Take a Leap
A part of you is ready.
And a part of you is not.
This is the essential disposition of any person who’s wanting to trust the universe.
It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean – no one is jumping, but everyone’s curious what it feels like to jump from such height. So, we’re all yelling, “Go! Just do it!” to each other, with our own two feet firmly planted on the earth beneath us.
Being in the flow of your life and surrendering control means taking that leap.
It’s shifting from doubt and certainty to considering the universe is on your side, even though you have absolutely no idea what will happen next.
It’s leaning into help, forgiveness and compassion. It’s softening the edges of resentment, hurt and fear. Trust can only be forged in these broken open moments.
I recently took a leap from my 40+ hour-a-week role as Studio Manager to pursue teaching full-time so that I can step into and align with my vision of teaching teachers and developing programs – what I know and believe to be my true purpose. And I’ll be the first to admit, that in the months leading up to this big leap, I was hesitant, just like anyone would be looking over the cliff. I had key people in my life that had my back (thank god for them!) and a few (not definitive, but likely) things in the works to set me up for this next phase of my career – but, even still, I found a twisting in my stomach that was difficult to shake.
Taking a leap is scary…until you do it.
In fact, the last lingering moments, the ones where you’re teetering on the edge of what you know and the edge of what’s unknown, are the most intense moments of all. In general, the closer we are to something really big in our life, the more intensified those final moments will be.
Not 24 hours later and I felt like an entirely different person. My head was clearer, my sights set on exactly what I wanted to work on next. My days were mine to sculpt. Everything I chose to do felt full of purpose, not simply because I was choosing it, but because I was choosing things aligned with my values. And while there was a realization of responsibility (#adulting) – that I have bills to pay and I’ve yet to finalize my pay rate and benefits and while I still have moments where I experience the full range of emotions from fear to anger to sadness to excitement – my leap felt daunting in all the right ways.
I’ve never considered myself a “leaper”, as I’m the first to admit I loathe change. But, looking back, I’ve always been the one looking to walk my own path or create one. Read: I am not a siderliner. When it comes to the big things in life, the things most important to my heart, I am the first to jump for what feels right, even if that jump doesn’t land me exactly where I think I want to be and that’s because I know that if that leap doesn’t get me there, the next one will, or the next. Read: I am a persistent Mother F-er. And I know that if I stay where I am, I miss that opportunity and chance – one I might not get again.
Change is scary and made even more so because it’s full of so many unknowns, so many variables in fact that we’ll claim we simply can’t make the leap.
We’ll say fear is what holds us back.
We’ll say, “What I have is uncomfortable, but at least I know what I’m getting so I’ll stay here.”
We’ll say, “It’s never worked before, so why should I expect it to work now?”
And, even when things are good, but something inside us is urging us in another direction, we’ll claim it’s fear that keeps us where we are.
Fear does hold us back…but only to a certain degree. Fear comes from not knowing, but guess what my friends? Unknowns are part of life. Even with a secure job or shiny new relationship, you still have unknowns. You could be let go from your job tomorrow or your industry could be disrupted by technology a month from now. You partner could leave you or the nagging “What IF’s” about leaps you never took could weigh on you so heavily that you’re not able to fully invest in that new relationship anyways.
Unknowns are part of life, but – and here’s the important piece to this – the unknowns that pervade our everyday life are more easily masked and much easier to digest.
At the end of the day, it’s not the unknown’s that hold us back from taking leaps. It’s our own uneasiness as to whether or not we have the confidence, thick skin and patience to sit with our unknowns for as long as it takes to find the answers.
The things that matter the most will often scare us the most and the thing about leaps is no one can do them for us and the opportunities to take them won’t always be there.
When it’s time to jump, there won’t be a serenading chorus of angels letting you know it’s time.
When it’s time to jump, you won’t find a yellow-bricked paved path guiding the way.
When it’s time to jump, there won’t be detailed instructions or a road map of where to go next.
When it’s time to jump, you won’t be given a green light that tells you to go forward with something or someone.
When it’s time to jump, you will, however, find fear and it’s on the other side of that fear that you’ll discover contentment and fulfillment.
So, let’s recap. Fear = we’re onto something big. We take a leap, confront our fear like the badass we are and boom! Pot of gold, right?
The paradox to taking a leap is this:
The only way we can take a leap is by trusting ourselves enough to land wherever we fall, but the only way to establish trust – to shift from doubt to certainty – is to take the leap.
So, how do you establish trust in the universe when these qualities seem to be lacking in the external world – or your self?
Learning to Trust
Learning to trust is all about developing self-awareness. Your intuition/instinct/trust/inner GPS/ (whatever you prefer to call it), feels like a fire in your belly. It’s the sensation that tells you to do or not to do something. It’s a feeling we all have and one we’re meant to lean in and trust.
But it’s hard to trust something we can’t tangibly see. I get it. Boy, do I get it. Listening to my intuition is something I’ve only fully come to trust recently. Over the years, I’ve learned the hard lessons of not listening to my inner guidance. I’m talking real hard lessons – everything from losing a sibling to breaking my neck. But, in the moments I’ve allowed myself to get quiet and listen to my intuition, those moments I’ve leaned into trust, I have found myself in far greater scenarios than I could have ever imagined.
Tune in + Test it Out
Tune in: Quiet Your Mind
It’s impossible to hear our inner knowing over the mental chatter. Most people have overactive minds and we tend to overidentify with our thoughts – thoughts we mistakenly believe define or are representative of who we are. We are so much more than our thoughts and only when we quiet the mental chatter can we access our inner guidance.
To quiet your mind, find a quiet, comfortable place to sit by yourself (or come to lying down if you find you’re fidgeting in a seated position). Take a few slow, deep breaths to relax your body and then focus your attention only on inhaling and exhaling. Any time your mind wanders, gently redirect it back to following your breath. Do this until you feel calm and grounded. In this meditative-like state, begin to notice – without judgement or assigning meaning – what sensations arise in your body. Your goal is to notice what you feel and where you feel it without attaching it to thought.
Test it Out: Quantify Your Power
Once you begin to tune into where you feel things in your body, you’ll begin to notice more and more often throughout your day when those sensations arise. When they do, take note of what you feel, where you feel it and if a thought or image comes to mind with the sensation (i.e. you get the feeling you should or shouldn’t do something) note that too. The goal is to test it out and build your trust.
This exercise in quantifying something so intangible was extremely helpful for me as I struggled to accept my intuitive powers. My dear friend and holistic wellness guru Suzanne Taylor of Talyor’d Wellness recommended I keep a journal. Any time I got an intuitive hit, a feeling that something was off or that something was going to happen, she told me to note what I felt and where I felt it. If the event happened or I took action because of what I felt, I noted that too. As someone who needs a bit of grounding to what I consider the otherwise “woo woo” aspect of all this, this exercise allowed me to gain a ton of trust in myself and to value my feelings.
A part of you is ready.
And a part of you is not.
Standing at the edge of your cliff, you already know what to do.