I stand at the edge of the cornice; the fog is thick so I am not entirely sure where the edge is. My two friends are on either side of me and we are all tentatively waiting for one of us to jump off the fragile lip into the unknown steep, snowy terrain below. Suddenly Jay, the most accomplished skier of the three of us leaps. I see him make one great turn and he is swallowed by the thick white cloud.
My remaining friend and I look at each other and I’m afraid. I feel for where the ground ends and the air begins with my ski pole. Andrea suddenly disappears over the precipice and I don’t hear any cries of distress so I’m sure she is riding the adrenaline that deep snow and perfect turns provides.
I am alone and now must make the decision to trust my abilities and my equipment and go for it, or take the safe route and meet up with them at the bottom. I choose to risk what could be an unpleasant fall and jump the overhang. As soon as I commit I have the thought that this kind of skiing is for people much younger than me. Suddenly I am airborne and must now focus and relax all at once. My skiis connect with the ground and it is important to find my center of gravity quickly or I will end up exhausting myself digging out from what will be an epic fall. I survive the first turn and now trusting in myself I relax and enjoy the feeling of flying downhill.
Life is often much like that steep, blind cornice. Unknown terrain that requires a measurable amount of trust in order to jump in and fly. I’ve had many falls and injuries over my decades of skiing and yet the cold air and the thrill continued to outweigh the risk and I would return year after year. Sometimes I stand on the edge of my life, testing the safety factor for much longer than when I stood on top of that steep mountain. I forget that I can have that same courage in my personal life, I just have to be willing to take the risk, to trust my abilities, and jump into the unforeseen with abandon.
I am at the edge, about to leap into a new way of living, discarding much of what has been familiar for so long. Just like that memorable day of skiing, this leap is mixed with excitement and fear, but I am ready. When fear or doubt seeps in, I remind myself that I will have enough. In 300 square feet I will have running water, heat, a place to store and prepare food. There is a comfortable spot to read, write, create art or binge on Netflix. I have a cozy loft to nap with the soon to come rain and snow. I have enough work and money to take care of myself and also practice generosity. I have enough.
Be well and live abundantly!