All In

This month I’m making a leap. I’m stepping off the edge. I’m diving into a new venture (or adventure). This month also marks the start of a year in which I’ve decided I’m going to stop holding back.

I want to be all in.

The new venture is a series for parents at my church. When discussing the possibility with the church staff member supporting me, I told her I’d spearhead the series, but that it felt like stepping off a high dive. A very high dive. And I just hoped that the pool would be filled with water.

She laughed and we continued on with the discussion. But the image of a high dive has remained in my mind.

And I think it fits. Because come tonight  at 6:30pm when I launch the series with a talk I’m giving on being parents who keep our word, I’ll be stepping off the diving platform. And we all know that going off a high dive doesn’t have a part-way option. Either we jump off and get completely wet, or we back down that ladder and give up the jump. Going off a high dive is an all-in-or-nothing move.

But the image of an empty pool also has haunted me. The image of being all in for a catastrophic outcome wants to push me back down the diving board ladder. Until three nights ago.

I’ve been preparing to share a talk on the importance and power of creating a parenting manifesto – a concept I felt was pretty original (not the manifesto part, but one particular to parenting). And I’m thrilled with the potential of the idea for creating a positive ripple in the lives of parents and so I’m excited to share about it. I’ve just been hoping someone will show up to hear me and be even half as excited about the idea as I am.

Remember how I said that my goal for the year is to stop holding back? Well, I came across a book that echoes that theme, a book called Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. And so in my downtime the past week, when I’m not working or preparing for the upcoming talk, I’ve been devouring this book. I’ve also been doing what I love to do when I have a printed text in my hands – I’ve been skimming ahead. And Friday night I came across something that told me the pool I’ll be jumping into on Monday will be filled with water. I came across this: The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.

I cannot explain it entirely, except to say that I know I am going to jump off that high dive come Monday. And I may flail wildly on the way down.  I may belly flop hugely into that pool. And I may ache and cough and sputter. But I’ll be all wet. Because I’m all in for this new venture. And I know that the pool will be full.

For now, that’s all that matters.

When was the last time you stopped holding back and walked up the ladder to the top, pinched your nose, and jumped off one of life’s high dives?

Photo credit: “high spirits, closer” by popofatticus on Flickr made available under CC license