I recently attended a Wedding with several pre-Wedding activities. The groom invited his Wedding guests to join him for a sky-diving experience in Pismo Beach. Sky-diving had not been on my ‘bucket list,’ but with the company of 12 other people who had consented to this invite, and the opportunity to take the leap while connected to an instructor, it was ‘now, or never.’
As the small plane was ascending to an altitude of 13,000 feet (to allow a full minute of a free fall before the parachute was pulled), I focused on mindful breathing to quiet my mind while feeling the tightening sensation of the harness being pulled around my body to secure me to my guide/ instructor, Alejandro. I set an intention of allowing this jump to be an exercise in staying as present as possible while letting go into the ‘unknown.’ Maybe this jump could be practice for BIGGER unknowns…
Stepping OUT of habits of mind
Finding the here and now…in my breath…in my body…
Moment by moment…ascending through clouds, then blue sky
Higher & higher.
I shared with Alejandro a bit about my meditation practice and he told me in the ‘free fall,’ given that the adrenalin rushes to the brain, it would be VERY IMPORTANT to really FEEL my breath. He emphasized that often, when stressed, what people forget to do is to BREATHE …really BREATHE.
Feeling the breath
Becoming the breath.
There was also a joke between us because I told him that I wanted a photo while in mid -air of folding my hands into a meditation pose of ‘Namaste.’ Then, just before we jumped, he playfully asked, ‘was that Namaste or ‘no mistake?’ So we shared a belly laugh just as I jumped.
It felt surreal to feel my feet dangling out of the small plane at 13,000 feet over the beach and ocean in Pismo Beach. I felt secure (like being in a papoose) with Alejandro and remembered to keep breathing as our bodies did somersaults for a full minute in the free fall.
Watching perspectives change
Right side up…up-side down…and all around
Body somersaulting again and again
Staying present with what keeps changing.
It was surprising that rather than feeling scared or out of control, my body felt like it was moving through the air in a graceful way.
I saw perspectives of the ocean, beach, houses and buildings from up-side down and right side up, and then before I knew it, Alejandro pulled the parachute and said, ‘It’s about going home now. Spread your arms and fly.’
I flew and shrieked with the joy of letting go MORE than I have done in this life time.
Joy is like this…
Wonder is like this…
Freedom is like this…
We descended as if riding a big swing through the sky with my whooping shouts of joy. As we landed, Alejandro thanked me for trusting him.
I did a few jumping jacks with joy upon touching the ground and my parachute clip hit my head, causing an immediate bump.
Who would have guessed that my (minor) injury was from the release of deeply feeling the pure thrill of letting go…loosening the grip of thought…learning to rest in thin air.
I have never known the experience of letting go in such a wakeful way.
It became a jump into wonder …a jump while feeling the support and holding presence of another…a jump that taught me something new and unforgettable about finding a refuge within myself and with another…while falling…and then floating through the sky.
Now, I know…I really ‘KNOW’ a freeing and even ecstatic quality of letting go.
This has become my truth, a part of me, now & always…
Finding my way home.