Slide into the Gasp


in Happiness,Personal Growth

I trudged up the mountainside carrying a little scrap of carpet. As I worked to catch my breath, my mind frantically shouted, “NO. This is crazy. You don’t want to do this. You are wearing a skirt.”

Although some part of me agreed, I managed to ignore the ever-increasingly hysterical voice.

Arriving at the top, I positioned my carpet scrap and gingerly sat on its meager surface. Without giving myself time to think, I pushed off and sailed down. Down, down, down.

On the biggest, longest slide I had ever been on.

As my backside caught air and no longer touched the surface, fear and exhilaration seized me simultaneously. I was flying. I was afraid of crashing. I wanted to keep going. I was having … fun.

That’s when I knew the truth of my situation:  my life become stale.

Musty, fusty, out-of-date. Slightly dull.

Definitely not the life I thought I had and certainly not the one I thought I was crafting.

Just as quickly as it had begun, my ride was over. Gathering my skirt and my carpet scrap, I scrambled off the slide wondering when the last time was that I had really pushed myself to do something new, out-of-the-ordinary, or slightly scary.

I couldn’t remember.

Uh oh.

This week, fellow blogger Tara Mohr was featured on the Today Show sharing her 10 Rules for Brilliant Women. The first rule she mentions?

Do something that makes you gasp.

The suck-in-your breath, feel-it-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach stuff that pushes you outside your normal limits and dislodges you from your routine.

For me, a simple ride down a big long slide generated the gasp factor.

What would get your heart beating? What would give you a thrill? What would make you gasp?

Slide into it. Today.

It beats the hell out of stale.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandi Amorim October 20, 2011 at

This struck a chord as I feel tears gathering as I type. What would get my heart beating is taking 6 months to a year off to just write. I’ve been feeling it for awhile, the pull to take a break from the busyness of my business, and fear has stopped me from acknowledging it. I have no idea how I could make this work and that’s ok for now. I still want what I want.

Thanks dear Andrea, for asking the right question.

Sandi Amorim recently posted..Formula for an Instant Self-Care Vacation


Andrea Olson October 20, 2011 at

Oh Sandi! What a wonderful, fearsome thing … believe me, it can be done. :) Go for the gasp!!


Jackie Walker October 20, 2011 at

I swear you live my life on the other side of the Atlantic! I hate slides, until I love them for the sheer waking up and exhilaration they give me in what can sometimes be a pretty dull life. I’m growing a new persona which is waking me up. I even did a wee test of my resolve online today in what I think was a quiet place! It made me suck in as I pressed post. Now for the rest of it to take hold!
Jackie Walker recently posted..8 reasons relationships are like going to the dentists


Andrea Olson October 20, 2011 at

Yes, there’s nothing like a slide to wake you up!! You are definitely on the gasp track, Jackie. Growing a new persona is more than enough to get your heart beating! Good for you (and what a delicious place to be … I’m thinking about Madonna and how she has reinvented herself numerous times – reinvention being the epitome of creativity.)


Ronna October 20, 2011 at

As always, Andrea, I love this. Only one thing I’d disagree with: that you can’t remember the last time you pushed yourself to do something out-of-the-ordinary and slightly dangerous. Good grief, woman. You quit your job, you’ve started an online presence/business, and every single day you choose to live in ways that defy culture. A carpet scarp down a huge slide? That’s nothing for you! :-)
Ronna recently posted..Why sad songs are sometimes the ones we most need to sing.


Andrea Olson October 20, 2011 at

Thank you, my friend. I stand corrected!! :)


Square-Peg Karen October 20, 2011 at

Andrea, I forgot how much I like wandering around here soaking in your wisdom (I get your posts in my e-mail, but it’s fun to come by every once in awhile and re-read posts – or read ones I missed) –

looking at that slide makes my stomach clench (not saying I wouldn’t find it fun – just that I can feel the gasp by merely looking at the picture!) – and now I’m wondering what would get my heart beating like that (without needing to go down the slide – grin)…I think that standing up tall and being seen for who I am and what I have to offer sounds about right. Yep – I think that’s the right direction.

Thanks for the nudge!
Square-Peg Karen recently posted..I’m so excited!


Andrea Olson October 20, 2011 at

Karen, thank you so much for your kind words. The slide was a bit of monster … yet, the children threw themselves down it without a second thought. Hhhhmmm. Something to think about there. Yes, stand tall and don’t fall victim to the failure-to-shine-syndrome. Shine and thrill yourself beyond belief!


Marsha October 21, 2011 at

This was my God message today…thank you for reminding me I am here to live out loud!!


Andrea Olson October 21, 2011 at

Thank you so much for commenting, Marsha. I’m so pleased the message found you. LIVE. OUT. LOUD. Indeed!!


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