Archives for posts with tag: opportunity

Lissa Rankin had a fantastic Facebook post this morning. It smacked me upside the head. The kind of smack that makes you sit up and take notice.

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I often get asked how you know when it’s time to take a leap of faith, and I say, “When the pain of staying put exceeds your fear of the unknown, you leap.” But you don’t have to wait that long. It’s not necessary to wait until the pain is extreme. You have the option to cave early- but most people won’t leap when the pain is just a twinge. We wait until we’re in agony, and then it doesn’t feel like a choice- it feels like survival. Ultimately, we get to the point where we know we’re being guided to do something scary, and we have faith that when we follow these kinds of Divine instructions, things go well, whereas when we ignore the signs, it hurts. That’s why they call it a leap of faith. Faith is not just finding comfort in the unknown but actually taking refuge there. That’s when it gets easier to leap- and leap- and keep leaping into love and trust. – Lisa Rankin

I know this is very true for me. Without a doubt I usually wait until I’m in agony before I leap. I know this about myself. I recognized this trait many years ago when I began scuba diving and I was literally standing on the edge of the swimming pool in the 4 foot end. I was totally geared up and all I had to do was step of the edge into the water. My dive master was right in front of me. So was my husband. My husband kept saying, “Just jump already, it’s only 4 feet deep and you can swim! You’ve got a BC vest on, just jump already!”  My dive master, on the other hand, kept smiling at me and saying, “It’s ok, take your time. You’ll jump when you’re ready. And you will be ready. And then you’ll just step off like it’s nothing at all.”

And he was right. However, in the probably ten minute, yes, ten minutes, that I stood there, sweating, feeling silly, feeling ridiculous actually, heart racing, mouth dry, trying to feel “comfortable” in all this strange feeling gear I FINALLY took a deep breath and I stepped out. I felt completely awkward and my stomach lurched and somewhere I was sure I was going to die.

And then as it almost always does, it all went away, disappeared. I hyperventilated for a second, the water closed over my head and I was in heaven! Not because I’d died either. But because it was as good if not better than I’d dreamed it would be. I’d wanted to scuba dive all my life but waited until I was in my 30’s to try. Go figure. That was a leap in itself, just to sign up for classes. And then the real leap happened, right into the pool. I didn’t want to ever get out.

To be honest, stepping off the edge of the pool, or doing a back roll off the side of a rocking boat has never, and will likely never be, my favourite part. But I can do it without too much effort because I KNOW that what happens right after I take that leap is more than worth the twinge, even the agony. It is beyond heavenly.

So I’ve spent a lot of years using that metaphor with myself to make leaping easier. Still working on that. It works really well in my head. But my sympathetic nervous system isn’t having any of it. That system is flawless, sort of, in what it does. It is very good at “keeping me safe” but it’s also incredibly good at making me miss out on life, things I shouldn’t miss out on, don’t want to miss out on.

Working on getting my parasympathetic nervous system working a little better. The one that helps you relax, rest, rejuvenate, have a little fun. The one that tells you hey, all is well, relax a little.

We are all going to experience many things in life that require us to take a leap if we really want to live the life we are meant to live, deserve to live. What’s that saying?

I never said it would be easy. I just said it would be worth it.

I think that pretty much sums it up. So go on, take a deep breath

And LEAP!

In that moment where you are sure you’re about to die, you will find what being alive really feels like.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Opportunity:  Noun – a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.  – Google

This morning I posted a status to Facebook about a 17 year old Regina SK screaming talented drummer, Chris Dimas, who is having his dreams come true and going to school in Hollywood CA.  I prefaced the link with

The secret to making dreams come true – work, believe and open the door and say yes when opportunity knocks.”

And off I went about the business of my day.  Little did I know I would discover just how much I was really writing that to myself.  Funny how the universe works that way.

Rewind to a couple of summers ago out on a nature hike with family.  I was enthralled with all the beautiful mushrooms and other fungi along the path.  My imagination flitted between the mushrooms and the fairies that must obviously be quietly hiding there.  Immediately themes and children’s stories and poems floated aimlessly through my mind; a possible book in the making.  I remember sighing heavily because I had left my camera in the car.

Fast forward to later this summer.  Life has been very busy.  Did I mention like really very busy?  We’ve had strange weather this year, like most of the world it seems.  One of the anomalies was the immense number of beautiful fungi growing literally everywhere.  I enjoyed taking many pictures.  Early on I remembered my past missed opportunity and thought about pulling out my daughters fairy collection and using them to stage numerous shots that could be used to illustrate the stories and poems that still floated in my head but hadn’t made it to paper yet.  Opportunity was now knocking once more. I opened the door and welcomed Opportunity in.  “Hey, great to see you! Come in!  I’ll be right with you, introduce you around…. just hang on one minute.  Make yourself at home, I’ll be right back.”   That’s what I said.

Every walk I thought about it and reminded myself that yes, I must go do that, soon.   Pause: this morning.  I went for an early walk.

Part of my daily routine has been trying to ensure I work in some fitness activities.  So, this morning after a quick tea I went for my walk.  All my major responsibilities were done, I could afford to do “my” things today, at least for awhile.  I knew where the fairies were.  I was going to scope out where I’d take my shots, lock up my all too friendly and “helpful” canine companions and do it!  Finally, I mean it’s even still sunny and warm!

image from wallpaperbrands.net

So out I go.  “Hey, Opportunity!  Sorry I just had to… um… Opportunity?”

But Opportunity became tired of waiting, felt like a third wheel, unappreciated and unimportant; so Opportunity smiled a kind of sad smile, silently turned and left, softly closing the door.

I had a lovely walk, the leaves of beautiful yellows, golds, browns and reds interspersed with the last of green.  The light dappling beautifully on the path, and not one fungi left in its glory.  Hardly any are left at all.

I believed.  I had opened the door.

Then like a selfish hostess, I left Opportunity waiting in the porch with no consideration because the visit didn’t occur at a perfectly convenient time.

I didn’t do the work.  I didn’t say, “Yes.”

I can say how busy I was and am, but the truth is, Opportunity knocked and even with all the experience I have, I still didn’t say, “Yes.”  I said, “Wait a minute.”  And you know Opportunity did.  Opportunity patiently waited a few weeks in fact.  Opportunity does not have unlimited patience.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like Work.” – Thomas A. Edison

I’ll never know quite how neglecting Opportunity will change what might have been.  I believe it’s all good, things all happen for a reason.  I’m okay with it.  But I do wonder, if I’d taken the time to take those shots, what and where might they have lead to?

I’m grateful that Opportunity is forgiving and generous though.  While this door closed, I know Opportunity will visit again, maybe knocking at a different door, or arriving through a window.   Next time, I’ll remember how to treat a guest.

Our lives are defined by opportunities.  Even the ones we miss.  F. Scott Fitzgerald

©2014 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

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