Yesterday I jumped out of a plane in Taupo for the Cancer Society. It was a fundraising event - raise $800 to jump 12,000 ft and $1000 to jump 15,000 ft. I raised $1070 with the generous support of my friends, family and colleagues (go ahead you can still donate)
Yesterday I jumped out of a plane in Taupo for the Cancer Society. It was a fundraising event - raise $800 to jump 12,000 ft and $1000 to jump 15,000 ft. I raised $1070 with the generous support of my friends, family and colleagues (go ahead you can still donate).
Why did I do it? And, how did it feel?
As with everything in life, it was simply a matter of timing.
A couple of months ago I realised that I hadn't tried anything new for a while - particularly in my personal world. Most of the challenges and courageous moments I had leant into were related to Magnetic Hub. I wasn't balancing the balls, placing too much emphasis on career and work and less on personal identity.
In that moment, I made a commitment to try more 'experiences' in life. To face fears and overcome perceived challenges.
I'll let you in on a secret right now. I'm a bit scared of flying. This really surprises people around me, because I travel constantly. I love travelling to new places and exploring the world, and the stubborn nature of my personality doesn't let the fear of flying get in the way of this!
One year ago I experienced my first panic attack on a plane, my worst experience to date. After that I committed to using meditation and breathing techniques on a flight to overcome my anxiety, and that has definitely helped (in addition to a bit of medication occasionally).
It would be safe to say that jumping out of a plane, at 15,000 ft, absolutely terrified me. I had a story and I was sticking to it: I am not the 'kind of person who would bungy jump or sky dive'.
In my moment of reflection and my commitment to try new experiences, I decided to change my story. I would jump out of a plane, and I would be okay.
As always, the Universe had a plan to make this commitment a reality (best accountability partner in the world!). The following week a post from the Cancer Society Waikato BOP started to pop up on my Facebook feed promoting their 'Jump for Cancer' fundraiser.
It was fate. I committed, fully in. Let's do this.
It felt entirely symbolic to face a fear like jumping out of a plane for cancer. Cancer hasn't had a significant role in my life, and I am fortunate to have friends and family who are survivors of cancer. These people are beautiful and strong, and fought the fight of their lives to get through their cancer journey.
If these incredible people could survive a fight with cancer, I could jump out of a plane and raise money for the Cancer Society. Easy.
So how was the jump?
I definitely surprised myself by how calm I was in the lead up to the jump. If I needed evidence that my meditation and yoga practice was helping me to be present in the moment - this was it!
I didn't spend any time imagining what the jump would feel like or be like. I just focussed on each step of the journey as it happened. Practically I found the right person at Skydive Taupo and asked if I could go in the second plane. I knew that the longer I stood around watching others jump, the harder that would be for me. I also watched the first jumpers land - beautifully - and that helped my brain wrap it's head around the process.
It definitely helped that my instructor had 20 years experience (and that he told me!) and, for the first time ever, I was completely comfortable to trust a stranger with my life in his hands.
You can watch the jump below - warning it is a 5 minute video. You get to watch the entire 60 second free-fall as it happens.
The feeling of free-falling out of a plane is like nothing else I've experienced. It was humbling and exhilarating at the same time. The surreality of the jump doesn't leave room for screaming or fear. I was completely awe-struck.
Our world is beautiful, it is majestic, and from 15,000 ft there is nothing more spectacular than seeing the landscape of New Zealand woven around the shape of the globe.
I opened my eyes wide (and my mouth) and tried to soak it all in. I really wanted to blend into the sky, and be completely present with the world around me.
If you are looking for a way to ground yourself with the Universe - seriously, go jump out of a plane. I would do it again in a heart beat. In fact I would love to travel to another country and see a different perspective of the world in my next jump.
What an incredible journey. Thank you to all my supporters for the opportunity. We raised over $26,000 for the Cancer Society, an incredible effort and amazing project to be involved in.
Right, now tell me, what fears are you facing this month?
I'm Michelle, based in Hamilton, raising two boys, a ginger cat and many vegetables. I have been involved with the work of Magnetic Hub since March 2015 and consider it 'home' in many ways. Accustomed to leading female-only groups, I continue to be energised by the beautiful wisdom that unfolds from women in a room, talking together. Read my musings and learn about our work - newsletter sign-up below... Enjoy. Michelle x