Have you done a skydive? Have you jumped out of an airplane at several thousand feet, in a tandem or by yourself? What did you take away from it?
I did my first tandem skydive in Spain in 2010. I still remember my level of fear before, and the relief after. My second tandem skydive was in New Zealand in March 2016. In between, I had also started to explore fear as such, and my relationship to fear, as of the end of 2015. To be honest, I did not learn much from those first two skydives other than how it felt in my body going up in an airplane knowing I will shortly drop down in freefall and with a parachute that hopefully opens as it is supposed to, and then the sensation of falling and gliding.
My third tandem skydive in the summer of 2018 was slightly different. I related to my fear much more consciously in the preparation of the jump. I was more conscious of my fear, feeling it in different parts of my body and also in my mind. Using it to ask questions around the process of the jump, to stay alert, to enjoy the experience without pushing the fear aside.
At the end of 2018 I got myself into yet another experiment around fear and decided to go on a skydiving course so I would learn to jump out of an airplane all by myself. A few months earlier, I had experienced how my fear feels physical even if there is no real physical threat, and how I let myself get paralysed by such fear. I perceived skydiving as something very close to fear so it would be a good starting point. I mean, fear is a totally natural reaction to skydiving: Hey! It is not natural for us humans to jump from great heights, there’s the risk of dying! So it is wonderful that our fear warns us, and if it doesn’t, our warning system is not calibrated properly.
What I learned in the skydiving course and from my jumps as part of that course is something that I find very relevant for all aspects of life, not just skydiving: We can learn how to relate to fear in a healthy way, using it as a neutral source of energy and information instead of something that needs to be blocked, pushed aside, paralysing, or pushed through. We can learn to have a new relationship to fear, we can learn to relax into the fear, and when we do, we will get access to new possibilities in our everyday life.
If you’re curious to find out more, get in touch! I offer fear coachings and am here to support you.