In 2006, a man named Colin Beavan initiated a challenge for himself and his small family. He endeavored to live in New York City with no net environmental impact.  He created a blog chronicling his attempt.  And the blog became a book…and then a movie.  For a man who didn’t want to create an environmental impact, he certainlt had a cultural one.

A lot of people have put themselves through year-long challenges to write a book, or a blog.  Some famous ones come to mind:  Julie Powell (Julie and Julia), Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project – which I am currently rereading), and perhaps the master of the genre, A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically, My Life as an Experiment, Know-It-All…)  They had an idea, and they went for it.

Right now, at risk of sounding terribly downtrodden and, dare I say, negative, I feel starved for ideas, uninspired, small and impact-less.

I am worried about my impact. I woke up this morning fearful in my lack of “impactitude.” I have been thinking about this a lot lately (today).  What will my impact on the world be?  What kind of impact can I have?  What am I doing now that will have an impact? Why are the activities I am undertaking right now in my life, the ones that are most important to me, writing and teaching, being met with such little…response?  I mean, I don’t need a trumpets’ fanfare because I am working on these things, but it would be good to get some sort of positive reinforcement.  (Insert here the mandatory assertion that I shouldn’t have to look outside for positive reinforcement…the world will only validate me after I validate myself…)

Still, what will be my legacy?  How will I serve?  And why am I still living so small?

For an instant, my thoughts turned to having a kid.   That’s leaving a legacy, right?  Yeesh, not yet.

I am blessed to part of a community of amazing women, making real change in this world.  I am so proud of them.  But I am not proud of myself.  Apparently, so I’ve heard, if I see the offerings of these amazing women in my life as having impact, and I want to offer that , too, than I must have the capability somewhere inside.  Whether you see good, or bad, in the world around you, it’s reflected from within.  That’s what I have learned.  And I guess that makes sense.  Perception is projection.  But still, I have to admit I feel a twinge, the craggy-skinned, groady-sticky green devil sitting on my chest.  I am jealous.  Which makes me feel only more unsteady.

But something is plaguing me.  Maybe I am not letting myself think bigger, because it would mean taking risky action.  (That should be risky in air-quotes…because, really, what’s the worst that could happen.  No one will die.)  Maybe I am not open to letting unconventional ideas or prompts for outside-my-comfort-zone action come to me.  Maybe I am repelling my greatest teachers.  Maybe the fears that are so ingrained in my psyche that I don’t even recognize they are not “me” are keeping me from accessing my greatest potential.  I am scared of not having enough money.  I couldn’t possibly do…that…what about the apartment?  What about my gym membership?  What about my man?  What about…?  I am scared, perhaps, of truly putting myself out there and opening myself up to criticism.  I am scared of having to work hard.  I am scared of not having enough time.  I am scared of what I think I would have to give up…in order to get what and where I want.   Maybe I am not managing my time appropriately all together.

So how might I step up?  How might I serve?  I don’t know.  I only know that I want to.

So I guess I need to ask for guidance.  Where fear has blocked me now let love surround me.  I welcome guidance.  I welcome teachers of the highest order.  I am willing to learn.  I am willing to listen.  I am committed to unblocking the pathways to greatness by releasing the green devil and inviting in the brilliance of the women that surround me.  And I recognize the impacts don’t need to be tidal-wave-sized in order to have meaning.  Even though my impact is small right now, it doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.