Saturday, June 18, 2011

Alternatives (Poem)


I could lie
watching winter draw
in the dark.
Its scrim, pulled,
silences the voice inside
asking the questions.

I could let
my heart's eye see me
through, show me
how I am
what I do when I'm in fear,
running it to ground.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

I'm participating in the #Trust30 challenge, an online writing/reflection initiative for which a prompt is posted daily. All of the prompts to day are here.

This poem, in Shadorma form (stamzas of 6 lines, each stanza following a 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllabic pattern) is my response to the 19th prompt from entrepreneur and world traveler Dan Andrews, co-founder of The Lifestyle Business Podcast:

Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

1) "What are the costs of inaction?" I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our "lizard brains" (thanks, Seth); e.g., what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.

2) "What kind of person do I want to be?" I've found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.

3) "In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?" Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.

* * *

All of my responses to date have been in the form of poems. Poems for prompts 16 - 18 are:


Looking Elsewhere

Pressing It

My poem for prompt 15, "Truth Be Told", and a list of my responses to prompts 1 - 14 are here.


Kathleen said...

Hits the spot!

And I love the wise reflection on the poem...

Anonymous said...

i really like this. thank you so much for sharing it. you gently yet keenly make each prompt into a poem of your own.