Some call it a leap of faith when you take a jump into the unknown. But what is the unknown, really? What do we really not know anymore? Everything seems so premeditated, so measured and analyzed. In fact, when in uncertain situations, we tend to do as much analysis as possible to try to figure out the outcome. Even a little bit of control helps calm the discomfort of not knowing.
Not knowing. Free-falling. Having no idea where or when you are going to land, but knowing somehow everything is going to be okay.
Last winter, I had the pleasure of interviewing a few of the world’s greatest extreme athletes about how they prepared themselves for what I call a “leap of faith.” Both legendary snowboarders Travis Rice and Bryan Iguchi spoke on trusting your gut and also the importance of visualizing the landing. “If you can’t visualize the landing, it’s not likely that it’s going to work out,” said Rice. Iguchi agreed on this saying that when you visualize the landing you have a focus you can rely on when something unexpected shows up. By having an end result clear in the mind, you are able to make adjustments to navigate through the surprises that pretty much always occur.
Five years ago, I took my own leap of faith. I opened Spirit: Books, Gifts, Life, a small metaphysical book and gift store in Wilson, Wyoming. To the surprise of many, I followed my heart rather than my brain and just went for it in hopes that a place in Jackson Hole that promoted mindfulness, spiritual seeking, intuition and holistic well-being would thrive. In hindsight, I realize I didn’t have a clear vision of landing—only a desire.
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Today, I am confronted with the truth that faith and desire are not the same thing. Faith is knowing and trusting “the landing” in your heart. Desire… not so much. Desire is longing, it is reaching toward something that is not inside yourself. Yes, it certainly is a catalyst that can move toward faith, but energetically it is a different thing. Often desire, just like hope, relies on outer circumstances to bring something to fruition.
According to Wikipedia, a “free fall” in Newtonian physics is “any motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it.” Like a dandelion seed in the wind, my store is floating and I have no clear vision of landing. I have lifted the influences of of my desires and where I am headed as a store owner is up to gravity.
I genuinely don’t know if Spirit will continue to serve our mountain community as the little store in Wilson that it has been. I recently sent out a letter to the store’s 1000 email supporters letting everyone know that I am ready for a transition—I’m ready for more flexibility and time to spend with my children and pursue other projects (including Teton Spirit magazine and website).
In making this decision, I too am free falling. I desperately love Spirit and desire to see it stay and grow, but my intention for more balance in my life has taken precedence over being the sole proprietor of the store and committing to visualizing a landing.
Today, I am confronted with the truth that faith and desire are not the same thing.
Is there anyone out there who is interested or has ideas? I’d be happy to be involved if others wanted to take over or collaborate on ownership and vision.
Not knowing is uncomfortable and scary, and my longing to control the outcome with analysis and desire keeping popping up (as they do for so many of my supportive customers). Luckily, I trust gravity and life. I do have faith that everything is going to be okay whatever the outcome. For the moment, it’s a wild ride.
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