"'Come to the edge,' he said.
They said, 'We are afraid.'
'Come to the edge,' he said.
He pushed them.
And they flew."
My father loved to tell the story of how he learned to swim.
Long ago in Karlsruhe, Germany, my dad was a 6-year old tagging along with his big brother on a date. They had ridden their bikes to the Rhine River and my uncle was big-talking to his sweetheart about his swimming prowess. (Neither my father nor my uncle knew how to swim at this point, though my father really wanted to learn).
My dad called him out on it, to which my embarrassed uncle responded with brute big brother energy. He ripped the tire off of his bike, wound it around my father a couple of times, blew the air back into it with his hand pump, and chucked him into the river.
(Sidebar: I ought to be horrified by this, but I’ve known this story my whole life and can only ever see it through the animated filter of Bugs Bunny.)
He floated, of course. Bobbing alongside my uncle and his nonplussed girlfriend. And pretty soon his arms and legs caught on.
Ready or not, he learned to swim that day.
One event that had the same effect on me was watching a full lunar eclipse. I felt like I was walking along and someone hurled me into frigid waters.
I bobbed along in shocked disorientation for a while, then my arms and legs caught on and I began to swim.
Maybe you feel it too. Have any world-changing epiphanies doused your reality? Do you feel the rug coming out from under you? Are you rethinking EVERYTHING you’re doing in a current venture? Are your rethinking EVERYTHING period?
Yes, yes. You’re in excellent company. And now that the dust has settled (for now), you may be grappling with what's next. Like, what to actually DO about it.
I have seen what is next for me in my business. And it is huge and bright. And try as I might, I cannot unsee it.
(And why might I try to unsee it? Because the brilliance is blinding. Same reason we always try to dim the light.)
But it’s here. Because although I feel like I got chucked into the Rhine unexpectedly, I’ve been yearning for this expansion - dreaming of it, praying for it, conjuring it.
And, ready or not, it’s here. And it’s hungry.
So this past week I’ve been feeding it a steady diet of my limitations. For every “I can’t” and “I don’t know how” that has shown up (and there have been plenty), I’ve been hurling them into the gaping mouth of the volcano of my desires. (The ensuing lava flares and fire fountain I envision are Bugs Bunny calibre.) In with the limitations go old habits, beliefs, and stories.
It’s not always this easy. Except when it is.
And then I breathe into the space that just created.
If you’re on the precipice of your desires, whether you’ve thoughtfully and carefully navigated your way there, or you’ve been thrust into them by cosmic intervention, trust that your legs and arms will carry you. You will learn to swim. But to actualize your expansion, you will need to lighten your load.
Ready or not, there are many more eclipses on the horizon.