“The jump is so frightening between where I am, and where I want to be. Because of all I may become, I will close my eyes and leap.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
Wow. We all get an entire extra day this year to embrace and fill with whatever we chose! Let yourself wander, wonder, and indulge in Kairos (magical time) instead of Chronos (clock time). This shift will begin your leap in the direction of your dreams.
A Zen Buddhism quote reminds us to “leap and the net will appear.” I vividly remember two moments in my life where I took this to be true and the net did, indeed, appear.
My first leap was in 1982 after graduating college in Auburn, Alabama. I left a secure teaching job and comfortable life to move to Colorado with no possessions aside from my bike and a small bag of clothes needed to train and race as a professional triathlete. My parents were terrified. They thought I lost my mind, a reckless young thing with dreams of moving to the West Coast, traveling to foreign countries, and becoming a professional triathlete. In 1982, no one even knew what a triathlete was! However, I knew in my heart this was the direction of my dreams, so I put aside the fear of all the unknowns ahead of me, and leapt head first towards them. Low and behold, I was almost immediately scouted by Nike, won the World Championships in 1984, the Nationals in 1988 and 1990, and was literally living the reality of my dreams.
In 1992, I took my second leap. After retiring from the world of triathlons, I knew I had a greater call to give back. I not only wanted to give back to the sport that had fueled my life for so many years, but I wanted to inspire women to live happy, vibrant, active lives through pushing their boundaries and embarking upon adventure. It was such an obvious combination, to merge my love of fitness with my love of adventure. This is when Women’s Quest retreats was born. It lightens my spirit to look back on the birth of WQ 24 years ago and think of the thousands of women who’s lives have been touched by them taking the leap into my dream with me to enrich themselves and the world.
Taking a leap does not have prerequisites: I did not go to an Ivy league school, take specific courses on outdoor adventure or the psychology of happiness. I did not follow any prewritten guidelines to prepare me to take my leap. I did not seek advice from others because the people around me were full of fear of the unknown, more content with keeping things “the same.” I did not check my horoscope, day timer, or call my friends to discuss my plan to leap. I did not write down 10 steps with a life coach or follow the trends… I just broke free and followed my heart!
Rules for Leaping:
1) Jump start the heart. Notice when things feel good, and follow that goodness. Our feelings are our inner compasses pointing in the direction of our best selves. What feels good will undoubtedly bring purpose and meaning into your life. If you leap in the direction of what feels good, you will fly!
2) Trust. Start a journal and write down all the little ways you have been supported throughout your life. Start with the small daily miracles like the sun coming up, clean water pouring out of the faucet to our hearts content, or having a warm home with a roof over your head. Then move to larger, harder-to-believe feats, keeping in mind that this whole ride called life is a game, and there are always angels to catch you if you stumble.
3) Surround yourself with like minded people. Don’t waste your time with people that tell you that your dreams are too big, that it is too late, or that they simple cannot be done.
4) Find a helping hand. If you are to afraid to take a leap on your own get a PUSH, join forces and MOVE! Do something each day to build your leaping muscles. Take baby steps if you have to, find groups that are interested in the same things but do things to convince your body and brain that you are headed in the direction of your dreams.
5) Leap for the joy of leaping. Don’t be attached to the outcome of your leap or judge your leap based on its worth. Every leap has purpose and meaning if simply for your own realization that you can and will leap to follow your dreams. You may just find that each leap somehow ends up even better than you ever dreamed it would be.
“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” -Henry David Thoreau
Love, Colleen Cannon
Contributor, SERENE Social
About Colleen Cannon
Colleen is founder of Women’s Quest, a multi-sport fitness retreat providing athletic and holistic training for women worldwide. Prior to founding WQ, Colleen was a professional triathlete competing worldwide with over seventy career victories.
Join Colleen on one of her 2016 adventure retreats! See schedule here and mention SERENE at booking to save $100.