Earlier this summer I jumped out of a plane. Mostly because I’m working on following fear; learning how to fight for myself and live a life I love. And a little because why not go skydiving? The goal for the year was adventure, after all. I figured jumping out of a plane might help. It did; but I think it’s also made me a little dangerous. Because in jumping I learned this: following your fear is important, but even more important is staying awake. Staying aware in the freefall; walking through the unknown part of your story with a sense of trust and belonging. Don’t fight the fear; follow the fear. Learn to fight the panic. Fight with your fear. Fight with your fear by your side; hand in hand. But don’t fight against the fear; fight against the panic that starts after the jump. The panic that tries to make you believe you don’t have the right parachute or you won’t know where to land. The panic that takes over your brain. Instead, stay awake; resisting the black hole that panic tries to break open. So many times, right in the middle of the fight we stop just because we are afraid; don’t let fear become a stop sign. Just let fear remind you to prepare for the fight. Stay in the battle, knowing you can trust yourself – and trust your tools; knowing you belong with yourself. And at exactly the right time you will know when to start. You will know when to pull the parachute and begin directing the sails. But, once you decide to fight, in the moments right after the jump – before it’s time to pull the parachute and after you’ve left the plane – don’t panic. Fight with your fear side by side; stay awake and take it all in. When everything is falling fast, don’t forget to take in the scenery.
If you spend the freefall worrying about the parachute, or terrified of the speed, you miss the magic. Sometimes part of our story requires jumping into the unknown. Leaning into the fear; relaxing into the freefall. And while it can be scary, staying aware of the scenery is not only part of the fun; it helps us know when to take the next step. When your heart is a little wild and you find yourself in panic mode, take a deep breath, jump out of the plane and feel the fall. Every second of it. Because you’ve found the courage to jump – that is something to celebrate. You don’t know where you will land [hint: that’s where the magic is.] Not knowing where your fight will lead you; but knowing you belong right where you are. Those moments in life that leave your heart beating fast; where you aren’t sure what you’ve done but there is no going back – fight to enjoy those moments. Because you deserve them; showing up for the leap is the bravest thing anybody will ever do.
The plane ride up is the scariest part. Once you start falling the magic will sweep you away and the world breaks wide open in front of you. And then you start believing anything is possible. And that’s where you find your fire. And then you can change the world.
Over and Out,