You always have a choice even though you may not realize it in the moment. Circumstances may be beyond your control; your attitude is your choice.
Going to the places that scare you, being fearless and choosing to be resilient, that’s what this blog is about.
I became fearless going on the “scary” rides in Coney Island, Brooklyn as a child even though I never would go on the parachute- there were known accidents on that one and I was very safety conscious- Mom was a worrier.
Going in the front car of the roller coaster, approaching the top (with friends of course ) and looking at the big drop ahead gave no time to do anything except scream & hold on tight! So it went through the fun summer months. Thinking back over the years, I did many courageous things and not much scared me. Here are a few that got me thinking back to the scary rides…:
Walking on hot coals while on a mind body spirit retreat in Santa Fe ( first time away from my young children too). We had lots of prep time and when it was my turn I was ready. Awesome.
Skiing.This wasn’t worth it for me; injured and it could’ve been worse… Later on I took up cross country- fun!
Para sailing Puerto Vallarta: This was the ultimate overcome of fear of heights for me. I was sitting on the beach for several days meditating (and drinking pina coladas) and surprised myself with the conscious decision into action. Very challenging and I did look down a few times when I wasn’t looking at the mountain.
Forty years ago: Steve & I rode our bikes out of Florence (where we bought the racers- and mine was a boy’s with the bar- the only kind made at the time) and I scared myself with a coughing attack that precipitated me throwing the pack(s) of Marlboros out- which was scary ‘cause I couldn’t imagine not smoking “cold turkey” which I succeeded at. And it was difficult- maybe not scary- to totally change our travel plans so that we went back to the city and got the bikes on trains that rode out of the seven hills, through the Alps and landed us in Germany to enjoy the rolling hills (so we could use all the gears ) and along the Rhine onto Holland. Of course we stopped to eat and sleep in foreign lands- sometimes in hostels and sometimes in the forest, scary and amazing.
I’m happy to be telling you all now. When friends and strangers comment on (both) our daughters living in Europe – I smile and am happy we brought them up with roots and wings – and the ability to navigate the scary and unknown.
• The scariest thing of all for me was 9/11 and the period following that. Were we really OK? Then it became more than me and being empty nested- yes our daughters already just in Europe- and it was much more than getting off the coach and back onto the treadmill and back into the gym- even that was scary after a dark period.
• Now getting through the airports is kinda scary. Getting off the Long Island RR into Penn station is fine if I look straight ahead and focus. That’s it, and what I recommend:
When things get scary look straight ahead and focus. Be in the moment as much as times permit. Be Present. Be Happy.
We’ve got the Now! Only once.