Risk Taking: What Scares the Hell Out of You?

Innovation 10: Risk Taking: What Scares the Hell Out of You?
by Rebecca Sykes

Innovation requires willingness to take risks. When you know what’s right yet don’t know how to proceed, first find support and safety. Then relax into redirecting, discernment, acceptance, practice, and balance.

What Scares the Hell Out of You

What scares the hell out of you?
What I know is right.
Everything I don’t know how to do.
How strong are you?
I can hold it together.
I can let it go.
What’s in your heart?
Don’t make me go there.
I really, really want this.
When will you be willing to go too far?
Do you need a push?
I got your back.

Listen to the recording online.

Meditation: Risk Moving Into Your Day

This meditation is supported by a voice recording by Rebecca Sykes. It was designed to support the work of risk takers.

Find a comfortable seat. Whether you’re in a chair or on the floor get comfortable. In these first few moments, the attention you give to your comfort will make it that much easier to find the riskier places to go. If you feel tightness in the hips, elevate them by sitting on a pillow.

You are setting yourself up to become vulnerable, and that risk is supported by a solid foundation.

Close your eyes and take a few breaths, just for practice.

Inhale and exhale. Your body was built for this. Every part of you was meant to participate fully in life. Over the next few breaths, soften your skin. Notice any area of tightness, of holding back, and bring softness there. The jaw is slightly open, while the lips are gently closed. Turn your attention to the inhale. Notice how the breath fills you from the inside out.

Each inspiration comes as a result of your willingness to make room in your body. As the breath fills you, create more space by sitting up tall. As you exhale, soften the shoulder blades together onto the back, leaving your heart gently exposed. Rely on the inspiration of your breath to fill you up, lifting your chest, and as you exhale, keep the chest lifted, stay full in your rib cage, and draw in your low belly so that you can sit even taller.

Each inhale expand and lift, each exhale, draw in and lift higher.

As you deepen your breath, focus your attention on your chest.

Let your curiosity get the best of you.

Can you, in your mind’s eye, picture the place where the physical heart resides? Imagine the breath flowing in and out of this space.

Notice how easily the breath moves through you, in support of you.

Notice which thoughts and feelings come up.

The mind is meant to move, think, and create ideas at a radical pace. Rather than see every thought or idea that comes up as a failure to meditate, recognize it as new energy to be directed right back into your heart. With discernment, use your strength to send that energy into your heart space.

With acceptance, make room for it in your body by sitting tall on the inhale, sitting taller on the exhale.

Allow your breath to slow and deepen.

With every breath you risk becoming more connected to all the parts of yourself. In this time and space, you practice meditation. This practice is a deepening of your self-awareness, and how you are connected to both knowing and not knowing. Creating space for both is a balance. And in that balanced inhale and exhale, there is room for recognizing all your creativity.

Breathe in; gently breathe out.

When you are ready, take a final deep breath, and after your exhale, slowly open your eyes and risk moving into your day.

Rebecca Sykes’ time at Camp Ramah set things back on fire anytime she strayed from blazing a path as an artist who also wants to live a Jewish life. Time at camp also lead to degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in theater and music. Ramah Darom and Ramah Wisconsin feel like home, the kind of home where you can write, direct, teach improv, and create a staff-training curriculum while you eat tater tots. Currently, Rebecca serves as Artist in Residence at Hillel of University of Chicago where her Anusara-inspired yoga classes allow the diverse community to explore an integrated approach to mind-body awareness, using each yoga pose to powerfully open to new possibilities. And do handstands. As a singer, actress, yogini, mentor, and educator, Rebecca helps individuals and organizations take reliable risks towards inevitable inspiration. Rebecca is a member of the Project InCiTE Coaching Team.

Click here to view in original PDF format. Click here for a full History of Project InCiTE.
Project InCiTE is a partnership between The Jewish Education Project (formerly The Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York) and The iCenter, in collaboration with Makom.