Last month my financial planner told me that stability was the desired state because, in stability, we can take risks. Okay, so sock away all of your pennies and then, when the time is right, BAMM, do something big. This makes sense of course, but if you are someone who saves and scrimps, taking any kind of monetary risk is stepping way outside of your comfort zone.
This applies in realms beyond the financial-- physical, emotional, intellectual. Everyone has their thing. But, no matter what thing that is, every penny-pinching, helmet-wearing, C-average, stepford wife has the potential to get their risk on.
I wasn't really thinking about this risk-taking business beyond the financial domain until the word "unfurl" started stalking me. I first heard it in yoga. Kristen described how the chest should "unfurl" in half-moon pose. Then I read it in the Lorrie Moore novel I have been limping through for the last three weeks and again I heard it when I was perusing Terri Gross podcasts to download.
I told my friend Nancy that I think for me, there is an emotional unfurling that is either happening or trying to happen. I described it like a tongue rolling out of a mouth. She offered the elegant counter-image of a flower (I imagined a lotus) blossoming. I shot her down. Blahhh- it's a tongue. Definitely a tongue. It's like getting to the bottom, or the root of what's already there. "Here I am, the thing you've been keeping inside. Blahhhh." A tongue.
My friend Judy just started reading. Not literally. "I'm not a reader", she always used to say. And now, she's voracious. She can't stop. Her desire to read--fiction, memoir, cookbooks, history-- it's unfurled. Maybe Judy just decided to start reading one day, but she's tried this before. There was something more this time. Something clicked in her and she stepped out. Now she's a reader.
Today I watched my daughter, the "indoor kitty" as she is often called, playing 100 yards away from me for an hour without looking back. Her courage, independence, confidence suddenly evident. Sure, maybe it is because she is five-and-a-half instead of five, but that seems sort of arbitrary. It's more like all of the little risks she's been taking helped her tap into big, strong Lucia and now she's comfortable there.
Here's what I realize-- unfurling is not linear and it is not a one-shot-deal. With the movement of life there are always new people, new places, new experiences that offer openings for unfurling or invitations to dive for cover. If you're in the process of unfurling, it's probably going to be uncomfortable for a while because you're not all the way "there." Stay the course. And, if you're stuck, hiding, afraid, listen for the invitation to unfurl. It'll come.