**Hello Everyone! I thought I would try something different for the next few weeks. I’m going to write a short story and then go over some take aways from the story to help you and myself apply these lessons that make our lives better.

I believe that if we change our lives in the margins, every single day, we experience a sea change in our lives. When I used to fly airplanes, we learned as pilots to be vigilant and exact about heading, because with just 1 degree off, over time you could find yourself hundreds of miles away from your destination.

With That Let’s Begin!

Cassie  knew that someone would show up if only she had the patience to wait. It was a cold, blustery day at the park. The wind was blowing and the chill – well, the chill she could feel in her bones. Even with the cold it was still beautiful. The sky was clear and the colors around her were deep and vibrant. She sat on the swing with her arms raised resting on the chains above her head,while she spun the seat to the left and right. The goal was to see if she could make one complete revolution and only one. She would make games like this for herself – from time to time – because she had learned how to make the time pass when she had to wait. Waiting is a lot like patience, she thought. She learned that if she could make mini goals for herself, the time would pass quickly, and by then, someone would show up to hang out with her.

If the waiting got too long, Cassie found that she needed to up the stakes. She would get up the courage to try some physical challenge like jumping off the swing at full height – as high as she could go and still make a safe landing.

But the wait wasn’t too long yet. She was satisfied to turn left and right with goal of one full revolution. What else did she have to do? So left and right she went. Right and left. Left and right.

Cassie got pretty tired of it all when her  threshold of patience had been met. Now it was time, she knew, she had to raise the stakes or go home in defeat.

She began to pump her legs to get higher and higher. All she had to do was follow the momentum of the swing, let go, balance, and land with her knees slightly bent on the grass across from the concrete walkway. She saw the boys do it – the athletic boys do it – and if they could do it, why couldn’t she?

Well, Cassie hadn’t anticipated the feeling of terror at that height, nor the sheer will it took to get her hands to let go of the chains, nor the screaming that ensued in her brain that told her she would die if she let go of the chain and propelled herself forward from safety.

In other words, she was in the grips of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of bodily injury. Yep, it had gripped her by the throat, or rather, it had her grip the chains so hard that they were cutting into her skin.

“Oh Crap! What am I doing?”, she asked herself.

But there was another voice, too. One that said, “Of course, you can do it. I’ve seen you jump at other things before. Just try. Then you’ll know. Just try.”

That voice of “Just try” was the voice that she trusted the most. She trusted it, because it was always right. She had learned through experience that “trying” never got her into trouble and often led to amazing things.

In the end, with this voice in full command, her grip started to ease, her eyes started to focus and her breathing became relaxed. Her intention became her purpose and she was at one – in that brief moment – with the swing.

She propelled herself from the swing and landed safely on to the grass. “Yes!! I did it,” but then in the same breath Cassie whispered, “I’ll never do that again!”

Her heart was pounding so hard that she could feel it in her brain. She didn’t like that feeling nor did she like seeing her hands still shaking. But she was proud of herself. She did trust herself. Now that she knew she could jump, she saw no need to repeat the exercise. She’ll find another challenge if she gets bored again.

Cassie went back to twirling left and right so caught up in the events that just happened that she swung herself right into the other swing got tangled and in trying to release herself, the other swing hit her straight in the head and caused her eye to swell. Her first black eye!

She had to laugh, because she had been so concerned about the stupid jump that she was extremely mindful about her presence. Cassie’s attention was laser focused on her outcome. She visualized the execution and the landing before she attempted it, and she reminded herself that when she trusted that voice all would turn out well. Cassie knew that when you commit, you have to full commit or else your lack of attention will cause problems.

Conversely, the twirling that she was comfortable with as she waited for a friend, she executed with mindlessness. She had no fear, but she had no focus on what she was doing, either. Her awareness was dulled due to the habit of experience. Hence, her mindlessness led to the very injury that she was afraid of if she were to  jump from the swing.

TAKEAWAYS

If this story was about you and the swing was a metaphor for how you show up in the world, what did you learn through Cassie’s Experience?

Key Learning Questions:

1. How did she handle impatience?

2. Why did she want to trust that voice?

3. What did she learn after the jump?

4. What happened when she didn’t focus on a routine experience?

5.How can you apply what you learned in this story?

Faith or fear? You decide – Christine Jeffrey

What would happen if you stopped look ing at fear as something to run from and started looking at fear as a cue to take action? How would your life change if you did that?

In the next week, look for opportunities to do what you fear. When you do, your whole world begins to expand and you start to recognize the opportunities that already surround you.

Do One Thing That Scares You Everyday – Eleanor Roosevelt

Leave a comment. Ask a question. I’m here to help.

Thanks for reading and wishing you all an amazing rest of the week.

Until next time,

You are so much more than who you believe yourself to be at times!

*photo credit Wikipedia commons

Remember, it’s about your life!