I believe we can be anyone

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best to make you like everybody else is to fight the hardest battle you can fight--but never stop fighting! E.E. Cummings

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chapter 1 The Decision: Just F'in Do It!!

On September 6, 2012, I had the honour of participating in the Easter Seals Dropzone fundraising event which is a wonderful charity that raises money for children, youth and adults with disabilities.  Since the event, I have been in a strange place of processing all that I have accomplished before, during and after Dropzone.  2012 has been an interesting year for me and this experience has been a big part of that.
My journey towards September 6, 2012 started about 7 years ago.  I was in a Personal Best course called “Living Fitt” and the facilitator asked the participants a question to the effect of:  “What is the one scary thing you can think of doing that could change your life?”  I immediately thought of Dropzone.  I wrote it down and then thought “I couldn’t do that.  That’s too scary (and insane!).” 

I forgot about it for a long time because I realize that I wasn’t ready at the time and also, the timing wasn't right.  But sometimes, we may never be ready and may need to take an opportunity when it presents itself or it could be gone forever.  Lucky for me, the opportunity presented itself again and I knew I needed to take it.  It felt completely right for me.

I have been on a personal growth journey since 2000 and it has been quite a ride, I have to say.  I did a number of things with Personal Best (now The Creator's Code) but also other courses and workshops over the years that have been quite instrumental in making huge shifts in my life.  At times, it’s been challenging and difficult to look at myself in such an intimate way but worth everything to get to a place in my life where I feel I am a really amazing person and I’m grateful for all that I have learnt along the way.
Links to some courses I have taken over the years.

I dropped away from Personal Best for a while and reconnected again this year.  At a community event in July, I won a course called “Ropes”.  I did “Ropes” back in 2001 and it was something I would never forget as an experience.  Over 11 years of personal growth and here I now was, given this gift to experience the course again and to see how much I have grown over that time.  

It felt like a “Marker” in my life and it was and felt like Divine intervention.  It was so meant to be.  I was so excited to take it again, not fearful like I was the first time around because it was completely unknown to me.  I knew on a spiritual level that this was something I needed to do again and I relished the opportunity.
On August 13, the day after the course was over, Dropzone just “happened” to come to my mind again.  We (the participants) had spent much of the weekend taking risks and it spurred that memory of Dropzone for me.  I started talking about it on Facebook and asked “How huge of a risk would it be to do Dropzone?” A couple friends supported me right away and said “Just do it.”  I knew if I brought others in my mix that it would give me the gentle “kick” in the pants and support that I needed. 
Over the next five days, I continued to talk about it, think about it, called Easter Seals and talked to them about it (who promptly told me they had enough registrants already, but that I would be number one on the waiting list.  Yikes!)  Then by the weekend, they opened up registration.  There it was again:  Divine Intervention.  By Saturday, I had registered online and then I thought “Oh shit.  Now it's official and I’ve committed!  It’s out there now.  Yikes!”; both with a mix of anxiousness and excitement.
I donated $100 to myself to get the ball rolling and my two friends donated $75. I went to Edmonton for a week and I collected another $20 from a friend while I was there.  When I got back August 26th, I thought “Holy crap.  I need to raise the mandatory $1500 to do the event by September 6th; aside from the fact that my goal was $2000.  I better get my butt moving!”
Sunday night I sent out emails, some messages on Facebook, talked to people at my work and got some donations at a Personal Best community event.  Slowly and bit by bit the donations were starting to come in through face to face contact and emails. 

I decided I would need to be more proactive and started to think about all the people I have done business with over the years, particularly in my neighbourhood that I had developed relationships with.  I decided to "pound" the pavement.  I knew that emails wouldn’t be enough and in the end, I was right. 

I walked around my neighbourhood and I spoke with people whose stores I shopped at, a few of the librarians at Memorial Park, a yoga owner of a studio I do yoga at, my dentist, someone who works at the local art store, my massage therapist, my chiropractor, our bank (who knew they had funds for situations like these??), and on and on.
I was both surprised and amazed at the support I received and how people freely gave money to me. I suppose my enthusiasm was infectious as I felt like people were literally “throwing” donations and money at me to support me.  It taught me a huge lesson in not assuming who would donate and who wouldn’t.  Basically, just to ask because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t know.  I was surprised by who and how many people that donated.  I'd say 90% of the people I approached ended up being able and/or willing to donate.  It was a huge lesson in how powerful being proactive and face to face contact can be. 
This journey taught me that having a clear goal is important to achieving it; and, that being enthusiastic and putting the effort into achieving it, is key.  It helped to create ongoing belief in my ability to achieve goals, but only if it’s important enough to me.  If it isn’t, the energy just isn’t behind it.  Passion is definitely an important factor.
I not only achieved my goal of $2000 in just over two weeks, but surpassed it, thanks to all who contributed not only financially but in words of support and encouragement.  All amounts helped from $10 to $100 and everything in between.  The more money I raised and the closer I got to my goal, the more excited I got!  I certainly couldn’t have achieved it on my own.  That’s the power of support and community.  The many vs. the the one.
During this time, some people kept asking me if I was “getting nervous” about rappelling down a 30 storey building.  I told them I didn’t have time to think about it and what was the point in being nervous?   I needed to save that for the “BIG” day, LOL.  I realized that thinking and being nervous about it ahead of time wasn’t going to help.  I needed to focus my energy on raising money.
Having said that, I had to do the mandatory training session before the event.  This session was held at Crux Climbing Center in the NE (http://thecruxclimbing.com/web/).  I was told we would be going over safety precautions and doing a practice rappel down seven stories!  The highest I have ever rappelled was three stories, so this was already going to be a stretch for me.
As I arrived at the center, I felt fine.  After registration and a brief discussion, we headed over to the area where we would be practicing.  We had to walk up seven flights of steel see through stairs.  Once at the top, the floor was also see through right to the bottom.  All of a sudden seven flights felt extremely high.  I could feel a slight trembling in my legs that lasted for at least an hour.  Me and a few women were chatting away nervously about how high we were up.  All four of us were "newbies". 
An hour later, my legs finally felt grounded and less shaky.  I waited near the end for my turn and then I couldn't avoid it any longer.  They called me over so I could put equipment on and led me to where I would be rappelling.  
I practiced with the equipment and then he hooked me in.

The trainer guided me through the process and told me to stand on the edge and hold onto the bar to my right.  I grabbed on and he told me sit back. 
Leaning back and letting go is always the hard part for me. 
My fear quickly dissipated and it didn't take long for me to get down.  
Before I knew it, the rappel was over and it felt doable. 
I was soon to find out on September 6 how different the experience of rappelling down a 30 storey building would be.  Nonetheless, the process of taking baby steps, going from three stories to seven stories helped to give me confidence and I can see why it's good for people to go through the experience, albeit it's somewhat "false" confidence. 
As the morning of September 6th came around, the last couple donations came in and I hit and surpassed my goal of $2000 with the amount of $2180.  People were amazed at how quickly I raised the money.  I could tell that some people had their doubts at the beginning (and I briefly did too), but that quickly changed when I changed my mind and decided that it would be an easy process and that it would happen because it was meant to happen. 
I knew the Universe was supporting this whole process 100% because I was meant to do it after all this time, that I was ready and that I was about to learn a whole lot about myself along the way.  It was truly a magical and divine experience unfolding before me, that was SO clear to me.
It was only a matter of time before September 6, the BIG DAY, would arrive.....