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My family and I went to Crater Lake National Park for a camping vacation.  Crater Lake is this pristine lake created by a volcano that erupted then caved in.  The hole that was created was filled by rain water and snow ( 44 ft/year) melt.  It’s the most body of water I have ever seen.  It is the 5th deepest lake in the world; the deepest point being 1, 947 ft (or close to that I think).

There is only one legal way to get down to the lakes edge and that is by Cleetwood Trail.  The trail is down hill 1.1 miles with a few switch backs.  It’s a beautiful hike down.  Once you get down there, there is a boat launch that will take you on a 2 hour boat tour of the lake or drop you off at Wizard Island for more hiking.  But if you go past the dock and back up a trail, you will find a cliff that people like to  jump off of.  We had no idea that cliff existed until we saw everyone jumping.  It looked like so much fun!  I have never really given cliff diving/jumping much thought, until the opportunity presented itself.  My son Nate took the plunge and had a blast.  He didn’t even think twice.

I watched several other people take the plunge.  A group of 2 young men and 1 of their girl friends jumped.  The boys went first, but she hesitated.  After a few minutes she jumped and screamed all the way down.  I watched another “dad” consider a jump.  He was scared and nervous, as was I.  I had tried to just get to the ledge to jump and couldn’t do it.  I was terrified.  So finally, I told the man, “If you do it, I will.”  Well he did!  I tried to get up on the ledge again, but was scared.  Finally, I found a spot that was just a few inches from where everyone else was jumping.  It was easier for me to get up on.  Nate held my hand as I positioned myself on the launching point.  And I made that big mistake, I looked down!

There I was on the ledge.  There was a young man there in red swim trunks with a “lifeguard” patch on the leg.  He told me he was a life guard and would make sure I was safe.  I laughed and asked him, “How do I know you didn’t buy that at a thrift store on the way  here?”  Still I couldn’t jump.

Every time I thought I was going to jump, I would feel myself pull back and say, “NO WAY!”  Eventually that young man in the red swim trunks jumped down off the ledge beside me.  He was down in the water cheering me on.  Behind me there were at least 30 maybe 50 people just watching me.  I could hear them.  “All she has to do is jump.”   “Just jump!”  “Come on, you can do it!”

Below me in the water was the young “life guard”.  He started to clap on rhythm.  Then everyone behind me up on the ledge began to clap along with him.  I stood there with my arms open and prayed.  “God is in everything. God is in the rocks that support me.  God is in the air in which I will fly.  God is in the water which will receive me lovingly.  God and I are one.  If God and I are one, then I am one with this mountain, one with the air, one with the water.  Since I am one with all of these things I am safe and protected.”  I took deep breaths, and I began to jump.  Then I would stop myself again.

What was I afraid of?  Not jumping out far enough away from the ledge and killing myself.  That was it.  I know how to swim.  I was just afraid to jump!  I remembered walking on hot coals…I could do that over and over and over again, but I couldn’t make this jump!

I took another deep breath and just when I was about to jump, I stopped myself again.  Fear.  Funny what fear stops you from doing.  It stops  you from living.  It stops you from taking risks.  It stops you from reaching your goals.  It stops you from making your dreams come true.  Do I want to live in fear the rest of my life.  Do I want to walk away from this once in a life time opportunity and know that I let fear win?  This was the year I am facing my fears and living fearlessly; am I going to let this mountain beat me?    This is SAFE. I have seen people jump and come back up safe and sound just to jump again.  I watched my own son do this.  I CAN DO THIS!

One more deep breath and recognizing that I am ONE with creation.  This time, I felt my feet push off the ground!

This is where fear  lets go and true freedom sets in.  In that moment where you stand at the teetering edge, you can either step back or you can just jump!  You can either step back in fear or trust that you are loved cared and protected! You can play it safe or take that risk that will pay off in the end.  When have you stood on that edge and felt that?  I never expected to feel that LITERALLY, but there I was faced with this decision.  I was terrified.  All kinds of thoughts went through my head.  “You are stupid”  “Don’t take the risk”  “You don’t have anything to prove to anyone.”  “If they all jumped off the bridge, would you?”

