Cliff Jumping

3 Fri, 2010 § 1 Comment

Sometimes in life, you come to the edge of a cliff;  you continue wandering along the rim, staying just far enough away to remain “safe”…toying with the idea of stepping closer…leaning occasionally for a better look…straining to capture a glimpse of pure happiness [sometimes in the form of ice cold water] that is ever fading farther into the distance though you have not moved — because you have not moved.  You desperately want to shake things up…pursue your bliss…obtain something beyond contentment…

Jump.

How often do excuses hold us back from pursuing happiness & the measure of our design?  If I were younger, older…if I had more money, more time…if I did not have this job, this bill, this deadline…

On the beach, I rattled off my own excuses: if it were not cold; if my bathing suit was not all the way in the car; if I did not have to catch a plane later.  I was already cold; the car was not that far away & our plane did not leave for hours [plenty of time to dry before then].

In that moment, any longing that existed deserved to be fulfilled — what would I lose by pursuing it?  What risks were at stake?  Yes, “dangers” existed.  I considered these.  The cliff was only about 30 feet high, & I was not going to attempt any crazy aerial assaults against the water — just a straight vertical leap.  The cold?  I had a towel & dry clothes.

What is more mortifying than to feel you’ve missed the Plum for want of courage to shake the Tree?

~Logan Pearsall Smith

I did kick a rock as I swam to shore 😦 but nothing more than a nick :).  Within the most fulfilling endeavors in life lie possible risks.  The most daunting & demoralizing of these risks?  I might fail. To win you have to be willing to lose.  Kathryn Budig, one of the yoga instructors I admire most, talks about fear being a huge issue in our society.  It keeps people locked in habits & inhibits our ability to grow.

One method of overcoming this fear: when faced with a chance you desperately want to take — a dream you desperately want to follow — ask yourself, what is the absolute worst-case-scenario? It is likely not as horrific as you imagine.  If you play through the “What Ifs? Then This” in your mind, you will realize even if the worst outcome possible does happen, you will live.  You will be ok.

I would rather pursue bliss & fail than put my dreams on a shelf for fear of failure.

What do we have to gain from jumping?

🙂 Bliss. 🙂

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.  To not dare is to lose oneself. ”

~Soren Kierkegaard

Dave & I are at our own metaphorical cliff.  The easier choice is to stay with the familiar, which feels less risky.  Considering the implications of that choice means risking a life not lived.  What is a “life not lived”?  That is up to each to determine.  I beg you to consider what living means to you rather than simply letting others decide as you wander along the edge among the lemmings.

Jump.  Live.

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves.

~André Gide

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