A couple of weeks ago I was in Colorado for a short family vacation before sending my youngest son back to college. We love being out west in the winter to ski and the summer for a variety of activities including rock climbing, mountain biking, fly fishing, and whitewater rafting. Ok I only participate in the whitewater rafting, but this year I added a new dream activity to the list – paragliding!
I seem to have a deep desire to rise above the earth. With the existing chaos I feel this even more intensely. We’ve tried to go hot air ballooning numerous times, but it never works out. So this year I decided to take that as a sign and look for an alternative.
In looking back on the experience, I see a number of parallels to what life is like or can be like if we take the leap.
We gathered early in the morning to get our gear and meet our pilots. I was thrilled to be matched with a badass, female pilot named Anne. We all loaded into a pickup truck for the trek up the mountain. A long trek that was incredibly bumpy.
Can you relate to this experience? You feel like you’re climbing up a mountain in life. And it takes a really long time with lots of bumps and bruises on the way? But then eventually you arrive at the top and the view is magnificent!
We even saw some young bucks with new antlers playing on the hillside. The pilots began laying out the canopies and straightening the lines. Next, it was time to harness in. So I step into the device that holds my life in its hands. The thing that will keep me tethered to the canopy and my pilot.
Once we’re geared up, Anne explains to me how this whole thing is gonna go down. She’s going to begin counting backwards…3, 2, 1, go. Then we’re both going to begin running slowly – keeping our feet on the ground for as long as possible – and our eyes on the horizon. Because if I look down I might end up flat on my face. Comforting.
Mind you all this running is happening about 10 feet from the edge of the cliff. So I’m confused as to how I can keep running upright at 11,000 feet. But I decide to trust the process.
Just take one step at a time and keep your eyes on the horizon. Sage advice for anyone who’s reaching for a dream.
Before I could possibly be fully ready, I hear “let’s give it a minute for the wind” (which I don’t feel at all) and then the countdown begins. Anne’s yelling in my ear, “Keep running, keep running”. And I’m running toward the edge of the mountain, trying not to acknowledge the reality of the situation, but rather looking out at the horizon.
And the next thing I know, we’re air born. The running has stopped and instead I’m sitting in a swing of sorts enjoying the ride.
A leap of faith and we’re flying.
But Anne wasn’t done with me yet. She decided I need to learn how to fly this baby. She puts the brake cords into my hands so I could steer the dang thing. It was actually a lot easier than I would have expected – as long as you can keep your arms suspended indefinitely.
Of course, there was one last piece that we hadn’t yet discussed. How to ace the landing. I had visions of me tumbling to the ground with Anne landing on top of me, and some limb of mine broken in two. Thankfully, her 26 years of experience led to a much better plan. As a result of the winds, rather than landing upright we instead slid in on our behinds. And gracefully at that!
Here’s the thing…you can choose to stay safely on the ground, in your comfort zone, looking up into the sky and imagining what it would be like to fly.
Or you can find your mountain. Take the sometimes arduous and lengthy path to climb through all your resistances. Ask for guidance from a trusted advisor. Gear up for what is sure to be an adventure of a lifetime. And take that leap of faith to who knows where.
Don’t want to go it alone? Join me in my new Facebook Group, “Business Women Giving Back”. There are mountains to climb, adventures to be had, and a new future waiting to be co-created when you get clear on what you have to share and where you’re meant to serve.
I’ve got all the gear ready. I just need you and a little bit of courage!
Be bold. Be daring. Be AWE-dacious!