This is the look of a girl who is not only proud of herself, but pleasantly surprised.
Have you ever noticed that often our fear of something is much scarier in our head than it actually turns out to be in reality? Recently I was given a ‘surprise’ gift of a helicopter ride from one camp to another in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. The shock of this gift was not the generosity, which goes without saying, but the fact that I’ve been on helicopters two other times in my life, always reluctantly, and never with enjoyment, so this ‘gift’, as generous as it was, was indeed outside of my ‘likes’ and outside of my comfort zone. But, in the face of such a gift, and with the practical dilemma of having no other way to get from point A to point B than this helicopter, I was left with no other choice.
I admit, before boarding I had a minor freak out. I said I wasn’t going like any rational 47 year old who acts 8 in the face of fear. I froze for a few minutes. Then I pulled the pilot aside for some much needed one on one time. And then I thought about the advice that I have given others over and over again and realized this was life’s way of saying that it was time for me to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. So, full of fear, I boarded the helicopter and embraced the chance to face my fear and change my own story.
And, while I did not even recognize the emotion at first as it did not seem possible that I could be feeling it in the midst of such fear, I felt joy. Complete, unabashed, radiant, glorious joy. Below me walked giraffe & elephants; hippos lazily lounged in water; the vibrant green intoxicated me; the delta snaked beneath me & the breathtaking beauty of Botswana surrounded me. I was completely present to the moment, so alive, fearless… & free.
Free from my fear.
This experience offered me the opportunity to recognize the stories that I had been telling myself, and that overtime I had come to identify as part of who I am; but it also made me remember that we are the authors of our own story and we get to rewrite it and add chapters any time we choose to. So, in light of my recent adventure I am open to trying things that I was hesitant about trying before — like going to India!
And so my new story goes like this: I used to be afraid of flying on helicopters, but now I embrace any chance I can get! So much so that when the pilot dropped us off after our 21 minute flight and was headed back to the previous camp to get our luggage I asked him if I could go back and forth with him. The answer was no and I was disappointed but so happy that I did not let me fear get in the way of trying something new and outside of my comfort zone, because, as we all know, that is where the magic happens.
Take a bit of time this week to reflect on stories in your own life that it perhaps might be time to rewrite… & enjoy the ride!