Free FallingOctober 8, 2014
Jumping into the deep end without your floaties (and sometime even with our floaties, as I experienced the other day) is maybe the most exhilarating/scary thing one can experience. Potentially dangerous, but certainly exciting. And because of those few seconds spent having no idea what awaits us at the end of our jump, we start feeling a whole host of energetic emotions: anxiety, fear, regret, anger, excitement, etc. The list goes on and on, and we’ve all been there so I’m sure you’re finishing that list in your head right now. Most of us expend way more energy than is needed or beneficial by worrying about or obsessing over our perceived problems and, in a world where sleep is a commodity and unhelpful energies are floating all around us, its important to learn how to contain your own positive energy as much as is useful. I hope this entry helps jog thoughts about how you can learn to reserve and protect your useful energies by better understanding the things we have control over and the things we don’t. Maybe then, we can all hold onto our sanity a bit tighter, and find that we don’t need that metal armor of steel or the fourth espresso of the day. Perhaps we can just enjoy the freedom in the fall.
In Thinking About Free Falling…
I’m reminded of a quote I came across a few days ago:
“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.”
The Buddhist meditation teacher Chogyam Trungpa spoke those words in an effort to alleviate fears and worries about life, or at least thats why I imagine those words were spoken. Although, I gotta be honest with you, the first time I read that I thought, “Great. I’d almost rather hit the ground and splat than continue to free fall without an end in sight.” I had that thought for a good 48 hours before the words popped into my head again, but this time I understood them and their implications differently. Instead of seeing the fall as a constant plunge into despair, I began to see the fall as an adrenaline pumping, heart racing, dare devil dive into the unknown. And precisely because there is no ground, it really is a dive into the unknown— there is no way of knowing what awaits, if anything, at the so called “end” of the plummet. But thats not important. The end, the destination, the goal, the top of the mountain, the “I’d like to thank the Academy” speech should not dictate why we do the things we do. The fall, the experience, the rush of blood to our cheeks, the thrill of life should be dictating our decisions and choices. It’s quite remarkable when you begin to think of all living beings as dare devil adrenaline junkies, jumping out of planes without parachutes, not knowing what it is that we’re falling to. And the best part? We didn’t even realize that’s what we had signed up for. And the next best part? Most of us STILL don’t realize it and fail to recognize our part in this fall we call life. I am certainly not exempt from this either, although I like to think that I go back and forth from wishing there was a ground to end my fall to hollering and whooping at the top of my lungs as the wind rushes past my face (hopefully resting in the latter more so than the former).
Better yet, what’s incredible about all of this is our ability to choose how we wish to view and experience that free fall. In our darkest moments, its imperative to remember that while we may not have anything to grasp onto, to pull us up, to “save” us, we actually don’t need anything to grasp onto because there is nothing to be pulled up from. We don’t need to be saved from anything, because there is no ground. There is no end, only now. We better learn to become comfortable in this now, in this fall into the unknown, because it looks like we’ll be stuck here for a while. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather my photos on Instagram documenting the whole thing to be flattering, so I’m gonna start practicing my smile now, even if the wind feels like its blowing the skin off my face and I have no idea what I may be falling into. At least I’ll be free. Free falling. Thanks Tom Petty.