Saturday, December 22, 2012
Leaping into the unknown
Look before you leap, or so they say. Who are “they” anyway? And why should their rules apply to me and my life? Now don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not necessarily rebellious, at least not in any readily identifiable way. I’ve just always had an intrinsic belief that there are rules, norms, expectations, etc. in life that can simply be bent, if not thrown out the window altogether. Couple that with an adventurous spirit and let the fun begin!
My dad used to love to tell a story about me as a young child. There was this beautiful park near our home in New York with a huge field stretching out from it. To my toddler self that field must have seemed to reach to the ends of the earth. One day my parents let me loose to see what I’d do. I ran. I ran and ran and never once stopped to look back. There was no fear. There was no wondering if someone was watching me, whether for safety sake or approval. There was only me, the brilliant green of the grass, the bright blue of the sky, the ends of the earth and whatever lay beyond.
True to toddler form, earlier this year while in Jamaica with some friends we found ourselves at a very well known cliff-jumping site. It was packed with showy locals and gawking tourists perpetuating the spectacle as human bodies plummeted from the rocky ledges to the crystal blue ocean below. We sat and watched. Then the urge took me, and I was standing at the edge, a prayer on my lips, solid ground suddenly swept out from beneath my feet as I stepped off into the air. I closed my eyes and literally did not look as I leapt. I felt time slow down in a way I’ve never experienced before as the wind rushed past and the water rose to meet me. It was exhilarating, terrifying and life affirming. For what felt like an eternity, though I know it to have been mere seconds, I tasted the sensation of not only going to the ends of the earth, but also finding what lies beyond.
Tomorrow I am boarding a plane for India. In typical don’t look before you leap fashion, inspiration struck, the stars aligned and suddenly I was making arrangements for six weeks away from life as I know it to travel to Mother India. For me India is the place of dreams, my dreams, as I feel a connection to this land and its culture stronger than I’ve ever felt about any other place. Through yoga many Hindu traditions and Indian customs have woven themselves into the fabric of my life, yet my life is still lived in comfortable Western style for the most part. I want to be uncomfortable. I want to be challenged in ways I can only begin to imagine. I want to let go of the idea of who I think I am so I have space to embrace who I will become through this journey. To do that I’m traveling farther than I’ve ever gone, for a longer solo trip than I’ve ever made to a place with a culture more drastically different than the ones I know. And if I’m at all apprehensive or have been at any moment in preparing for this adventure, that apprehension pales in comparison to the anticipation and delight that I take in running, flying, falling, and soaring into the unknown.
I guess some things never change.
This I know to be true: I thrive on exploring my edge and pushing beyond it. Lately I’ve felt a bit stifled by a sort of complacency and redundancy in certain aspects of my life. I’m craving the chance to shake things up. I want to get lost, turned inside out and upside down. I want to see, smell, taste, hear and, most importantly, feel things that are new, different and maybe even a little uncomfortable. That is how I know I’m alive. That is how I feel vital. And I believe that is how I am best meant to be of service and find my way along the Divine path I’m following through this life.
Another truth: I have a tremendous capacity to manifest my dreams. Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not special in this way. We can all do this. It just happens that I’ve put a lot of effort into getting clear on what it is I want to attract into my life and making it happen. It is something I work at constantly, something I have been successful at in certain areas while continuing to hone my skill in others. A very practical tool for manifesting that I’ve been using for several years now is a vision board. I create one near the start of the year and use it to guide me toward the things I most want to feel, create, be, accomplish, etc. India is the crown jewel of this year’s vision board, and it is truly remarkable that I can sit here and say every single thing I pasted to that piece of plain white poster board has become manifest. 2012 was full of spirit, fearlessness, friendship, love, music, sexual exploration, travel, yoga, financial health, awakening, unexpected turns and joyful moments, which is exactly what I ordered up. And the adventure continues as I welcome 2013, and a new vision, in India.
I don’t know exactly what my time in India will bring about, but I do know, strongly, certainly, intrinsically, that I will be changed by the experience. I want to be changed for it is only through change that I evolve into the person I want to be. As I immerse myself in the unfolding of this process, this experience, I look forward to sharing pieces of it with you. I deeply believe we need to share with one another more. As we shift into a new consciousness, a new era energetically speaking, it is so critical that we share, collaborate and all around concern ourselves more with each other. The lessons we learn as individuals can and do contribute to the collective. So let’s put it out there for everyone to see and learn from. That is what this blog has always been about, and I am thrilled to share from my heart, from India, with you.
Posted by Just Jess