Sunday, April 24, 2016

Taking Risks

My family had an adventurous vacation. We decided to participate in every action-filled experience we could. This included kayaking, hiking in ankle deep mud, hiking on cliffs, learning  to Stand Up Paddleboard, Zip lining, snorkeling with huge sea turtles, surfing, and jumping 18 feet into a swimming hole in the middle of the jungle. I was excited for each experience until we got there and my anxiety brain told me that it was crazy to do this. My excitement turned to fear before I had any say in it. My heart beat fast. My stomach felt sick. I had to go to the bathroom something fierce (this is something my kids tease me about because I always have to go to the bathroom multiple times when I am anxious). My thoughts would try to convince me not to do some of the things-particularly the high jump into a blue hole that I had no idea what lay beneath. Then I thought of each of you. The hard work you have to do to face your fears every day. The times you have to do things even though you are scared. The self talk you have to do to teach your brain the truth and to convince yourself to take these risks because life is worth living. I was scared but I jumped, zipped, snorkeled, hiked, and was in awe of these massive sea creatures I swam with in the ocean. The most fascinating thing was that once I got over anticipating the potential risks and  got through the first few seconds or  minutes of the experience, my brain stopped feeling fear and really enjoyed the ride.

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