As the end of the year 2015 draws nearer, we naturally begin to ponder our lives.
We start to reflect on the changes we made, both good and bad over the past 12 months.
Were we productive?
Were we happy?
Did we make a difference?
As I look back over this year, the thing that strikes me the most is the number of the small leaps of faith I have taken throughout this year.
Those small leaps have led to HUGE changes in my life.
As I sat and took a long hard look back over this past year, the one emotion that kept coming up over and over again was: GRATITUDE!
AS THE YEAR 2015 COMES TO IT’S CONCLUSION…
I can only feel BLESSED.
If you want proof of God’s hand in your life…
Then each and every time you choose to trust Him and take little leaps of faith, He will reveal Himself to you in powerful ways.
So with that in mind…
I want to ask you a question:
When was the last time you took a leap of faith?
I mean a real leap of faith.
The kind of leap that makes every single cell in your body sing.
When you have taken that leap the entire world seems as if it is applauding you with little bread crumb trails of generously sprinkled signs that let you know that you are in fact on the right track.
These little clues from God almost make you want to:
Weep with gratitude,
Vibrate with fear,
And explode with the joy of being you –
You suddenly realize that you are feeling more alive than you have ever, ever felt.
It’s as if you KNOW that on this day, (because of that leap you took) – your game changed forever.
You know you are irrevocably changed because you trusted in that inner voice that speaks to us all through our clumsy, provocative, raw human glory.
One of the most valuable things you can learn in life is to listen to that voice because it literally has the power to change your game and create a new future for yourself.
Most of us were never really taught what a leap of faith even means.
Or how to do it.
I can’t help but notice that the people that take leaps of faith are often the ones who courageously stepped outside of the conventional, and by doing so…recreated the world we live in.
They are the change makers.
The ones who see the future, and recreate the future, for all of us.
And they are the ones who have lives that are really and truly worth living.
Sometimes they make headlines.
Wayne Dyer spent most of his early childhood in an orphanage after his father left his mom with three boys to raise alone. He went on from that horrible beginning to write over 40 self-help books and become know world wide as one of the foremost experts in the self-help industry.
Maya Angelou, who had been born to poverty and abuse, worked as a fry cook, a prostitute, and a nightclub dancer – somehow found the courage to write her first book, then many more, and ended up being honored by reading a poem at Obama’s inauguration and earning 50 honorary degrees in her lifetime.
And sometimes they quietly change their own little piece of the world, and we all benefit.
(This is my mom and my daughter and nephew)
We sometimes unknowingly benefit from all of these unknown but miraculous people who make tiny incremental leaps of faith towards love.
Or creative expression.
Or standing for what they know is right in the face of dissension.
Becoming a turned on,
fully embodied human being is not a given.
Nor is it a simple task.
It requires reflection.
Tapping into one’s truth.
Standing in your truth…despite the obstacles.
Just like all aspects of figuring out how to be human in the best possible way, a leap of faith is not something you should do just once in your life.
It’s actually something you can get rather good at.
Once you have jumped once, you can jump again and again, bigger and bolder with every go.
A leap of faith requires practice.
Most of us are taught to have faith in something outside of ourselves.
We’re encouraged to put all of our confidence or trust in something or someone else.
A political party.
We’re taught to believe that if you go to a good college and get a degree, you can get a job.
Or if you follow all the doctrines of your church, your life will be worth more.
Or if you play by the rules in your corporate job, you will have career advancement and be able to retire at 65 with a pension.
This kind of ‘faith’ is not often the kind that brings a person further and deeper inside their love affair with life.
Following my second divorce, I chose a different kind of faith.
I decided that rather than shrink myself to follow the limitations that I had been living under I was going to take my first leap of faith.
Which for me was self imposed solitude to heal.
I am a very social person, so choosing solitude was no walk in the park for me. It was probably one of the most difficult decision I have ever made.
But choosing to choose myself, above anyone else’s expectations for me, was my first leap.
How was I supposed to believe in myself when I had no track record?
How was I supposed to believe in myself when no one else did – in fact everyone else seemed convinced that the last place that I should look for my next steps was inside my own heart and soul?
How could I leap when I was not seeing very many women making the choice to choose themselves over the expectations of others?
I had to realize that a leap of faith was a requirement for me if I was ever going to learn how to truly live out my destiny.
It allowed me the space to choose my own version of aliveness and to begin to see how I was going to leave my own mark on the world.
I love what Elizabeth Gilbert says in her wonderful book, Big Magic,
Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism. Meanwhile, putting forth work that is far from perfect rarely stops men from participating in the global cultural conversation. Just sayin’ . . . sometimes, strangely enough, it works – a man who seems not ready for the task, not good enough for the task, somehow grows immediately into his potential through the wild leap of faith itself. I only wish more women would risk these same kinds of wild leaps.
She goes on to cite the way we have been treated in all of human history as the reason that women do not take big risks, like men. And concludes, “…we women must break this habit in ourselves – and we are the only ones who can break it.”
She is right; we must break this habit.
We need to have the courage to develop new ones.
A new habit that will allow us to taking our place on the world’s stage and as a vibrant, fully expressed author of our own lives.
We can do this.
In fact, we must do this.
The true nature of humanity does not ignite until we learn how to make our deepest desires our TRUE NORTH.
But just like any navigational system we will often find ourselves slightly off course but I want to encourage you to keep taking those teeny awkward leaps, in the direction of your dreams.
Leaps of faith do not have to be so graceful.
The important thing is to just jump, vault, or skip.
Bit by bit.
Even a hop of faith is awesome.
We will gain momentum, and confidence, with each step taken.
Instead of counting on one another to compromise, let’s count on one another to leap, with faith, in the direction of our dreams.