The Courageous Adventure of Being Fully Alive | Blog

The Courageous Adventure of Being Fully Alive

2020 has been an invitation for me to embrace the experience of my own and others' humanity. It has given me the opportunity, again and again, to experience the full range of the human experience. It seems to be teaching me and inviting me to embody the experience of being fully alive.

As we get ready to enter the New Year, I am less tempted by the illusion of control or the idea that I can predict what will happen or what it will call forth within me when it does. 2020 has shown me that I can meet whatever life presents when it happens. 

It hasn't always been graceful or pretty. That said, what may have started out as unwelcome, opened a pathway to a deeper knowing, a waking up and, as a result, feeling more alive. That aliveness has been a doorway to a richer quality of living. 

Every encounter, experience, disappointment, or challenge has the potential to wake us up to what is alive and wants to be expressed or lived through us. 

I can't help but wonder if perhaps this is the point…to be touched by life, by our hopes, dreams, disappointments, and losses. To feel the connection to who we are and the people we encounter. To experience all of life. 

As we move into the New Year, I was inspired to share a poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer called, The Invitation. I was recently introduced to this by a participant in my small group mentoring program. It speaks to the invitation we all have to step into our lives more fully, more whole, more alive. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.


“Perhaps this is the point…to be touched by life, by our hopes, dreams, disappointments, and losses.”

The experience of being fully alive, of waking up, means we lean into life and not away from it.

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at 



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