Many years ago, I skydived. Getting on the plane is one thing. It took a lot of courage to jump. Had I not gone tandem, I wonder how long it would have taken me to step out of my safe zone and into space. When it was my turn, the guy standing by the open door who was in charge of telling the next crazy person to go said, “On the count of 3, one.. two..” and before he said “three” my tandem instructor jumped for us.
I thank him for that. It was the jumping part that was so scary. What if the parachute doesn’t open? Will I die? Will I feel it when I hit the earth? What if I survive? Oh no, what if something goes wrong and I survive??
Once in the air, it was an exhilarating experience. I was flying free. Not once did I think about the parachute possibly malfunctioning. I was airborne and my body took over. My brain stopped trying to take control for once. I trusted the moment. And the moment was all that existed. It wasn’t me versus gravity. It was me and all the elements as one.
Since then, I can recount many moments when I’ve decided to stay on that plane. It doesn’t feel good. My cousin, who just made the decision to quit her work as a corporate attorney, described going to work as “painful as getting a 1,000 paper cuts” every day she went in. That’s what staying on the plane of life feels like. The relief in her voice, which sounded like a combination between an exhale and instant weight loss, is in itself inspiration. I then saw her become pregnant with possibility of what could be next. Then I saw fear. It was the “shit, what’s next?” face. As an observer, it put a huge smile on my face. That kind of fear is the kind that, when harnessed, awakens Spirit and takes a person into her next most radiant Self.
But I know all too well how that fear can make one want to stay on that plane. Guess that’s when it’s good to have someone to go tandem with. Someone that will make you jump on two and a half.