Taking the leap and facing your fears.
Looking back on 2014, I noticed there was a theme happening in my life. The theme was letting go. Letting go of attachments, what other people think of me, what I think of me, negative thoughts, material possessions and general control issues. I still have some work to do, but have come a long way. This year, I’ve noticed the theme extend to facing my fears. I originally thought I could just let go of fears but it turns out there’s a bit more work to it… I actually have to face them.
Part of my journey in facing my fears this year included taking a flying trapeze class in Costa Rica. I have a fear of heights, and I thought that learning how to swing like a monkey would be a fun way to overcome this… plus I could wear my ‘Go Bananas’ monkey tank and banana leggings to channel my inner ape. I had it figured out. We went during our retreat with our guests so there was no backing out anyways.
I totally under-estimated how scary this would be, even with my fear of heights. But it was by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!
I thought the class was going to be super basic; that I’d spend the majority of the time watching the three instructors swing through the air gracefully in awe from the safe and stable ground. That I might climb the tall ladder once, maybe twice, to swing through the air myself, a little less gracefully and hopefully not die. I didn’t even know if my chicken arms would be strong enough to hold up my entire body.
To my surprise, the first thing we were going to learn was how to do a knee hang where you swing from your knees and let go of the bar! Say what?? Let go??? I wanted to run. There’s no way I can do that. Nooo way… Oh wait there’s more… you have to let go by doing a back flip. Grrrreat! Not only was I scared, I still didn’t believe I could do it. I started to calm down as I watched the others go first and seen that most of them were able to do it so I thought maybe, just maybe I could too. I held off till last, shocker, and while standing at the bottom of the ridiculously skinny and wobbly ladder, my heart started to pound. Hard.
I looked up as they attached the safety line, assessing if I really wanted to go through with this… Yes, yes I do. I want to face my fear and swing like a monkey, or at least try to. Trying not to let on how scared I was I climbed the tall and ridiculously skinny ladder, trembling all the way. Everyone in the group was so encouraging cheering me on and that helped a lot. I got to the top and had to step out onto a tiny hanging platform with one of the trainers on it. Don’t look down. Taking that small step was terrifying being up so high but it wasn’t as scary as the next part - Trusting the trainer to hold me while I thrust all my weight forward to grab the bar. Breathe Ashley. Breathe. One hand. Then two hands holding the bar. Now comes the jump. The leap of faith…can I do this?? Ahhhhhhhh.
I jumped! And once I was flying through the air I forgot about everything else and focused on listening to the trainer. Legs up. Let go! I’m doing it!!! I’m flying! Yay!! I even did the back flip onto the net. What an amazing feeling. I felt free.
Then they told us that if we practiced and could get the timing right we could do a catch! (at the end of the first video I say that I don’t know if I could do it again.) I really didn’t want to climb that ladder again, but I felt motivated by the group and I really wanted to do the catch so I practiced. I climbed the ladder again and again, and it was just as terrifying. Trust. Have faith. Let go. These things take some practice. I can see how doing something like this can have a profound effect on other areas in your life.
The practice paid off and I did the catch! (video below). I fully channeled my inner banana-eating monkey and learned that my body was way stronger than I give it credit for. What a great reminder to keep trying new things in life. You never know what you are capable of accomplishing.
Watch the video here!
I encourage you to try something new! Maybe it isn’t the flying trapeze but do something outside of your comfort zone. Embrace the fear of the unknown and take the leap. It’s worth it!
Lots of love and fresh squeezed hugs,
Holistic Health Coach
Ashley Clark is a Holistic Health Coach, artist, photographer and the owner/operator of Naturally Ashley Nutrition. This prairie girl from Saskatchewan Canada loves to nourish her body positive thoughts and ripe seasonal fruits! She wants to share everything she knows about holistic living to inspire others on their journey to create a happy, healthy lifestyle naturally.
Ashley received holistic health coach training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has been following a raw vegan diet for three years. She has healed many health issues such as candida, gallbladder inflammation, chronic hives and allergies, sinus problems, digestive issues, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic urinary tract infections and more. She now feels lighter and brighter with abundant energy to pursue her dreams!
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