Do you feel stuck and blocked in your life right now? Are you hiding behind your fears of not being the woman you want to be, or feeling diminished by a divorce or another big challenge or challenges you’re dealing with? I’ve been here many times in my life and I want to offer you some ideas about what you can do to move your life forward. First, I want to suggest a quick kickstart solution—something you can do right now. Are you listening?
Take a “Leap Action,” or a “Leap Experience” in the next few months. Tara Mohr, in Playing Big has a lot to share about what she believes these are. She says a “Leap Experience” has 5 criteria:
1) It gets you into your authentic self acting authentically in the world
2) It can be finished within one to two weeks
3) It’s simple: A short phrase describes the plan. (i.e., plan and host a workshop, write and deliver a forgiveness letter, go on a challenging adventure retreat, give a passionate talk about yourself to your most important audience, do something physical you’ve always wanted to do and was afraid to try )
4) It gets your adrenaline flowing, and stretches you out of your comfort zone
5) Involves an intention to learn; You want to grow from this experience in a big way
A LEAP EXPERIENCE IN NATURE
I stumbled upon my “Leap Experience” in nature without even knowing it. Leaving my second marriage in 2015, I knew I needed a new perspective on my life to understand why I was moving on from 10 years of some pretty wonderful family experiences. Why was I leaving this marriage? What was keeping me so stuck in my life and shut down from my authentic self? All I knew is I needed to expand myself and explore my fears so I joined a climbing expedition set up by my favorite women’s non-profit operating in Tanzania called Africaid. We trained and raised money to take 5 young African women to the top of Mt. Killimanjaro, 19,420 feet and supported efforts to help more young women complete their education in Tanzania. When I returned from this adventure, I was completely transformed inside. My compassion quotient had been expanded beyond anything I had done before, and I had pushed my comfort zone with a lot of adrenaline. But most importantly, I had explored my fears so profoundly and learned to move past them in a powerful way.
When I returned, I created this Adventure Retreat in Eagle, Co together with my colleague, Susie Kincade, an amazing Nature Coach and Outdoors woman, so other women can have an opportunity to grow like I did. I want to help other women find this amazing opportunity to “Leap” their lives forward through stickiness and pain.
I’ve spent some time with Colorado Outward Bound School and some of their principles really apply to creating a similar outdoor experience to what a “Leap Experience” in Nature can look like. The process model developed by Walsh & Golins in 1976, proposes a series of seven processes to explain the apparent power and effects of Outward Bound programs:
- A motivated and ready learner who is placed into
- prescribed physical and social environments (Group of cohorts together), then given a
- characteristic set of problem-solving tasks (climbing a pitch on rock, hiking a mountain) which creates a state of
- adaptive dissonance ( experienced as coping, adaptation, thriving) leading to
- mastery or competence (new state of mastery or equilibrium) which in turn leads to
- reorganization of the meaning and direction of the experience (increased self-esteem, self-efficacy, belongingness, more problem-solving behavior exhibited again, courage, & resilience)
- In this way, the learner continues to be oriented toward living and learning again.
Susie and I have both had Outward Bound experiences and we have taken from these some key activities in nature as our Problem-Solving tasks in our Courageous Transitions Retreat. You will have a similar experience of “adaptive dissonance” that creates a transformative outcome. Just choosing to come on this retreat is your “Leap Experience”. Read more about this retreat here.
These kinds of “Leap Experiences” can help you move your life forward without knowing where you are trying to go. When you have a vision, sometimes you can move forward with small steps, but I’ve found in my coaching and in my major life transitions (divorce 2 times and death of a loved one ) that when your life as you know it has been devastated, you can’t see any steps. You are “Lost at Sea”, untethered and unable to “Find a Mooring.” (see my website www.Women-in-transformation.com to learn more about these 5 Phases of the “Midlife Voyage to Transformation”) When you are “Lost at Sea” you are fearful and sometimes focusing too much on the future or the past because the pain of where you are is too scary. You are often confused about who you are and what is important anymore. From this place, it’s hard to be where you are in your life right now, much less how to envision your next steps. Sometimes women can feel so fearful that they get stuck here and drop into depression and despair.
KAREN’S “LEAP EXPERIENCE” ON RETREAT IN 2017
Karen, 50, finally decided she needed to leave her husband of 20 years after having a “perfect relationship” with him for so many years. One day she realized she was so unfulfilled doing all these wonderful things with him and she had forgotten to pay attention to what she wanted in life. They went on amazing trips, worked hard at their jobs during the week and then took off for fun adventures every weekend. They chose not to have kids, so they could stay active and doing all the adventures on their “to-do” lists, and so life continued until one day Karen realized she was not happy. She engaged in coaching and realized she was ignoring herself in this relationship and even though her job was fulfilling, and she had a great husband, she was lost as to how to get more meaning in her life. And, she was stuck. She didn’t want to rock the boat. She didn’t want to hurt her husband, to leave the security of her job—to take a step forward was so scary for her.
So her coach suggested she attend our “Courageous Transitions Retreat” in Eagle, Co in July. Karen was tentative, but wanted to give it a try. It was her “Leap Experience”. Often women get stuck in this 2nd stage because they see they can’t go back but they are terrified to go forward too. Karen was able to see her gifts and abilities as a women, her hopes and dreams as a woman, and her strengths paddling the “duckie” on the Colorado River and then hiking up the Peak climb. Being with other women dealing with divorce helped her see herself more authentically and she was able to identify the parts of her that were being ignored and pushed down. They came popping back up on the Retreat and she began to see a vision of how her life could look being more on her own and creating the life she really wanted for herself now. Now she could go through with the divorce because she was ready. She was starting to allow herself to feel the grief and the joy of this decision. This is the Rebirthing process (Stage 3 &4) unfolding for Karen in just 5 days on Retreat–a real breakthrough for her.
In order to move forward in your life, you need other women to share your feelings with, to help you realize you are human and this happens to everyone. This is the group experience of this Retreat. You need a different way of seeing your life right now—a reframe can come from a “leap experience” that takes you out of what is comfortable for you and helps you begin to see the value of being in transition as a growth experience. When we begin to change our attitude about our plight—by seeing that we are not alone but are on the path to healing and finding our new transformed self—a more authentic and powerful New You can emerge! And your next big life change will be easier because you had this experience of growth.
SIGN UP TODAY FOR YOUR “LEAP EXPERIENCE IN NATURE” THIS JULY
Your “Leap Experience” awaits you! Sign up for the Courageous Transitions Retreat in Eagle, CO this July 11-15 and jumpstart your life. Early Bird Registration ends April 30th so do it today! Move your life powerfully forward in just 5 days.