Anyone who followed my journey in 2014, through my year of firsts, knows that I was inspired to undertake this huge challenge by reading the book, “I Dare Me”, by Lu Ann Cahn. My word, BEYOND, had selected me, as had my symbol and song and theme. I wanted to move beyond my comfort zone and into a more open and expansive life. As I was wondering how, exactly, to accomplish this, I came across a post on Facebook about Lu Ann. The article shared how this news reporter from Philadelphia, desiring to get unstuck and out of the rut her life was currently in, did a year of dares in 2010, experiencing something new every day.
Intrigued by what I read online, and excited by the discovery, I bought and read Lu Ann’s book. “I Dare Me” resonated with me. I KNEW this was my path for 2014 and beginning January 1, I created my own Year of Firsts. On day 40, marveling at the way my life was opening up due to this shift in attitude, I contacted Lu Ann via her Facebook Page and shared my blog with her and how amazing the year already was. I knew I still had a long way to go, however I also knew there was no turning back on this adventure.
Lu Ann graciously responded to my post, with an invitation to do a guest blog post on her blog. I was honored and so impressed by Lu Ann’s graciousness and authenticity. Thus began a correspondence between us….this author, blogger, news reporter in Phillie with this writer, blogger, realtor in Joplin. Lu Ann has been an encouragement to me, a guide who has tread this path before, and succeeded. I have continued to follow her journey via her blog and Facebook.
In December, Lu Ann contacted me about possibly meeting in January…in Joplin! I was delighted. I wondered if she was speaking nearby or passing through on the way to somewhere else. Lu Ann is experiencing another first, another dare, in a grand way. She’s traveling across the US, on an adventure. Her 30 Dares in 30 Days tour will hit 30 different cities. In each location, Lu Ann will join with a reader in experiencing a new dare. What a privilege to have her stop here in Joplin. Tomorrow we will experience a first together.
This evening, Lu Ann joined a group of people at Books-A-Million for a meet & greet time. I got to say hello to my inspiration and give her a hug. She is charming and genuine and funny. As people stopped by, chairs were pulled up and the meet & greet became a sit and chat and get to know each other. I loved that. One thing Lu Ann and I both learned from doing new things everyday is that you go with the flow, which is always exactly right. This evening wasn’t about being formal or following a schedule. It was an opportunity to get to know Lu Ann and for Lu Ann to meet some of Joplin’s dear citizens.
We had an amazing time, sharing, asking questions, and just being ourselves. Lu Ann created the space for us to do that. I heard more of the stories behind the stories in the book and enjoyed hearing of others who are experiencing dares also. This gracious lady then took the time to sign copies of her book, chatting with each person as she did so.
I look forward to spending time with Lu Ann tomorrow, sharing about our experiences while doing good for my community. And then off she will go on her continuing journey, seeking the new, opening to possibilities, embracing change and people along the way. What a way to begin the new year! I am, once again, inspired.