Safety Not Guaranteed
How many times have you stopped yourself from acting on something (or someone) because you couldn’t see a clear outcome?
Or because you’d been hurt before in a similar situation and weren’t willing to put yourself in that place of vulnerability again?
I know that my greatest regrets in life have been when I’ve erred on the side of safety.
Yet, in retrospect, I watch the aftermath of that—something in me contracts and I then have to deal with the karmic waves reverberating through my life for months.
All because I hesitated in a crucial instant.
I was looking for a guarantee.
Life hands us these delicate moments, inviting us to go the next level.
Someone opens their heart to us and asks us to join them.
A portal in the universe emerges and says “Yes, you can, but you have to go NOW!”
There is no second guessing in these moments.
It’s now or never.
If we hesitate, or we want more evidence, the door closes.
The universe stops, rearranges itself and the moment may morph into something else.
But it never repeats.
It’s a beautiful paradox of life, that we have to be alert to these moments.
Yet, I don’t think it’s an alertness we can have in our heads.
We have to have it in our hearts.
Or our genitals (such excellent decision-making devices when they are attuned—twitching like tuning forks).
We can’t think our way through these precipices.
We have to feel.
This is something I think about a lot—how can I train myself to be a better jumper?
To observe the moment and act on it?
In a split second??
The answer lies in the things that get us out of our heads. And into our bodies and feelings.
I’m reviving my surfing while I’m here in Bali.
Surfing is such a great example of spotting moments, catching them, and riding them.
The wave seizing becomes second nature.
Cultivate a practice of jumping.
Force yourself to do something every day that is out of your comfort zone.
I know this sounds like a Lululemon-workout-affirmation-bag cliche (and it totally is), but it’s true.
If you look at the art of catching moments as training; training for catching bigger, more important, reality-altering moments, it’s a skill to take very seriously.
Yesterday I wanted to find a yoga class. I had a vague map and a few estimates as to how far it was away.
I could have jumped in a taxi.
But I decided to rent a motorbike.
I haven’t ridden one in 14 years. Oh, but I’ve missed it.
I had a two-minute tutorial, a three-minute, parking-lot practice run and then I grabbed the map and off I went.
I realized, as I was soaring through the 17-opposing-lanes-city traffic and eventually out to the rice fields, that I’d made the right choice.
I’d made the choice that placed me outside of my comfort zone and exposed me to life.
Then I started thinking about what I would do the next day to challenge myself.
The title of this post is taken from a beautiful movie I saw on the plane over to Bali: _Safety Not Guaranteed._
Throughout the movie, you see examples of what life demands as the price of admission to something greater:
A willingness to give up knowing the answer.
Being open to jumping into uncertainty.
How can you train yourself to be more open to moment-jumping?
Think of what that means for you.
This skill is the key to everything in life:
Deep, soul-searing love.
Finding your dharma and the gifts you came here to give.
How can you become a better jumper?
How can you raise the stakes in your life?