Leaping Into the Great Unknown
After months of planning, selling, saving, waiting, and praying, all that was left to do was to actually GO. The night before our departure – the big leap into the great unknown, we were all a bit nervous. As I put my son, Hayden, to bed he said, “Mom, I have butterflies in my stomach. Maybe we shouldn’t go.
I knew exactly what he was feeling. I’ve been in this situation many times before; the night before leaving for college, driving to the hospital to have a baby, strapping myself into a new roller coaster ride, or taking on a new business venture. It’s always the same cycle; I eagerly anticipate it until the moment actually arrives and then that limbic part of my brain (that’s in charge of self-preservation) kicks in and wants to shut the whole thing down. Tonight was no different. Even though my house was occupied with renters and our possessions were in storage, a part of my brain was panicking and wanting to go back to the familiar, not wanting to risk failure by moving forward into an unknown future.
In moments like these I have to choose between my head and my heart. Will I listen to my head trying to make rational sense of the situation? Or will I listen to my soul as it encourages me to expand my horizons and grow? Deep down I know that every time I’ve followed my spirit, I’ve never regretted it. All that’s left to do is to make the choice – take action.
As I lay next to my son, stroking his hair in the dark and listening to his chest rise and fall, I recalled a sage piece of advice someone had given me once. Our bodies experience excitement and fear with the same flush of biological reactions. We choose in our minds which label to attach to the experience.
When I shared this with Hayden he took a moment to think about it and then simply said, “My butterflies are excited.” I squeezed him and replied, “Mine too, buddy.”
The next morning we took the leap, and haven’t looked back since.