What's Your Next Leap of Faith?
"Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.
If we truly knew all the answers in advance
as to the meaning of life and the nature of God
and the destiny of our souls,
our belief would not be a leap of faith and
it would not be a courageous act of humanity;
it would just be... a prudent insurance policy."
Eat, Pray, Love
(A more accurate title might be "The Time I Got Rid of Everything I Owned.")
When is the last time you took a leap of faith?
What does "leap of faith" mean to you, anyway?
Some believe that it's about having virtue or being a "good" person or doing what's "right." And quite frankly, most people talk a good game about having faith, but when it comes to acting on their faith, they tend to cling tightly to their fears instead.
I believe that a leap of faith is trust in your quiet inner knowing, your connection to the Divine, to the gentle whispers of your soul (or the cosmic two-by-fours if the whispers aren't heeded)...which are often in direct contradiction to the life you think you are supposed to be living.
You receive whispers and inklings and sparks of inspiration all day long, each and every day. Some are simple, like "take a right turn NOW and try that new coffee shop" (when truth be told, you're already late and the last thing on your mind is stopping for coffee).
Some seem bigger, like "move across the country" (when you just bought new furniture) or "go work with dolphins" (when the closest dolphins are 1,000 miles away) or "take a month off" (when you are overwhelmed and don't think you can possibly slow down for even an hour).
The actions your inner guidance suggest will often seem inconvenient. Or irresponsible. Or really scary.
But these inklings are important. You are receiving them for a very good reason.
And you likely will not know what that reason is, especially in the moment.
The truth is, you don't need to know the reason. You don't need to be able to see the 5-year outcome (yes, I know you'd really, really, really LIKE to see the entire picture before you decide to take that leap of faith, thank you very much).
But leaps of faith don't work that way. (If they did, they'd be called a plan.)
And a leap of faith doesn't mean that everything turns out exactly the way you might want it to, or that the path is always easy-peasy.
You fling yourself off an imaginary cliff every time you act in faith, trusting that a net will appear, or that you will sprout wings, or that the ground will only be six inches below you.
Taking a leap of faith means that you trust yourself -- and the Universe -- enough to be able to handle whatever that path might bring...because leaps of faith are always about stretching you and growing you and supporting you along your journey.
In my experience, there are two ways to notice (and follow) your leaps of faith:
- Follow anything that brings you authentic joy. Note that real joy is different from the hyped-up, overly high feeling of excitement. Authentic joy is more quiet; it feels like all is well with you and the world.
- Follow anything that makes your body relax, even when your head is filled with fear. When I'm working with clients, we call this your Body Compass...you're looking for an expansive, open feeling in your body (the opposite is a tight, closed feeling). So when you have that open feeling in your body, take the leap of faith even when you're scared.
And listen for the quiet whisperings.
Oh, and that alternate title from above?
Several years ago, I woke up every morning for weeks with the phrase "start taking things off the walls" very quietly running through my head.
And I thought, "What?!?"
I had no plans to move, I loved all the things I had on the walls, and couldn't figure out why I would start taking things down. It didn't make any sense at all.
I talked about it with my closest friends. I was already good buddies with taking enormous leaps of faith, but this seemed crazy. I started having the feeling something big was coming, but I didn't want to take this action.
But the whisperings kept coming, morning after morning. And I don't take whisperings like that lightly.
I quietly meditated. I cried. I asked for answers, or at least a good reason why I was being invited to take this action. And the same message just kept coming.
So I finally started taking things off the walls. And immediately my body felt flooded with a overwhelming sense of peace.
I could not have possibly planned out what happened next (it led to me getting rid of practically everything I owned)...but it has been amazing in every way. And so incredibly worth it.
So now it's your turn. What little (or big) inklings have been nudging you?
What's your next leap of faith?