Magic words of the week Full Aliveness

What are you willing to risk for your full aliveness?

I’m HATING the music in this Uber. 

I’d really love something mellow as I’m trying to journal here in the back seat. Something backgroundy. No commercials.

But the voices in my head won’t let me ask for what I want: “Who am I to ask this driver to change what he’s playing? Am I really going to be that obnoxious? He’s not my servant; he’s a person whose tastes and desires matter as much as mine. I can’t be like THAT.”

As the dissonance outside of me grows more grating, the dissonance inside is also mounting.

In my journal, I scribble the question that’s been rattling in my head this week: 

“What am I willing to risk for my full aliveness?”  

My coach Diana Chapman, co-founder of the Conscious Leadership Group, has shared this question with me more times than I can count.  

At this moment, I’m not liking my answer.

Full aliveness, as I understand it, is an energy. It’s a feeling in my body. When I’m in it, everything’s flowing. There’s plenty of space. Life is full of wonder and possibilities. I’m not holding anything back. I’m fully myself.

Asking the driver to change the music would definitely serve my full aliveness. 

Right now, though… I’m not even willing to risk that a human I’ll never see again *might* think I’m being too selfish. 


If I can’t ask him to change the station, what else am I holding back on in the world?

For the next 10 minutes, I write in my journal. I blast through agonizing pages, letting my fears run. I ask myself whether I can accept the part of me that’s scared to ask. I send her love and compassion.

And then I get willing.

“Umm…Could we, maybe, perhaps, listen to something different?” I say out loud. I brace for his scorn.

“Sure,” the driver says. “Like what?”

Soon jazz from the public radio station is filling the car. 

My body relaxes into joy and ease. I like this music SO much better. 

But it’s more than that.

In my simple act of trivial courage, I flexed the muscle of full aliveness. 

I chose to care more about the fullness of my human expression than about a strangers’ approval. 

And THAT, I believe, is a key to a meaningful, magical life. 

So…. What are you willing to risk for your full aliveness?

This post was original sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.

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