Leaning into the Leap


There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.
~Carl Sandburg


This weekend my husband and I went to an outdoor sports festival.  There was music, food and a variety of outdoor sports demos including slacklining.

 slack line coleen patrick_opt


Yoga on paddle boards

 yoga paddle board coleen patrick_opt

super chess coleen patrick_opt

Even super chess

Super Chess:  Are you ready??


All that adventure and yet I was beginning to feel the hint of a wallow coming on.  Nothing unusual, just a little Monday slipping into my Sunday afternoon.

I ignored it, and we made our way to the Ultimate Air Dog event.

 For this event, dogs ran across a ramp and jumped, flying over and into a pool (occasionally being prompted by their favorite chew toy or ball).

And every dog was different.  Some were coaxed on by their owner and others had to be held by the collar because they couldn’t wait for it to be their turn.  It was a Hippo vs. Eagle moment.

One little dog scampered down the ramp and then came to a complete stop at the edge.


dog hesitates coleen patrick_opt


And as the little dog hesitated, there was a collective “Aw.”  Because we all know the feeling.

In fact it was exactly why I was beginning to feel like I wanted to wallow like the hippo (rather than soar like the eagle).  I was thinking about writing a blog post and Tweeting and sharing on Facebook and pinning on Pinterest–and I felt a curious mix of fear and excitement at the thought of moving on from my cozy, family weekend to a week of social media.  Again.

Because every week when I think about putting myself out there, I feel like I am dangling off the edge of that ramp, suspended over a dark pool of insecurity.

And it’s usually due to over thinking.

I’m too much of an introvert–this isn’t natural for me.  I am far more suited to hours of solitary writing than social media and marketing.   This blog topic sucks.  Who is going to read this? It takes up too much time–instead I could, oh I don’t know, learn how to juggle or  teach myself Swedish.  Or I know! Finish knitting that lumpy scarf  I started years ago or bedazzle . . . something.

Over thinking creates obstacles, diverts attention.

slackline fall_opt

Better to be present.  It’s easier to get to the other side, the place you want to be, when you focus.

Even if you’re not quite ready to jump, you can always lean into the leap.  


 dog jumping soaring_opt

Then catch some air.

And it’s a relief to be on the other side, to finish something that’s not easy, to take another step, reach another goal.  There’s the sense of accomplishment, both in getting it done and pushing thru the hesitation.  

It’s even kind of exhilarating.

Even when it doesn’t go so gracefully or my blog topic is well, a little meh.  It’s okay.


Flops are a part of life’s menu and I’ve never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses.
– Rosalind Russell

And yes, the hesitation will be back, but:


The best way out is always through.
– Robert Frost


Because something happens every time you leap through to the other side:


You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.
– Eleanor Roosevelt


Are you soaring through this week, or is there something causing  you to want to wallow?


59 thoughts on “Leaning into the Leap

  1. Coleen you are awesome at SM. It would be so funny to all meet up and all be so quiet and introverted lol.


  2. “This blog topic sucks. Who is going to read this?” Coleen! I was certain I was the only WANA who thought these thoughts week after week. Shoot, maybe we ALL have these doubts. Love, love, love the picture of the dog at the edge of the ramp and your “lean into the leap” advice.


    1. Yes, seeing that dog at the edge of the ramp was a bit of a light bulb moment. I feel this way EVERY week Pat. I have no idea if it gets any easier. Anyone else know???? 🙂 LOL


  3. Yep, been there, done that, have a set of t-shirts. Was feeling this way this morning as I turned off my alarm and thought about my to-do list. Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep another hour or two? Yes it would…no I can’t do that. I have stuff to do. But I have to tell you, seeing those photos of the puppies flying into the water? Awesomesauce! I wanna do that. Time to plunge into the pool 😀


  4. I always love your posts, Coleen! This one is very excellent! And I feel exactly the same way about social media and putting myself out there and blog topics etc… And the thing I think is (instead of bedazzling etc.) is I COULD BE WRITING! But that’s scary too 🙂


    1. Writing? What’s that? Just kidding. I agree–sometimes I let everything else slide into my writing time, but that’s when my wallowing turns into procrastination! Then we all know how that goes!


  5. Ugh…I’m feeling pretty Hippo-y today. Thanks for the inspiration! (And the robert frost quote…it is now my desktop wallpaper!)


  6. this is your usual excellent post, Coleen. I thought i was the only one with those feelings – the certainty that nobody will look at my blog or read my book or care!!! if I’m not alone, then I have to accept these are universal feelings and get on with getting on.

    but the good news is that today is a holiday in Canada, so i’m in my jammies reading blogs and drinking coffee and knowing that this week will be wonderful because it will be short.


  7. Great analogy, Coleen, and those pics are awesome! I’m wallowing again today, tummy ache and fatigue. I had to just rest for a half hour while Punkin slept. He’s still sleeping. I’m still wallowing! I feel the same way many time, Coleen. And then there are times when I’m totally excited about a post I’ve worked on, something that I felt tickled about. Then when it doesn’t get the traffic I thought it would, well, I feel deflated, but you win some, you lose some. It’s all about taking risks, isn’t it, and then persevering even when things don’t go our way. That’s why I love my peeps. We can relate and offer support when someone needs it.


    1. Lynn I hope you feel better soon! Especially hard not to feel well when you’ve got Punkin counting on you. Here’s hoping he will be extra sweet today 🙂
      And yes you are right about the support–it’s awesome to know that we all get it and are here for one another!


