At Brain Pickings today, we stumbled on this wonderful illustration from Oliver Jeffers’ charming kid’s book, Once Upon an Alphabet. It’s a sign we’d like to print out and hang on our wall, a quiet, potent reminder.

ONWARD! is the word we find helps most in times of fear, anxiety or overwhelm — a new project or an exhausting one, an idea we’re trying out, NOT knowing where we’re going. It’s not a call to action-for action’s sake, but a call to move forward —whatever form that may take, in however slow a pace — despite the voices and doubts that tell us not to, through fear. Rumi said it best, 800 or so years ago:

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
but don’t move the way fear makes you move.* 

 

 Onward! 

 

*Found by randomly leafing through The Essential Rumi after we saw Jeffers’ sign.

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.