How my leap of faith process might help you with yours
Somewhere on the interwebs, the phrase ‘leap of faith’ is described as “an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved.”
For me, that is both terrifying and deeply comforting. A dichotomy, I realize. It also means; however, that others have searched for the term, that I’m not alone in this time of change. The famous google search when in a moment of crisis. If you are on the precipice of making a huge decision, read on and see if the process I use is of any help.
“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” – Margaret Shepard
The different types of leaps and my crazy story
There are many types of ‘leaps of faith’ in all parts of life. Hopefully, we take at least little ones every day; getting out of bed in the morning, cooking something delicious for someone you love (or to be that loved someone doing the tasting), traveling to a new city, trying yoga for the first time, or moving across the ocean.
For me, as I write, it’s a leap of faith in moving across an ocean.
For me, as I write, it’s a leap of faith in moving across an ocean. The US to Europe to be more specific. For love. And a career change. And to scratch my travel itch again. Did I mention I don’t have my visa in hand yet? Or a specific ‘job’ lined up? Or a partner that is 1000% sure we are ready for such a journey? Nether one of us is 1000% sure – but no one ever is sure about anything under the influence of that sassy love hormone (unless you’re plain crazy, in my opinion).
It all started when I fell in love (first leap of faith), with a German student on his half year internship abroad (second leap… pick one). Fast forward over those six months of road tripping in 10 different states, introducing him to my *unique* extended family in Montana – and then to his parents on their US vacation, meeting my childhood friends in Minnesota, hiking a ’14er,’ and countless other jaunts around Colorado (from the desert to brewery tours).
Then, we decided to really make things interesting and commit to a long distance relationship the next six months (for the Spanish immersion portion of his studies) where I visited him in three total Latin American countries to round out our year (I lost track of the mini leaps of faith in there). Then we had a decision to make when he returned to Germany to complete his last year of study.
Piece of cake to move to Europe with the beautiful, tri-lingual boyfriend, right? Ha!
You would think could say I feel comfortable taking this next large leap of faith in moving to Europe – especially because I’ve lived in four total countries before, the longest and furthest during grad school in South Korea. Piece of cake to move to Europe with the beautiful, tri-lingual boyfriend, right? Ha!
Before you make a leap of faith – listen to the universe, or your gut, whatever you call it
I am a firm believer in the energy of people, the universe, what have you. Call it a gut feeling, intuition, etc. It’s all the same (you have to have some belief in the exchange of energy as a yoga teacher, it’s like a rule or something). Anyway, take a few days and just listen. What is the universe saying to you? It may sound hokey or weird or totally sane. Just do it. You’ll be surprised at the answers that come up out of no where. Write them down, talk about them with someone you trust or just go for a run or yoga class and let them digest. You are capable of a lot if you just give yourself time to mull over things.
Be aware, what you focus on, becomes what you hear and see more of
But be careful. Be aware. No matter the logic or reason we give ourselves when it comes to taking leaps of faith, I have found the mind is a positive tool to either jump, or stay put. There will always be reasons or nay-sayers to back that Negative Nelly attitude, while at the same as there will always be positive signs and friends who affirm your need for Faith-jumping.
It is what you pay attention to, that will seem to come up time and time again to confirm your need for either the positive or negative.
Think about it – much like that psychology experiment that tells you to focus on the color green, and the next day as you walk down the street you see green business signs, green lights, trees, etc. that seem to pop out at you from no where. The mind will focus on where you lead it, so don’t let the excuse come up that you keep hearing horror stories of people that took the faith leap you’re considering, when the horror is all you think about and concentrate on.
So, essentially, we are using our gifts and leaping into love.
Let the definition breakdown help you see what matters
Soren Kierkegaard is credited with the creation of the phrase, but as in ‘leap to faith’ or ‘leap by faith.’ Therefore, I see it as a gift of love, if the very definition of the divine is love. Faith can also be seen as a gift from the divine, so essentially, we are using our gifts and leaping into love. The love to trust things will be OK, even if they turn out much more differently than anticipated.
Make the decision, and don’t look back
And really, at some point all the confusing thoughts need to be brushed out, and a guttural feeling needs to take over for a final decision to be made. In the end, my decision always comes down to if not taking the leap would be too much of a regret to bear. In my case, I decided to move to Europe in the end. I looked past the judgey comments and chose to concentrate on friends and family that were insanely excited for me. I knew after a lot of contemplation, that it was just right for me. Wherever the decision ends up taking me, I’m ready.
For me, leaps of faith become much clearer with this process. And don’t you dare let the what-ifs eat you. Stick with your decision, and just faith-leap. The stuff that is worthwhile in life always starts off as a bit scary in the beginning. That’s what makes it an exciting story to tell in the end, and what living life to the fullest is all about.
So, tell me, when was the last time you made a leap of faith?