Taking a Leap of Faith

Have you ever found yourself taking a leap of faith? Or is safety in the shadows more your style? As I have spent more energy and time getting to the essence of my life, journaling, meditating, living in the moment, and listening to my heart, I find I’ve stepped out of the shadows and into the light. Two weeks ago, I spent four days on a woman’s retreat in the Poconos. It was my first visit to the area and I looked forward to a little fall color in addition to the companionship of like minded women.

Highlights of the retreat

Of course, the food was amazing. We had two participants sharing kitchen duty that included a professional chef. The lodge was laid out to accommodate all seventeen of us comfortably. We met with our three leaders from Inner Soul Retreats in the great room for morning restorative yoga, instruction and discussion, and many energy changing techniques designed to open our hearts to the possibilities each of us sought.

A few of us spent an hour hiking along one of the trails in hopes of seeing a waterfall. The dry summer nixed that idea. Instead we came upon the zip line we had heard about. For me, the idea of experiencing a zip line had never been considered due to my lifelong fear of heights. Earlier, when a roommate described her experience on a particularly long zip line in Hawaii, my fear was amplified.

Overcoming a lifelong fear

Imagine my surprise when after a technique shared with four other women, I lost all fear of the idea of the zip line! As the facilitators left to inquire about members of our group taking the tandem zip line plunge, I was right there with my cash, ready to signup.

It never occurred to me I’d need to hike up to the zip line platform. I suppose since all the blood was rushing to my leg muscles as I navigated the steep climb, I didn’t think about the jumping off part. Standing in line, two by two, held a little anxiety, but watching the freedom of letting go exhibited by the young group in front of us helped. I also saw I could hold onto the strap connecting my harness to the metal trolley.

Finally the time had come. We received our instructions again, “The safety line is off. You can sit now. Okay, lift your feet!”

I was actually zip lining, suspended in midair above the rocky terrain, holding onto dear life, my fingers clutching the strap, my eyes wide open taking it all in. Suddenly we connected with the bungee breaking system. Wow, that was startling. I hung in my harness as my partner was first directed to climb the movable staircase enabling the attendant to disconnect her contraption. As I walked up the stairs, I imagined this is how Pinocchio must have felt.

The Second Trip

My companion had opted for a single ride and was busy getting out of her harness. I started my climb up the trail with much more anticipation than my first time. Soon the rest of the second-timers joined me in line for the platform. Now my fear was gone replaced by excitement. I couldn’t wait to go again. This time I planned to let go and dance like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.

As my feet left the safety of the platform, my spirit rose and I released my grip. My gyrations probably looked hilarious, but I felt alive and truly free for the first time in my life. Even the braking at the end was fun.

The Effect of Conquering Fear

What was my takeaway from the zip line? Taking a leap of faith I literally stepped into uncharted territory. By conquering one fear, it was so much easier to step into my life. Now my confidence soars and I know I can do anything. There are no limits.

************************

If you’re in Central Florida this December, I’m teaching an Introduction to Japanese Meditation class. Stay tuned for more information or even better,  sign up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll never miss a blog or an announcement.

Warmly,
Dawn

The Energy Of Anticipation

When you look at the photo of a sandy track through the Florida scrub, do you wonder what lies just beyond the bend? I am attending a life changing retreat in the Poconos this weekend that reminds me of this path. There is an energy of anticipation, which I expect to be exciting. But the last few days my energy has been sluggish, listless, and I even felt a sense of foreboding. How can this be?

Old Energy Rears its ugly head

It’s as if my former self is fighting for its existence. The comfort of a lifetime of caring for others more than myself, giving, and giving some more would be easy to fall back into. But that isn’t going to happen any more. I’m clearing my energy multiple times a day, living in the moment, and building anew the energy of anticipation in a clear, positive light.

How did i change?

For the last twenty years I’ve been opening up my life. This slow process has accelerated during the last half of this decade. There are so many aspects that played a role in my awakening:

  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Meditation
  • Reiki
  • Classes and more classes
  • Connecting to my soul
  • Chakra clearing
  • Connecting to my guides

How can you start to change?

Even if I listed every event, every modality, and every roadblock I overcame along my journey, it would be useless information for anyone else seeking to live their life to the fullest. Each person has their own direction and path, unique to them.
But I believe there are gold nuggets of universal truth.

Journaling and Meditation are key.

Journaling is pretty easy once you can get beyond your resistance. If you love good books, I recommend The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Not only does she cover journaling, she walks you through many ways to open up your life.

Meditation is a little more difficult. When I was young, the only time I was successful at meditation was in preparation for childbirth, using the Lamaze method. In addition to the breathing technique, I was taught a meditation technique based on imagining a candle flame. It worked very well during my nearly 24-hour labor.

More recently, I have learned Japanese Reiki meditation where I connect to the energy around and in my body. My teachers, Frans Steine and Bronwen Logan Steine, have many wonderful books and recordings to get you started meditating.

If you’re in Central Florida this December, I’m teaching an Introduction to Japanese Meditation class. Stay tuned for more information or even better,  sign up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll never miss a blog or an announcement.

Warmly,
Dawn

Free to Be Yourself Anywhere

What does the image above invoke for you?  What is the first word that comes to mind? Do you think she is following the advice, feel free to be yourself? Do you think she is funny, quirky, silly, deranged, or entering into dementia?

My experience being myself in public

Of course, the woman in the floppy, purple hat is me. The picture missed the rest of my ensemble; pink skort, white athletic socks, and grey athletic shoes. I left home wearing everything except the floppy purple hat, which is a permanent fixture in my car.

There were less than fifty cars in the parking lot as I arrived at Bok Tower Gardens around 10:30 am last Sunday morning. I wandered along paths through the butterfly garden, children’s garden, and finally along the path to the tower.

I felt very free, almost blissful in my bright duds. The smiles and hello’s from the people I met verified my belief that the motto, “be yourself”, is uplifting both for the participant and onlookers.

One emotion missing was embarrassment. I felt comfortable, therefore the people who encountered me felt comfortable. I felt positive and they felt positive.

Take a walk on the free side

I challenge you to find the freedom to be yourself this week. Put fear aside, let your hair down, or put your hair up. If it’s freeing to dress in heels to go grocery shopping, do it! Find one way that you feel free to be yourself and go for it.

If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for my newsletter, which you will receive each time I post.

Thank you,
Dawn