Uncertainty to Unbothered
A Wild Child's Lullaby
One step and it’s a drop 20 feet down. My heart is pounding in my head. My hands are sharking. My blood feels heavy as it circulates, making my arms feel like weights…..they feel like balloons. I’m sweating. “Arms are heavy knees are weak” spaghetti and all that. The lake below is crashing into the rocks near the cliff. It’s a Thursday. The grass grows into dirt that rest in the rock. I take off running. My feet feel it. But the sensations are faster than me.
Grass grass grass dirt dirt dirt pebbles pebbles rock rock rock rock rock ro…..air. Then I feel nothing but air on the soles of my feet. Every time I jump I’m shocked by this moment. How long it feels. The moment fear gives way to wonder. The moment time, shows me grace and slows down. The moment I am suspended between the rock face and the water's surface.
In this moment I remember fear is an illusion. I remember life is an experience. I remember my choices define my experience. I remember that faith and hope give way to moments of peace and growth.
The contact of the water breaks time’s grace for me and the world goes back to spinning at it’s normal pace. The force of me breaking the water sends me down far below the water's surface until I feel the tips of my toes make contact with the clay that lines the lake’s bottom. I pause for just a second and then squat to push myself back to the surface. I am completely present and in the present fear doesn’t exist.
Doing something that brings fear is how I relax and stay mindful. When I am in the middle of a meeting to discuss why someone can’t cuss out their supervisor or when I’m supposed to hire 67 people in 5 days. I feel fear. You probably feel fear over that text you sent. Or maybe you feel fear because of your bank account. You might feel fear waking up, not knowing what they day will hold. I feel fear when I go to the edge of the cliff. I feel fear on a dark hiking trail by myself. The feeling is the same regardless of what brings it about. So in the middle of that meeting, or before my next risqué texts (almost all of mine are) I go back to the edge of the cliff. I think about how as soon as I decided to act.....the fear left. Then I answer the call from my boss and take the news with curiosity. Without judgement. Being present and listening.
It hardly matters how I feel about the water when I jump into it. Just like it doesn’t matter how I feel about my meeting. It has to take place. I jump into a lake before I am in the water. The water is coming or I’m going. That is the only outcome. If I don’t hit water the Divine must have took me back then..... well…the water is probably the last thing I’m worried about. If I hit the water I’m going to swim and have to get out. Fear changes nothing. It is completely in our heads.
I think fear is what keeps us from being present. It’s the constant worry about what your past may be manifesting or what your future may bring. In the present nothing about this matters.
You simply are.
And you are what you choose. You can choose to be stressed by giving all of your mental attention to things that aren’t happening or you can take a deep breath. Look around. Remember where you are at. Remember that life is a gift and even in the present moment you have the freedom to choose what happens next with your actions.
Quit thinking long term so much. Think about what you want each day to look like. Being submerged in the water is such a grounding moment. It makes me take a moment to enjoy being somewhat weightless. Then it paints my thoughts a very clear path. I don’t have to think to get out of the lake. I just do. I don’t have to think to fall. I’m just falling. Being present is a choice but peace is the uncontrollable result of the choice.
Jumping off the cliff is the choice the fall is the uncontrollable result of the choice.
Uncertainty in the physical reminds me of what to do when I encounter it my mental. In the mental it triggers anxiety and you come up to facing something and it seems like there is a wall in front of you. Remember your fear can’t exist in the present. I will walk you through how I walk off a cliff and I hope you’ll quit falling off your mental mountains. I accept the facts. When I leave the rocks I am going to fall. I will either be ok when I land or I wont. There is water down there. The only thing to do is jump to find out. If I walk away I may never know if I can make it.
Confront your problem. Make yourself comfortable with the reality of the circumstances. Define your choices and choose. Maybe your cliff is genuinely not safe to jump off of. There is bravery in sacrificing experiencing but little reward and no lesson. Sometimes this is necessary. But most of the time the answer is to act so you can grow. So define your choices. Then act. Accept the outcome, learn and win or succeed and win. Take your breath. Ground yourself in the present. Breath in and breath out and you’ll find the wall has been blown down. You can’t control anything without acceptance. Respond. Stop reacting and peace will follow.
So yeah that’s why I jump off cliffs. And that’s why it calms me down. I hope it helps you. Mindfulness. Being present. Embracing fear. Choosing something different than what you think will happen. Choose to be present.