Each year there is a custom at my curly hair boy’s school as they complete the year. It is a Native American practice of placing a rope down and then jumping over it. It symbolizes jumping into a new place and leaving the old behind. For my son, he left 3rd grade on one side of the rope and landed right into 4th grade that was waiting for him on the other side. It was, of course, bittersweet as I stared at what was now the memory of 3rd grade and could see just the first glimmers of 4th. In one giant leap, life moved forward.
I have different things in my life that I want to leave behind and begin in a new place. I thought about placing a rope down for myself and jumping over my tired worn habits and thoughts into something new. I thought about jumping over my fears into faith. I thought about jumping toward my dreams. All I need to do is start.
Starting though, can sometimes be difficult. Just one more day. Tomorrow. When I get this or that done. I’m too busy right now. Someday, someday, someday. And the leaps become forgotten in all the busyness that leads me. I am well cushioned in my to-do list and the stirrings of my soul become another item to be checked off later. Or, perhaps the jump is scary and feels too risky. Things are ok now, what if I lose what I have already gained? But if I don’t jump, what if I lose what was to be? What lies beyond the rope? I think it is a waiting world, ready for me to join in further merriment and adventure. It is a world waiting for me to put down fears and anxiety and pick up my true self.
Those newly minted 4th graders were blessed to have the guidance of teachers reminding them how important it is to move forward. That it is more than just another year. It is another way of being. It is a new time for them. They don’t have the chance to stew in uncertainty and stay stagnant. Move they must. As we leave school, our teachers still surround us. We just need to listen. There is a saying “Leap and the net will appear”. Take a risk. Listen to the teachings of your life circumstances and your own still voice. Simon Sinek says, “What is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” In other words, jump.
And so, this week I am going to really focus on jumping. Not just what I want to leave behind. But also, what I want to jump toward as I continue building on what is already wonderful in my life. Those 4th graders will bring with them, their hard-won knowledge to their new place. They will use it to continue building, learning, growing and changing. And ultimately use it for the next jump. Walt Disney says, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
We don’t have to wait for a momentous point in our lives to jump. We can start each day by doing it. Jumping into what the day holds and where we want to be. Moving past where we have been. Patch Adams reminds us “Jump for joy as we accomplish the dreams we adore.” And since “someday” is actually today, I will jump into my own new moment—into the dreams I adore. Happy jumping!