Learning the Ropes

“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” Coco Chanel

Have you ever wanted to do something but your fear of being told no kept you from even trying? That “no” doesn’t have to come from an outside source, sometimes the fear of no comes from within.

Eight years ago we crossed this bridge in France to go swimming.  It was my birthday.  We were in France to study with our master yoga teacher and he took the class out for a swim.  Up until this point, I often found myself really wanting to do fun things, but was afraid to do them for one reason or another.  Many times I would find myself sitting on the sidelines watching the fun, but too embarrassed to ask to join in.  For some reason, on this day I overcame that trepidation.
Across the water on the other bank, there was a group of young people swinging from a tree rope into the water. It looked like a lot of fun. I’ve seen it done in movies and I guess you could say that was on my imaginary bucket list. Normally I wouldn’t even get in this water, but that particular day drew out the adventurer in me.  I told Robbie I was going to swing from that rope. He told me he would watch.  I swam over to the other side and had to climb up a small cliff made up of slippery rocks. My upper body strength wasn’t what I needed to achieve upward mobility by myself, but not getting up that cliff wasn’t an option for me that day.  A young man came over. He spoke no English. I spoke no French. But, he gave me a boost and helped get me up the rocks.

The ‘any other day Wendy’ would have just swam back to the other side and been sad that I hadn’t been able to swing on that rope.  But ‘THAT day Wendy’ was on a mission for some fun!  Once I got up the cliff, the boys motioned me over to ‘show me the ropes’.  I grabbed it took a deep breath in and went swinging out over the water. I let go of the rope and splashed into the water. The thought still makes me giggle. I felt exhilarated. Literally I had just let go of my fear and plunged into the unknown.

The unknown can be be a ominous place to envision. It can immobilize our bodies and minds so that we get stuck in a rut of the same old same old.  But, it can also have deep rewards when we grab the rope and go for a swing. As it turns out, that day was the beginning of letting my adventuresome side out a little more.

What adventure have you been wanting to try but that little word, “no” has kept you at bay? Where can you accept a boost up so you can explore your own adventures?  I would love to hear all about it.
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