June 27, 2015

Giant Leap of Faith.

natalie roberts article photo
“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” ~ Margaret Shepard

What do we do when life hands us one of those cards that we are not prepared for?

Perhaps it’s a loss of a loved one, a job, a house, maybe it comes in the form of a sudden diagnosis or having to make a huge, life-changing decision.

Whatever the case, it’s almost impossible to venture through life without one of these experiences. When sh*t hits the fan and we find ourselves floundering—taking a giant leap of faith can help.

I’ve skydived twice.

Before the plane even took off, we had rehearsed the sequence over and over again on the ground. As much as we practiced the follow up sequence time and time again, safely on Mother Earth, I totally forgot what to do next. I wasn’t prepared for the noise and my senses suddenly became overwhelmed as they opened the plane door.

I just about froze in shock and I hadn’t even jumped yet! But things move pretty quickly up there, another experienced sky-diver had already jumped backward out of the plane giving me the thumbs up as he spiraled through the air until he looked like a tiny dot.

Okay Natalie, you’ve got this.

I gave myself a brief pep talk and proceeded to place one foot firmly onto the wing outside of the plane. The wind was rushing so fast that it was difficult to breathe, let alone balance on the wing. Then the other instructor stepped out behind me. So here we were, three people literally standing on the wing holding onto a beam above our heads, while the plane was buzzing through the air.

There was no turning back now, I was about to take one giant leap of faith, into the unknown.

I’m sure the instructors saw nothing but fear in my eyes, they kept smiling at me (which looks kind of odd as the cheek’s move around against the forces). I don’t think I managed to smile back. When you’re falling at 200km/h, there’s not much time to process a lot of thought, other than why the f*ck did I decide to jump out of an aeroplane? Nothing prepared me for the onslaught of adrenalin, over-reacting senses and rush that took over when I was literally falling through the sky.

Prior to the parachute opening, something else mysteriously happened. There is a certain sweet spot, a point where I couldn’t fall any faster—the point where I reached terminal velocity. It felt like a giant air-cushion that supported me.

But had I not taken that giant leap of faith, I would never have known what was possible.

Years later my five-month-old baby was to receive a life-changing diagnosis. It’s true, we couldn’t change her diagnosis, we couldn’t reverse her stroke but we took a giant leap of faith, let go and found the invisible cushioning that is there to support us when life takes a sudden turn.

We all have to take giant leaps of faith in our lives, just like in Hindu Mythology with the legend of Hanuman, the monkey god, who is said to have taken one mighty leap that stretched all the way from the Southern India to the Himalayas, in order to pick a herb that grew exclusively there in order to save the life of Rama’s brother, Laksmana, who had been severely wounded in battle. At that point, he wasn’t sure which herb to pick, so he carried the entire mountain with him as he made another massive leap back to the battlefield.

In that giant leap Hanuman demonstrated his love for Rama. His intense devotion allowed him to do the impossible,and this is the essence we can glean from Hanuman’s tale—power comes from devotion and taking one giant leap of faith.

And just like Hanuman, we forget that we are divine and can accomplish anything, even the seemingly impossible.

We can even practice our own leaps of faith in our yoga, while working on Hunumanasana (splits). We can bring that philosophy of great devotion and faith to ourselves.

There is nothing quite like Yoga Philosophy, Hindu Mythology, jumping out of the sky and a life-changing diagnosis, to remind us what is possible when we take that giant leap of faith.

So, when life throws you one of those difficult cards, remember you can always take a giant leap of faith.


Author: Natalie Roberts Mazzeo

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: Author’s Own

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