Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Inspiration to Dare. 2017.88.

Inspiration to Dare. 2017.88.

Recently I posted about Courage here.

This week, in keeping with my need to become more brave and confident, I reached out and found the words of Jeff Foster in The Way of Rest.

The Way of Rest is a collection of Jeff’s most inspiring essays and poems and reflections on restoring and reviving ourselves when we feel exhausted or defeated. Drawing from his personal journey – including his own struggles with illness and depression, Jeff invites us to contemplate The Way of Rest and its potential to transform our experiences.

From page 155 he writes:



Dare to allow yourself to be seen.

Dare to tell the truth.

Dare to stop pretending.

Dare to stay present to the secret fire that burns inside.

Dare to be wildly inconsistent.

Dare to let another in.

Dare to let go of the image.

Dare to not be prepared.

Dare to give everything for the awakening of love.

Dare to fail.

Dare to mess everything up.

Dare to fall to the ground, humbled again, laughing.

Dare to not know how to dare.

Dare to dream and let dreams die.

Dare to honour the past but not cling to it.

Dare to give an honest yes and an honest no

Dare to be wrong.

Dare to be right.

Dare to be real.

Dare to be here.


This photo (a selfie) was taken after my first trip back to Sydney in 4 months.

It was on a day I dared. And here’s the story about why I needed to dare:

I had become incredibly worried about making the journey on the M1 because I had thoughts of getting caught in a traffic hold up and needing to use the loo. Whilst that sounds (to me now, as I write) an excuse not based on much evidence, it really took over my thoughts and meant I could not travel to see my Dad. That also exacerbated my wild and anxious thoughts because of guiltI was not dealing with part of my life well at allWith both my husband and psychologist telling me avoidance would only make matters worse, I persisted in looking for justification of my behaviour and short-term ideas.  So, how did I overcome this? With what is known as exposure therapy. Little by little challenges (as I prefer to call them) met over some months. It meant short driving stints and  visits to the dentist because I had to use the M1 to get there. In other words, over time I dared. 

I visited Dad after driving problem-free on the M1 and spent some time chatting with him and replenishing his freezer with some home-cooked meals and then drove home again.

It was something that held me better prepared for what was ahead in terms of travel and the reason. I’ve written about why here.

So, I needed to dare and I still do as my cancer surgery – in Sydney –  is coming up this Thursday 6 July.

Do you dare much?

What would you like to become more daring about or with?


This is my last blog post for a while as I will be in hospital. Thank you for your kindness and care since I announced my diagnosis of cancer.

I do hope to be back blogging once I am home and ready to do so.

Joining with Kylie Purtell and other friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays.



  1. I can totally relate to this – it’s relevant to so many areas. So often the idea of doing something is so much more scary than the action itself. We all need to be more daring! Thinking of you x

    • It’s a good one isn’t it? Jeff Foster’s work is based on the challenges he faced and it’s often after something like that we can reflect and help others. I sense that in you! Thank you. Denyse x

  2. I gave myself a similar phobia of highways after a few bad experiences the other year. Lots of fake reasons why I can’t. We’ll see how I come across it all again now that I’m regaining energy to do things; not using a freeway hasn’t been an issue when my life was work-home-work.

    Dare in this context is also a bit similar to why I felt good when I had finally changed the name of my blog the other year; I felt I had generic’d myself so much when I was desperate for work that I lost part of who I was.

    Will be thinking of you this week and wishing for the absolute best xox

    • Ah the power of our minds and how that affects so much in us. I was fine with the M1 until earlier this year when a particular time in raging heat closed it both ways after a major accident all I could centre on was “what if it was me in the car and there was no toilet”….It took hold and it wasnt until I really HAD to challenge it (via the exposure therapy mode) that my mind had to let some of it go. Nevertheless it has not gone completely and with the trip looming tomorrow to get to Sydney for my pre-op check already my tummy is doing flip flops. BUT, I have to do this and I will take steps to see that I do.
      Interesting for you too about the blog and renaming and its true that mindset plays a big part in our identity.
      Thank you so much for your good wishes, Vanessa and I hope you continue to recover well.
      Denyse x

  3. I love this.
    Good luck with the op Denyse, will be thinking of you x

  4. Last year I focused on pushing myself outside of my self imposed boundaries and with great success. Although never easy, the saying Everything we desire is on the other side of fear, is ever so true. The push is worth the results.
    I wish you much luck for your surgery Denyse, I will hold you in my thoughts and send you positive energy. Big hugs, and I look forward to hearing from you on here when you are feeling up to it. xxx

    • Thank you so much for your story of how you did this. So true about how our minds can impose restrictions even though we ‘want’ to do things. I applaud you!! Your kind words and wishes for my surgery are much appreciated. I am buoyed by the care of many! Denyse xx

  5. You’re at a time in your life where daring is a necessary thing. I am so impressed with how you are handling everything, remaining open and cheerful. So impressive, Denyse. It’s really inspirational.

    • Thank you so much Bron. I have to be courageous when I might not feel it and brave too. It’s been one heck of a ride for me these past years and maybe as I have learned from many sources how to integrate life as it is now with a diagnosis of cancer it’s all coming together to help me through. I am blessed with so many on-line and IRL friends cheering me from the sidelines too! It all helps. Denyse xx

  6. Great things happen out of one’s comfort zone I am learning. It takes courage to take that first step, and then the next time becomes easier. I do tend to let my imagine get in the way of myself sometimes though.

  7. Yeah it’s funny isn’t it how we can often make so much of something in our heads, and yet the actual experience is nothing like all of the things we worried about. I’m a big fan of shutting those thoughts out and jumping right in

    • Oh yes, the power of that mind..it was telling me stuff that I couldn’t let go of until I just said I will. We can be more complicated than we need to be at times. D xx

  8. Oh yes daring is so important, pushing through the fears or as I once heard them described False Expectations Appearing Real. Not always easy though and I guess that is the point x

  9. Denyse, you have a knack for finding just the right words 🙂 I will be thinking of you on Thursday and the days that follow. You have so many people supporting you and wishing you well. Best of luck, my friend xx #teamIBOT

    • I am glad they resonated! I’ve got some good books which I delve into from time to time and what I need pops up then too! Thanks so much Renee! I am lucky to have so many people supporting me. I hope that you have a great family holiday too! Denyse xx

  10. Chookas chookas chookas for Thursday. I’ve been thinking of you and will fill the universe with happy thoughts as you go into surgery. x

    • Thank you so much Em! I like that message of good luck a lot too! Take care of you too won’t you! You’ve been in my thoughts too. D xxx

  11. Denyse, I read this blog yesterday on my phone but couldn’t comment for some reason. I just wanted to let you know I will be thinking of you tomorrow. You are one of those kind souls that are so supportive of bloggers and your blog will be missed as you prepare yourself for what’s ahead. Know we are always here to support you. Thank you for sharing that poem. It really made me stop and think. xx

    • Thank you dear Bec! I am now home from hospital- about an hour ago. Your words are truly appreciated.. ill be back to blogging sometime next week..D xx

  12. Continue to dare, for facing your challenges also inspires others. Thank you. Mxox