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We all know what it’s like to dream that life could be better. Some spend their lives dreaming, and never actualizing them. Others take big swings from time to time. Some are tormented by their lack of courage to follow their dreams. And others are expert dream actualizers, always off to manifesting the extraordinary.

We dream of the type of weather or geography we’d rather live in, or of finally getting over the hump to that “sweet spot” in our relationship. Or of finally taking that tour of Europe or finally taking that skydiving lesson someone gifted us four birthdays ago.

But we don’t.

Life happens.
Vacations get rescheduled.
Adventurous dreams are replaced with pragmatism.
It’s easier to play it safe.

And playing it safe means being responsible and practical. But for what? To avoid disrupting the status quo? So we don’t have to feel uncomfortable?

Right here is known. It feels safer than allowing ourselves to take the leap. Change is difficult.

Humans are driven by a deep desire to feel safe and comfortable and to cling to the familiar, even when they are an illusion. These desires inform our values and priorities and ultimately, our behavior and experience of life.

Society tends to shift only when maintaining the status quo becomes less comfortable and convenient and perhaps more painful than participating in changing it.

But over there, on the other side of the valley, there’s something that represents the possibility of a more enjoyable and joyous life.

Some never allow themselves to dream; to envision what could be. They grasp on to what already exists in their reality for fear of facing the possibility of their dream, once actualized, will turn out to be something less than what they have now.

So they are paralyzed, no matter how tantalizing the possibility a better life may seem. How could you risk what you have now over a dream, or idea or an unquantifiable belief?

But we’ve all manifested dreams we previously perceived as insurmountable or outlandish in some way. They almost always come into fruition much more easily than anticipated. Our fears build a mountain of disbelief out of a molehill of actual difficulty.

One moment you are dreading the transition, and the next you are on the other side of it, wondering why on earth you made such a big deal out of it in the first place. All of a sudden, it’s your new reality.

We are creators of our own reality, whether we choose to be deliberate about it or not.

Once you are in the habit of leaping, the fear of it begins to melt away. It becomes your way of being. You learn to just push yourself into the leap because you know it’s going to be worth it on the other side.

You’ve done it before and you didn’t die. You grew wiser. You experienced something extraordinary. It was worth the leap.

The fear is quickly replaced with excitement and unshakable belief in your dreams; that they are possible, and even likely (when you stop resisting). We were created to hold this belief as a core element of our reality.

When Ilea and I married, we committed ourselves to always being deliberate about where we live, rather than just staying where we were (Rwanda) or ending up back home in the U.S. (Nashville or San Diego).

We love hot weather, water, and beaches (the tropics). And palm trees. I love palm trees. At this point, I can’t imagine why we would choose to live in any other climate.

We all choose where we live. The choice dynamics differ dramatically, but it’s always our choice.

So we decided to move to Mombasa, Kenya, and live on the beach. Everyone said we were nuts and that it would strain our new marriage. But we have never let the fear of others inhibit our belief in our dreams.

We moved there with $700 in our pockets, no job, and no connections on the ground. We just believed it would be amazing. And it was.

It was some of the sweetest years of our lives (so far). It locked in the foundation of our union stronger than most people I know that have been married for decades. That was four years ago.

We leaped.

Now it’s part of us. Not the “us” we’ve grown into. Rather the "us" we’ve come to realize and embrace.

It’s part of who we were designed to be. We’ve only just come to understand it. And now to embrace it.

And so we leap.

We are seekers, dreamers, artists, believers. And we will keep leaping into new adventures we believe will unleash more of our souls into this human experience. We dive into adventures that connect us more deeply with humanity and our higher selves.

The more we leap, the more awe and wonder we experience. And yes, there is contrast and difficulty. Plenty. Sometimes so much its almost unbearable. But the contrast breaks down the walls we build and allows us to build character, patience, empathy, and unconditional love.

Tragedy and beauty are intrinsically intertwined.

On the other side of tragedy and heartache, we can always find the beauty, when we allow ourselves to see it.

We’ve learned to appreciate the simple wonders of life. We see everything as a miracle. Nothing is taken for granted. We constantly feel alive. And we know who we are.

One risk we’re in no danger of, is falling asleep at the wheel.

When we experience something, we experience it fully. We soak it in. When we experience someone, we experience them fully. We do not long for the past, as we carry them with us.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

Henry David Thoreau {one of my greatest heroes}

When we won’t allow ourselves to dream, we are unable to believe in the possibility of what can be. When we can’t believe, we can’t leap.

The choice not to leap is a choice to never fully understanding who we were designed to be. It’s a missed opportunity to experience the extraordinary, the awe, and the wonder of our human existence.

Perhaps one day our leaping will lead us to what we’re looking for. And perhaps we will realize that it was never the destination we desired at all, but the adventure of the leaping that we craved. (that's a good one to ponder...)

And so we leap. We leap into new adventures; into self-actualization and deep interdependence with others.

We leap because we want to live deliberately, to find ourselves, and to suck the marrow out of life.



  1. Mama Rose on March 5, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    We are magnificent – and destined to be fearless. In deep meditation and in our best moments of zen, there is a release of all fear, worry, anger, resentment, etc. Yet we simply run to a meditation or yoga class, experience it for an hour or so and then go back into our day-to-day drudgery of “life” – but we aren’t truly living if we simply survive! We have so much love to experience and share, and the ability to find those zen moments as the majority of our lifetime instead of simply an hour a day at best. So inspired by you two and your guts to pursue the marrow of life and embrace the adventure. You know you’ve motivated us!

  2. Jared Angaza on March 5, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    Thanks so much! Yes, I agree, we’ve been taught to survive. I was just commenting to someone the other day that children are taught from day one to learn how to survive our economic agreement. Only. I will always be deliberate about ensuring that our children are taught to thrive, not just survive. And that means the attention is not on monetary gain, collecting achievements and social status. It’s on relationships and generally “sucking the marrow out of life”. I’m actually working on another blog about this now. You and Nathan are certainly setting an amazing example in the way you’re raising your creative and inspired crew of kiddos!

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