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  • Nathalie Weister

free fall

This week, I am taking a leap into the unknown. As this month's new moon powerfully highlights a time for internal rebirth and I too approach the start of another lap around the sun, I am leaving my job without a concrete plan for the next move. For the first time in recent memory, my horizon is shrouded in mystery, akin to a thirsty wanderer in the desert gazing upon a blurry expanse of sand. I know I am walking towards something, yet I am not sure what that something is. This may seem insignificant to some, but for me, it's monumental. Sleep has often been a casualty to my meticulous planning and nocturnal rumination over "what-ifs."

Now, I find myself on the precipice, trusting in the parachute on my back to slow my descent before I meet the unyielding ground below. A profound shift within me has prompted this divergence from my usual, predictable trajectory. The last 5 years have been wrought with personal and collective loss, and I've grown weary of life on autopilot, of living my days shackled to habitual patterns and "should's". I yearn to cultivate a space where I can listen to the whispers of my innermost Self who knows who she is independent of this or any other job, rather than the chorus of societal expectations insisting I adhere to the recognizable path.

During a recent farewell conversation at the office with a friend and colleague, speaking in Spanish, I found myself at a loss for the word 'parachute' while articulating my feelings of leaping into the unknown. He reminded me of the translation: "paracaídas," which literally means to "stop the fall." It struck me that's not at all what I desire - I don't actually want to halt my descent. In fact, I yearn for the freedom in the fall itself, the exhilarating surrender to gravity that skydivers famously chase.

As I stand on the edge of this cliff, teetering between the familiar and the uncertain, a few ideas take flight with me:

1. To alter the course of our lives, we must shift our perspective. In my training to become a coach, we explored the transformative power of a change in geography. As simple an act as standing up from a seated position can jolt your energy and shift your entire outlook. To leap off any cliff (real or metaphorical), one must first climb to the peak. From this new vantage point, problems once deemed insurmountable may seem more manageable, and although new challenges will surely arise, we can face them with a fresh lens and an invigorated spirit. The bird's-eye view provides a gentle reminder of our relative position in the grand tapestry of the world.

2. Yet, despite our minuteness in this cosmic spectacle, we humans have a unique gift - the ability to feel truly alive. This sense of vitality blossoms not from the familiarity of autopilot but from the fertile soil of discomfort. The greatest growth sprouts amidst uncertainty, when we venture beyond the borders of our comfort zone, or as one of my favorite teachers Joe Dispenza describes it, "breaking the habit of being yourself."

3. Alongside that fear and discomfort, trust serves as an indispensable companion. This journey of life is a dance; a harmonious tension between the unsettling thrill of limitless, unknown horizons and the sublime surrender to the Universe's guiding energy. Writer Joseph Campbell famously said, "the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." We must trust that we have the internal resources to confront whatever darkness is inside that proverbial cave; and, when we jump off cliffs, that the parachute will indeed open. Although on occasion the landings can be rough, most often we touch down on our feet (or as I've experienced, laughing my butt off, literally, while sliding to a stop on my rear).

4. Lastly, the above metaphor emphasizes the importance of laughter and play. As we mature and life inherently becomes more complex, we often overlook the innate lightness we embodied as children. When did we lose our ability to revel in the magic of the present moment, allow ourselves to be overcome with laughter, or for our imagination to whisk us away to alternate realities?

We are not merely spectators of our lives, but co-creators of our path with the Universe. Our childhood fantasies are not limited to the realm of make-believe. While I recognize that we all have real-world responsibilities and I am in a privileged position in knowing my daily needs for survival are met, I nonetheless believe that, even in small ways, we can all reassess and reconfigure our lives. We hold the potential to recalibrate and blaze new trails; or to free fall, trusting in the parachute's life-saving grace after we've savored the majesty of the descent. So here's to the leap, for in it lies the true exhilaration of this one beautiful life.

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