Tuesday, April 3, 2007

First Post

My intention with this blog is to have a place where we can dialogue around issues that students in transition face--leadership, change, decision making, cultivating a compelling life and career, getting involved, really anything that emerges.

For days now, I have had the image of a young woman standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon stuck in my head. She has climbed beyond the viewpoint and is standing with her arms outstretched, her toes teetering on the edge. I have been thinking about what a beautiful metaphor it is--so often in life we stay where we are safe and comfortable, where the signs designate our place. Rarely do we risk stepping out. I certainly don't want to advocate jumping fences and risking one's life, but metaphorically, how often do we walk to the edge? What is stopping us? Uncertainty, doubt, fear, ignorance... I think about people my age and how we struggle to make sense of life, work, spirit...it seems like so many stay behind the fence and never see all that is possible for them.

What is keeping us from digging into our passions to pull from them the work that we do? How do we live intentionally? I remember struggling after college to understand myself and what I wanted to do; I felt so alone, but now I see others at that stage struggling as well. I was trying to overcome a sense of entitlement and ease that is so pervasive in our culture, while attempting to develop a sense of leadership. I remember feeling so powerless and helpless when it came to impacting change in our world. I didn't know where to start! It wasn't until I began to engage my own sense of personal leadership that my life started to spark! Personal leadership comes from understanding our values, strengths, style and creating goals that are aligned with all of these. It is what gives us confidence to do what we feel most passionately about! It is what draws us over the fence, toes on the edge of our life, arms outstretched to take in all that is possible for ourselves!

How will you step out onto the edge?

3 comments:

kate said...

The Edge...you hit on something that makes me step back and think: what is my edge? where am I willing to step out on the edge? That edge can be powerful...but are we scared of what that power might manifest? why?

My edge is the unknown--I am scared of it, I fear it, and I live for it. so what prevents me from taking that next step? really, it is the fear of failure....

Buck Elliottwitypet said...

Such a wonderful metaphor, standing on the edge of a precipice, arms out stretched ready to receive. Allowing oneself to move to that edge is often instigated by a transitional moment that has come into our lives... Giving up who we are for who we can become takes great courage and commitment... a willingness to move out to the edge beyond where we are comfortable in our lives. That edge often provides us with that place where we begin to truly listen to what is "wanting to happen", wanting to emerge. That edge is where we take the time to till our garden and plant new seeds... seeds that will be nurtured by the heart. In that moment our life can become more meaningful, more purposeful, filled by the grace of our own spirit. I have always found that moving to the edge takes great courage, but when the commitment is made and made from the heart, the right people will appear to help support and guide us along the way.

Meg Elliott said...

As a college student i am beginning to face all these questions, what do i want to do with my life, where do i want to be, how do i want to achieve that, and what skills do i need to develop? The metaphor Piper has used of standing on an edge with our toes teetering off the side is honest metaphor of how many college students feel. As we are entering this new chapter of our lives we must adapt to a new lifestyle, and move our of our comfort zones. But how do we get there, and how do we comfortable and confident with so many uncertainties? I believe that the first step, that is often so hard, is recognizing that I have a weakness/uncertainty. Once I have recognized the problem, I can begin to plan how I want to fix it. I can create a plan where I organize a way to make myself more confident. At the same time, I don’t think anyone is going to be able to learn unless you actually experience the situation. You can only prepare yourself with books to a certain extent, I believe by throwing yourself into a situation you will learn extremely valuable skills. You will be forced accept the problems that face you, and have to adapt to each and every situation. Through this interaction you will learn firsthand how to grow and move forward to the next chapter.