Now is the Time to Lean Forward

With all of the negative press out there about the dire state of the economy and financial markets, my inclination, like many Americans’, is to pull back and conserve  resources. However, my gut tells me that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. It seems to me that success in life favors the brave–those people willing to do what seems counterintuitive.

While contemplating my decisions to press forward with my plans to self publish my new book, Aha! Moments: When Intellect and Intuition Collide , I realized that the conservative thing to do would be to delay spending the dollars to make it happen until the economy had turned around and my cash flow situation had improved. But, my intuition is so strong on this, I feel compelled to move forward, despite logic and the news of the day telling me to pull back. When moments of fear rose up this past week, an image of a life-changing event popped into my head and gave me the courage to “lean forward” and go for it!

Almost ten years ago, I splurged and treated myself to a week at Miraval Resort & Spa outside of Tuscon, Arizona. With all of the different inspiring activities and programs you could participate in, it was just what I needed to launch myself into my 40’s. One activity that had a particularly profound affect on me involved climbing a telephone pole, standing on top of it, and then jumping off!

The telephone pole had a ladder leaning against it, then you stepped on to spikes stuck in the side of the pole, and finally you stepped on to a metal disk attached to the top of the pole (and the disk was only nailed down in the middle, so it turned and wobbled when you tried to stand on it). We were carefully harnessed and attached to ropes, so despite fears about falling, we were safe from a fall to the ground. There were about 8 women participating that day.

Some of the women made it to the top fairly easily, some conquered fears simply by getting to the top of the ladder, and some just weren’t able to stand on that darn metal disk. I was one of those and had a big bruise forming to prove my slip off the pole. “Would anyone like to try again?” said the instructor. She was staring right at me. I said nothing. “Okay, I guess we’re done,” she said. “Wait,” I said. “I want to try again.” So, we discussed how I could approach the challenge differently, then I began to climb up.

When I reached the top of the pole, I put one foot on the metal disk and had one foot safely on the spike on the side. I froze. I couldn’t figure out how to step up to the top without falling. My teammates that day were yelling encouragement, as if we’d known each other for years instead of for an hour or two. One woman yelled up, “lean forward.” “I know it seems counterintuitive, but if you lean forward and step up, you’ll be able to stand up.”

I thought she was nuts. “Lean forward!” Was she kidding? I’d launch myself right over the top and fall (and even though I knew I wouldn’t really fall, it didn’t help). I probably only stood there for less than a minute, but it felt like a long time. I kept replaying her advice in my mind. All of a sudden I decided to go for it. I leaned forward and launched myself up. I’ve had many rewarding experiences in my life, but I’ve got to say that standing on top of that telephone pole was one of the high points (ha! ha!) of my life. I felt like king of the hill and didn’t want to come down.

When the instructor told me it was time to end my “reign,” I literally leapt off the pole and shouted, “I’m flying,” as my new friends safely and slowly brought me down. I’ve got a grin on my face right now just remembering the experience. So, now I’m confidently “leaning forward” despite what logic and the world might say. I intend to stand tall, thankful that I chose to invest and move forward, while others chose to pull back.

What about you? Do you have a memory that you can pull up to remind you to keep moving forward despite your fears? Where in your life have you started to pull back when your heart and soul are calling you forward? This isn’t a call to wildly spend money on frivolous things, but to keep investing in yourself and your dreams. Your soul knows the right next step for you. Trust it when it calls you to attend a class, invest in a product or service that lights you up, or spend time and money replenishing your energy.

And, lean forward!

One Response to “Now is the Time to Lean Forward”

  1. Giovanna says:

    Thanks for this. It really helped me out!

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