Leap of Faith…or Zip Lining over the Cloud Forest of Mindo, Ecuador

Hello my Beautiful You friends,

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December 29, 2013

There is something absolutely freeing about dangling in a harness connected to two wires that traverse a ravine of trees, the treetops at least fifty feet below, and zipping across the wide expanse of jungle.  It’s fabulous for kindling old fears too.

As we drove from our hotel in Mindo, Ecuador up the winding, rocky, bumpy, ditch strewn dirt road, I could feel my heart bumping inside my chest.  Was I afraid?  Was I excited?  Was I nervous, anxious, looking forward to the experience?  Regretting it before it even happened?  Yes, to all those things.  But what I was most thrilled about was the opportunity this experience presented:  I could stay in my old fears of disappointing my family because I was too afraid to do something they all seemed so easily able to do – leap off the high cliffs of Lake Powell into the awaiting green water far, far, far below; ski down Black Diamond runs with grace and ease, not with knee knocking fear or tears; or even eat truly stomach churning foods and like it.  OR, I could let all that go, embrace the new, and allow myself to be willing and open to whatever this experience presented to me.

I chose the latter and am so thankful that I did.  I had so much fun.  The best part?  It wasn’t scary at all.  It was thrilling, and the butterflies in my stomach were having a party adding to my giggles.  And the awe and wonder of being so high above the ground speeding across each of the ravines (on ten different zip lines) was breath-taking and breath-filling.  Each time we landed and were unharnessed from the zip lines, we had to hike up a twisting, dirt path in the Cloud Forest (think lush, verdant, and oh, so green jungle,) climbing higher and higher in elevation, huffing and puffing for breath at 8,000 feet.  Shaking with the adrenaline rush of doing something I really didn’t think, know, I could do, was exhilarating and enlightening.  My cheeks hurt from smiling so hard and to be able to share this adventure with my son, my mom, and my sister made this day a truly special one.

What I learned and what I hope you, my Beautiful You friends, can take away from my little adventure is that we are only as limited as we choose to be.  I chose to step beyond my old perceptions of what I thought I was capable of.  Was choosing to go zip lining a life or death decision?  No, not even close, but it was symbolic of what I have been trying to do thus far over the last year – getting out of my own way, with the intention of growing ever closer to my Self, expanding my perceptions of who and what I am, and of who and what I am capable of becoming.  I like this new Shannon – a little less fearful, a little more adventurous, and a whole lot more healed.

So, what is one thing you can do that might act as a symbolic step into the new, expanding you?  Eat a new food?  Try a different path to work?  Wear a bright color that you’ve never worn before?  Get that tattoo that you’ve always wanted but been too concerned with what others might think?  Remember at the core of The Beautiful You Project, is YOU.  This journey is about exploring who you are and who you want to become, all the while KNOWING that you are good enough just because you are YOU.  Everything else is just the icing and the colorful sprinkles and candles on the cake that is this glorious Life.

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?!

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