have poured it all out. Then fold it neatly and slide it into a coordinating envelope. Place the letter in the bottom of your jewelry box for safe keeping.

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