  8. Apparently we all feel like the hippo sometimes! I’d love to say it gets easier, but it hasn’t for me. On the good days when blog topics seem to write themselves it’s awesome. Other days I torture something out of me. Those are usually the days I would rather be working on my novel.

    I love the pic of the sweet dog who stopped at the edge of the ramp (did he ever jump?), but I LOVE the pic of the last dog. Look at the focus and joy on her face! That needs to be me today. Focused, but full of joy. By the way, since we are twins separated at birth, I posted on slacklining today, too! Eerie. 😉


  9. I’m definitely wallowing. I’m trying to soar, but can’t seem to get unstuck from the mud. My husband and I are in the process of trying to buy a house and that’s stressful. On top of that we want to remodel the house after it’s officially ours and, well, let’s just say, it’s not going well.

    But, vacation in two weeks, so I’ll soar then.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  10. This is such a beautiful post, Coleen. I’m feeling a bit wallow-y this week because Thursday is my kids’ last day of school before summer and I’m lamenting the loss of freedom. At the same time, I’m looking forward to spending more time with them. I’ll try to lean into that. 🙂


  11. Wow, what great pics. Looks like an awesome event.

    I can completely relate to the way you feel about “putting yourself out there” with social media. I have the same struggle. But like you said, it gets worse with over thinking.

    So far this week, I am soaring. (But it is only Monday.)


  12. Aw! Those doggies are so darn cute. Sounds—and looks—like you had an awesome adventure. (And your posts are never “meh.” ;-)) I’m soaring this week, though my mild sleep deficiency is keeping my wings from flapping as hard as usual today. LOL A hike in the park should change that.


  13. Several things going on this week will keep me moving forward. Whether that means soaring or wallowing I’m not sure. 🙂 Love these photos. I would so fall off that rope. Oh wait, I wouldn’t be up there to test that theory.


  14. I love this post, Coleen. While I’m not particularly shy (at least, not anymore!), I can definitely identify with the need to just jump and catch some air.

    Love your photos, oh your sweet little pupper! So cute!

    Anyway, I subbed to your blog. Not sure how I missed doing that before, but I’ve done it now. xxoo, keep on blogging!


  15. Coleen – I can’t tell you what a beautiful post this is! You make it look so effortless, and yet I’m relieved to hear you seasoned bloggers still have your hippo days. After leaving on a high last week, I got up yesterday and thought…OMG, what have I done? Thanks so much for the uplift (and I love those gorgeous pups) 🙂


    1. It is scary, right? Sometimes I will write a post and sigh with relief only to realize–I have to do this again and again!!! LOL
      It’s so much easier with friends who know what it feels like thought–thanks Alarna!


  16. I’m awed by this post, Coleen. Wonderful pictures and even greater message. Yes, I have those doubts too about blogging. That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t done a Friday post in weeks (that and kids being sick a lot this month). Those are the posts where I should write down my own thoughts, not just videos or links of others. I’m great at curating but I don’t trust my blog writing yet. Perfectionism issue and I overthink every sentence. Which is bad because I have no blogging buffer either and writing a post takes forever.

    But practice helps and sometimes you just have to jump. An only decent blog post is better than nothing.


    1. Thanks Reetta. The trust thing is a hard one–especially when it’s about putting yourself out there. That sort of exposure is not easy, but I do notice that as every week goes by I’m figuring out what feels okay and what doesn’t. It’s definitely a baby steps kind of thing–a little bit at a time until you figure it out. 🙂
      Hope your kids are feeling better!!


  17. I don’t know what’s going on with this week, but on Monday I was tired like it was Friday. I feel like I’m starting out the week too tired and wondering how I will make it all the way through. It could be the change in the weather. That week of sun gave me hope and energy. Now to be back to the grey sky and rain, I feel like the gloom is never ending. So, this post was great for me. You re-inspired me to focus on the goals and get through it. Next year at this time I’ll be living in the Sunshine State, so I won’t have the weather to blame. 🙂


    1. Oh those random funks can be so tiring for sure!! Time for a sunny day board on Pinterest? LOL It’s great that you have Florida as your inspiration though–it always helps me to have something to look forward to! Here’s to getting your energy and a great week Emma 🙂


  18. Thank you, Coleen. I really feel stuck in the mud right now. Having a hard time on the social media end of things and in serious need of a happy pill. Love your pictures. I just got a new camera. I’m going to start playing with it real soon.


    1. I got off ok this week, but totally flopped some point yesterday. Sorry you’re stuck too Debra!
      We just got a new camera–yay for better pictures. It’s a little complicated to use, but something new to play with! Hope you enjoy yours 🙂


  19. Love your pictures and your post! It’s true we just have to take that leap and go for it. I’m wallowing a bit, have a under the weather kiddo, and a list of to do’s a mile long. I think I’m leaping over small things this week, but ever jump helps:)


  20. Love the pics. Felt for the guy falling off the (what looked like measuring tape, lol). I don’t blog ahead either, although I try to start drafts when I get ideas so I don’t forget what they were.

    Btw, I can’t waggle my ears.


  21. The older I get, the more willing I am to leap. What’s to lose?! I love the Rosalind Russell quote; actually, I just LOVE Rosalind Russell! Your photos are amazing. Enjoyed the post!


  22. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.” I truly love that quote Coleen! And I think we’re all in the same boat. He, he, he, you’re talking about wallow and I’m talking about swallows. That’s hilarious! Love the pics and it sounds like you enjoyed last weekend. So I hope you enjoy this one too! 🙂


  23. Oh my! How often am I like that little dog creeping to the edge?! Like you, I also constantly question my social media purpose, but I just don’t as good of pictures as you do. lol.


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