Sample Story:

A Jump of Faith, by Carol Le Neveu

I'd been backpacking through New Zealand, having left my law practice two months earlier. The trip was a continuation of the journey of the self-discovery I'd been on for the last two and a half years. I'd become a self-help junkie, as I tried desperately to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, reading dozens of books, attended scores of workshops and lectures. It was difficult to practice family law while undergoing this intense inner searching, so I gave myself a deadline of Christmas 1996, at which time I planned to leave law behind and take refuge in the green and clean land of the kiwi.

In addition to being an oasis of beauty, New Zealand is a thrill seeker's paradise.
At every stop, travelers are bombarded with ads for a myriad of outdoor adventures. Bungy jumping, white-water rafting, caving sand dune tobogganing. I had decided to do a glacier hike, a wild speedboat ride, some cave walking, maybe a helicopter tour. As for the really dangerous, really radical stuff, no thank you. I like my feet on terra firma...

So then why is it that everywhere I went I couldn't take my eyes off the ads for tandem skydiving? Why was I so incredibly drawn to the ads considering it was something that I was never going to do?!!

The small town of Taupo, New Zealand, on the shores of beautiful Lake Taupo, is famous for its tandem skydiving. On my travels to Taupo, New Zealand, a force seemed to come over me. Before I realized what I was doing, I'd signed up for a jump, scheduled for the next day. As the evening wore on, the enormity of my decision began to weigh on me. What had I done? Was I completely mad? Had I forgotten about the article in the paper three weeks earlier about the tandem pair whose parachute had failed to open? Right here in Taupo?

I could still back out "No.. I had backed down on too many challenges in my life. I felt very certain of one thing." I had to do this.

That night I couldn't sleep. I was a nervous wreck. My stomach was in knots, my heart was racing. In my mind, I was falling, trying to grasp thin air. My breakthrough finally came at five in the morning. What was I afraid of? Death. Yes, it was death that scared me. Suddenly I saw my life. I had lived well. I had loved. I had laughed. I had cried. I had pushed through my fears and doubts and had left the legal world for the thrill of an unknown future. I already was a success. Jumping out of an airplane had been the one thing I thought I would never do. Now I was doing it. If I died, I would die knowing that I had overcome the greatest fear of my life. A calm descended over my body, and I fell into a sound sleep.

The next morning we drove out to the airfield. No paved runways, just grass. In the hangar, I saw the plane. That's the plane? It had one seat for the pilot and a few feet of floor space for the jumpers. No standing room, just sitting on the floor. I paid my money, signed a waiver, put on my coveralls, soft helmet and goggles, and tried to stay calm. Impossible. My heart was pounding. Every nerve was on end.

Ascending, I tried to think about where I was and what I was about to do. Just going on a nice airplane ride. My tandem guide Greg strapped me to his body. He was behind me. He had the parachute. In about seven minutes we were up to our prescribed altitude of 10,000 feet. The door flew open. The first pair of jumpers edged their way over to the door. In a second they were gone. Now it was our turn. Without thinking, I shuffled to the door. Don't look down. Two miles of nothing. Sitting in the doorway, I hooked my legs under the body of the plane. Greg yelled out "Big banana" and I arched my back. He yelled something else and we were gone.

We were falling, everything was spinning. In a few moments, we stabilized. Two bodies spreadeagled, horizontally rushing through space. Soon we hit terminal velocity, 200 kilometres an hour. 1000 feet every five seconds. It didn't feel like we were falling anymore, rather that we were suspended in midair, except the wind was roaring in my ears, the pressure on my face incredible and the ground was getting closer. 30 seconds of free fall. Suddenly I felt a gentle tug and we were upright. The chute had opened. Thank you Greg, thank you God. There was a perfect silence and we floated down softly. With shaky hands, I took my camera out of my coveralls and snapped a few photos. After a smooth landing, I hugged Greg, and thanked him for his strength, his skill and his calm reassurance.

Back in town, I was walking on clouds. I had done it! I knew in that moment that I was forever changed. I had faced my greatest fear. I had jumped out of an airplane. I knew that there was nothing, nothing, I could not do. I hadn't become fearless. Just courageous. While I still couldn't see the particulars, I knew my life was about to begin.

That courage allowed me to acknowledge my greatness. That courage emboldened me several months later to begin my own business as a holistic career consultant and life purpose coach. While Career Conscious Consulting operates in Toronto, it had its genesis in Taupo. I know why I was irresistibly drawn to those ads. Knowing what was in store for me, my higher self was preparing me, helping me to develop the courage I would need to live my dreams. And now when I speak to groups, or to my clients, I share this advice. Listen to your intuition. Follow your leads. Face your fear and trust. The universe will bring you everything you need. I guarantee it!

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