Be careful what you wish for! That might be a more appropriate title for this blog post as it perfectly describes my day on January 1st, 2019. The day that inspired me to paint this polar bear.
During a meditation one morning after Christmas and before New Years I was thinking about what I would like to create in 2019 … What popped into my head was to tap into my inner child and be fearless and playful. I imagined a cartoon version of my younger self doing cart wheels on top of the World. It felt light, fun, powerful and joyful, so I asked, “what will it take to be more fearless and playful?” and cleared everything that wouldn’t allow this to show up in my world. I had no clue what exactly being more fearless and playful would look like, but it felt right, so I went with it.
Then, January 1st rolled around … Josh and I stayed overnight at a friend’s place after a New Years Eve party and when we woke up in the morning, our friend’s first remark was, “Well are we going for a tour?!” He then suggested we go for a snowmobile ride up to the ski-hill for lunch … “Awesome! I thought. Winter activities, my favourite!”
Josh and I quickly ran home to grab our snow gear. I was smiling the whole way, excited to go an outdoor adventure.
When we arrived back at our friend’s I noticed not two, but three sleds in the driveway … one for Josh, one for our friend and one for me … “Nuh uh!!” I thought. “I’m doubling. I can’t drive!”
You see driving is probably my biggest fear. It has been ever since I was 6 and was in my first roll over. Thankfully I’ve conquered the fear of driving vehicles (somewhat), but driving a snowmobile?! No way!
With a little encouragement from the guys and a brave face, I decided to drive part way to see how I liked it.
I won’t lie, I was shaking and holding back tears majority of the time. My anxiety just took over. I could not think clearly. The whole time I was thinking to myself, “What am I doing? How does this work? Is it over yet?! And also “I can’t see!!!” (My visor was fogging up big time, so I could hardly see a thing 😂).
Once we got part way I decided I was done. “That’s enough fun for one day” I thought, and hoped on the back of Josh’s sled. I felt slightly disappointed in myself, because I knew that this was the fearlessness and playfulness that I had asked for. However, as I bounced along hanging onto Josh, all the anxiety and pressure was gone and I was having a blast! So it was worth it.
During the ride with Josh I was also paying close attention, taking note of things like how he handled the sled, where he drove, what he aimed for, things like that. I knew that once we returned to the part way mark, I was going to have to drive home again. But I was determined that this time I was going to know what I was doing and have some fun!
After flying through some snow-covered fields, eating some tasty poutine at the ski-hill and even stopping to ice fish at a buddies shack, it was time for me to jump on my sled and drive home again.
Maybe it was because it was dark out so I felt incognito, like no one could see me if I messed up, or maybe it was because I flipped my visor up, so it wouldn’t fog up, and I could actually see, or maybe it was because I had watched Josh and felt a lot more confident with what i was doing, but my second time driving was a success! I smiled, I laughed, I got up to 30 miles an hour at one point 😱 (says Josh 😜) and I actually had a really good time!
Once we arrived back at our friend’s place and shut down the sleds for the night we began talking about doing another tour the following weekend. We thought we might drive mine and Josh’s sleds back to our farm. Surprisingly, the idea really excited me! “Yeah let’s do it! That sounds like so much fun!” I said.
As Josh and I drove home I reflected on the day. I let it sink in that, “wow, I asked the universe for more fearlessness and playfulness to show up in my world in 2019 … and on the first day of the year, that’s exactly what I got!” Not only was I marveling at how a miraculous life can be, but I was so grateful to have the opportunity to overcome one of my biggest fears. A fear that would probably hold me back from a lot of playful adventures in the future. And although it wasn’t a perfect day, in the end I believe I really did chip away at some of that fear.
There is so much power in doing things that are outside your comfort zone – in doing things regardless of being scared. After courageous experiences like this, you grow, you gain awareness, you shed that unnecessary heaviness of fear and become lighter, and in my case you have a lot more fun!
Power, fearlessness and playfulness – the three things I gained from my experience on January 1st, 2019 and also three traits of our dear Manitoba friend, the Polar Bear.
I knew I wanted to write my blog post about my January 1st event, but I really wasn’t keen on drawing a picture of me sledding – it’s not really my style. So instead I searched “Animal Symbolism for fearless and playful” in google … and I was delighted when the polar bear was the animal to pop up. The perfect subject for this winter adventure of mine. A beautiful, powerful, fearless, playful, winter beast.
I hope you enjoy him as much as I know enjoy snowmobiling!! Hahah okay I may not love it THAT much, but I’m getting there!
Have a sunny day friends.
P.S. if you would like to purchase prints of this or any of my other Emanate Joy pieces, you can order them at this link here.