Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No Risks=No Champagne

I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t, at some point in their life, taken shelter in a safe refuge, physical or otherwise. Whether it’s sticking with a life situation that is safe but unsatisfying, or going with the flow rather than standing up for something you believe in because it’s the easier thing to do, or simply keeping your head down and focused on the deeply ingrained pattern of your life rather than looking up to consider that there are other ways to live life, other options to consider. I know that I catch myself in “Saferefugeville” (Safe Refuge Ville) every now and then so it was with gratitude that I was recently reminded about the illusory trade off we make when we choose between safety and leaping into the unknown.

I recently returned from two weeks of traveling that involved a hectic family wedding, family reunions, visiting a dear friend, short and jam-packed day trips, and needing to rely on a foreign country’s medical system. I have to say that Glenda the good witch had it right when she reminded Dorothy that there really was no place like home.  There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed after a long trip! 

My partner-in-crime and I were in Milan, en route to the Malpensa airport one morning and we were admiring the graffiti culture.   The art form seemed to be thriving even more robustly here than back home in Toronto.  Amidst the customary "Down with Communism", swear words, and professions of eternal love, was one phrase, sprayed across a bridge, that became my favourite: No Risks=No Champagne.

What a fantastic reminder about the downside of living in Saferefugeville!  

Sure, it’s pretty and quaint, with a manageable and predictable pace, and the food is great because you always know what it will taste like. Besides taking a few day trips away from Saferefugeville, there really is no need to leave because you can have all your basic needs met in this town.  But was Saferefugeville ever meant to be a final destination?  Or merely a stop on the journey of life that we come to from time to time when we need a break from the crazy pace of life?  What about Curiosityville and Challengeville?  You have to admit that the view is better from the mountains and valleys that you find in these towns. You may get a super spicy burrito every now and then, or some bitter coffee, and the weather is not always predictable; but the champagne, the fruits, they are truly bar none.

Especially if you had to go through Failure Town to get to these places.

Where in your life do you find yourself stuck in Saferefugeville?

Can you think of a time when you went to Challengeville and had an awesome time? 
What’s keeping you from going there again?

“To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily.  To not dare is to lose oneself.”  ~Soren Kierkegaard