Cliff Diving – the sport of my inner critic

In being coached by my friend Karen she walked me through launching yet another magnificent change in life that includes a financial leap … like any leap I’m feeling fear. The fear of falling flat on my face, or in this case the fear of being hurtled down a cliff and splattered to my gory death … an analogy for certain. Can you say ‘drama queen?’

The image that came to mind, while she coached me, was clinging to the side of a sandy cliff grasping at shreds of  roots that stuck out from the ledge, which came away like handfuls of wispy  hair. “WHAT … !!!! THE F**K ARE YOU DOING!!??” (that gentle, friendly, familiar Inner Critic I carry between my ears bellowed).

My first observation: unlike the past, where my Inner Critic likes to live, my real world wonderful friends and amazing family would be a stop gap … they’d help. But somehow when we’re in that scary neighborhood of The Critical Mind, real current life seems to vanish and all I can seem to remember is this distorted “you’re screwed” message.

My second observation: learning to walk is a series of movements that, with each step, require that you fall, then trust that your mind and legs will remember what you do next … and catch you (apologies to any para brothers or sisters, this post is kind-of ablest) … so here I am in the midst of my coaching seeing clearly that this financial leap I’m taking is bringing out …. fear!

The next thing I knew Karen coached me to look down the cliff (eek) but as I ‘looked’ (in my minds eye) it seemed that the fall was an optical illusion … not a fall at all. Then she said look up (so we’re still talking figuratively here), only to see a beautiful clear blue sky above me (and if you know the Buddhist tiger story, I joked that I could eat the strawberries before plunging to my death).

I decided to climb to the top of the cliff (I’m not hallucinating, it’s a guided imagery silly) to unexpectedly discover that there was a lawn of lush, cut, beautiful green grass (this is all an analogy folks, Karen didn’t actually have me out on a cliff). What came to me later was … drum roll please … money is the color green!

What’s different between sitting atop a cliff, not knowing what’s coming, versus clawing at it worrying that death is imminent? It’s choice.

I can choose to believe that I’m waiting for an answer to my leap of faith, or I can cling to the side of my steep frightened inner cliff, similarly unsure if I’ll be taken care of, but all the while peeing my proverbial pants.

What leap of faith will you take today? What patch of green grass is calling to you? I don’t know you … but I for one believe in you … now … will you?

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