To Jump or NOT To Jump

Posted by Nicki Peasley 2 Comments


I did NOT jump out of a plane this weekend. And I am celebrating that.

Here’s how it went down.

At the beginning of my 40th year (a month after I turned 39), I told my husband that I wanted to jump out of a plane for my 40th birthday.

The ultimate surrender, I said.

The quintessential screw you to my good friend, FEAR.   Yes!  Badassness, here I come.  (See you in a year)!

Hubby did not disappoint. On July 14, he presented me with a scroll of skydiving information and a tandem jump reservation at Skydive Orange—wrapped up in a pretty pink bow.

It’s on, he said.

And I sunk.

Since the birth of this brilliant idea a year ago, I’ve been dealing with some panic issues.  Despite my best efforts toward mindful living, sometimes those pesky brain chemicals get the best of me… and my body pays the price.

So, a week before go time, I found myself in a heated battle with my inner warrior and my inner lover.

Said Warrior, Come on, we can push through the pain of this thing.  What’s a little panic?

To which Lover responded, Give your body a break, for Heavens sake!  How about honoring your physicality like you honor your spirituality?

And the debate went on and on… until I silenced them both. 

Enough! (I love my word of the year).  I hereby declare that I am in control of this situation and I am giving myself permission to decide my fate on game day.  To listen to my gut and choose the path that feels right to me—to jump or not to jump.  Either path will allow for transformational learning, no doubt.   So, thank you very much for your opinions, Warrior and Lover.  I’ll take it from here.

And game day came (in a hurry).  A beautiful morning. With open mind, open heart, and free will, I strutted into Skydive Orange.  I watched the video.  I took the class.  And I marveled at my husband flying through the sky and landing in triumph and exaltation!

AWESOME! he declared.  Honey, you gotta do this.  You ready?

And when I checked in with myself, I felt… well, not much of anything.  No real fear. Pretty calm actually.  A little hungry.  And even a little bored.  (We’d been there a while).

Huh.  OK, well, sure, let’s do this.  Cool.

And still a nagging sense of some truth that was asking for attention. 

So I courageously posed the question that was waiting so very patiently to be asked.

Nicki Peasley, do you WANT to jump out of a plane?

And I heard a timid, yet true voice within whisper, I don’t think so.  What I want… is JOY. 

Yes.  Joy.  I’ve been hearing that a lot lately.

So I asked Mike, Honey, did jumping out of that plane bring you joy?

Hell yeah.  he said.  It was a thrill.  I love thrills.

Yes, I said to myself.  He does love thrills.  And-- I don’t.

Huh.  Fascinating. 

And then a really loud voice in my head said,  So what that you don’t like thrills.  This isn’t about what you like. This is about being a badass. This is about saying you jumped out of a plane.  

Ahh, there it was.  That value of accomplishment leering its ugly egoic head.  (It has more attractive heads, too, that serve me well—but not in this case).

And I realized, in that moment, that the life lesson in this for me was NOT to jump. To surrender to what I wanted, rather than what I wanted to prove.

I shed a few tears as we pulled out of the parking lot, allowing myself a short and sweet pity party for the loss of a check mark on my list of life accomplishments.  (Ridiculous, I know, AND how I roll).

But man. What a free fall I did experience!  Right into the light of my own truth.   And yes, that is a thrill I can dig!

And the best part of the weekend was yet to come. Cruising down a country road in the jeep with the top down; John Lennon serenading me; my husband holding my hand; eating a Twix bar.  

Now that’s my kind of joy.

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Small Nicki Peasley I am the CEO of my home, managing a team consisting of a 40 year old, an 11 year old, an 8 year old, and a 6 year old. In my spare time, I am the YOUth development director for Bounce, writing curriculums and working (playing and learning) with elementary and middle school youth.


Ann D. said:

Love it, Nicki. I had supreme confidence you would bring your most courageous self to this endeavor, and you did!

08/15/2012 at 07:20 pm

L. said:

Beautiful. Way to listen to your heart and do (or not do) exactly what you needed. Being honest with yourself is so much harder to just go with the flow. I admire your courage!

08/26/2012 at 10:06 pm

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