In the end, I realized that I had to JUST JUMP!  I had to welcome the change in my life.  I had to take the risk in order to grow!  I needed to let go of the fear and FEEL the FREEDOM!!!

There is total freedom in letting go…in free falling…and in being welcomed by the loving arms of the cool lake.  Once I was immersed in the cold water (50 degrees) all I could think about was how amazing the jump amazing the water felt around me…and I had better have enough air to get back up to the top. *laugh*  Once my head broke the surface of the water, I gave out a shout and a whoop!  So exciting!  I thanked the guys that were in the water cheering me on.  .

Once I was in the water, I realized that a 10 year old girl named Hailey was at a lower jumping point, and she was scared.  Her brother, Aaron was in the water trying to coax her in, but she just wouldn’t budge.  She saw me on the ledge before my jump.  She saw how scared I was.  She saw me do it anyway.  So there I was in the cold water…treading water and cheering this little girl on.  “C’mon, Hailey, you can do this!  You are one with the water; it won’t hurt you.  Just jump!  I’ll be here for you in the water to make sure you are safe.  You are not alone!”  Finally, she jumped!  There she was jumping fearlessly into the water, and I was right there to make sure she could swim right back up and to the rocks to get out.  Once she was out and safe, her mom, Jackie, thanked me.  Little Hailey and her brother thanked me.  And we all climbed up the rocks and out of the water.

Everyone congratulated me as I climbed out of the water, and I felt amazing.  I had faced that fear!  And I got to help a little 10 year old girl face hers!  It was an amazing journey!  Did I mention that I have an extreme fear of heights?  Ya…I faced it!

The long 1.1 mile walk back up the mountain was hard, but it was made a bit easier by the thrill of  knowing I did something that I would have never been able to do before this year of living fearlessly and living fully!  On our walk back up, Hailey, Jackie, and Aaron caught up to us.  I told Hailey how proud I was of her.  And her mom told me that my  jump had inspired her, and she decided to face her fear and jump too!  *I* inspired *her*!  Amazing!

I had just finished reading the book The Alchemist, and there was a passage in there that said when you listen to the soul of the world and you make yourself better, you are making the world better for other people.  By helping yourself, you help others.  And then this jump happened.  By facing my own fears, I was able to not only help little Hailey, but I was also able to help her Mom!  Amazing the ripple effect we have on others.

This is Hailey, Jackie and Aaron in the parking lot at the trail head.  We were all smiles.  We exchanged pictures.  Complete strangers before the jump, and family after the jump.  Strangers passing on the ledge of a cliff became important parts of each other’s family vacations.  I love how the universe works!

Today in church, Rev. Jackie told a story about 2 frogs who fell into a deep hole.  It was so deep they had a hard time getting out.  The other frogs stood at the edge of the hole and shouted down, “You are going to die down there!  There is no way you will get out!”

The two frogs continued to jump as high as they could.  The other frogs continued, “Why are you jumping?  You are going to break your legs then you will NEVER get out of there!  You are just going to die!”

Unfortunately one of the frogs did die, but the other just kept jumping higher and higher and higher.  Eventually he jumped right out of the hole!  The other frogs looked at him in amazement.  “Couldn’t you hear us?  We told you to stop jumping because you were going to die!”  And the little frog replied, “really?  I couldn’t  hear you.  I thought you were just cheering me on to jump higher to get out!”

What and who are you listening to?  Are you listening to the other frogs in your life telling you that you will  never make it?  Are you listening to the fear in your head that tells you the jump will kill you?  Or are you choosing to hear the ones around you that are cheering you on?  Are you listening to those who are clapping and cheering?  Are you listening to your heart that says, “Just Jump!”

I know that on that teetering edge upon that cliff, I heard both of these voices.  I heard “Don’t jump, you are going to die!” and I heard, “Just Jump! You are loved, cared for and protected!”  I had to  make a choice, and I chose, “Just Jump!”

Rev. Jackie told us today, “Your tomorrow is created by your conduct today!”  What is your tomorrow looking like?  What are you creating TODAY?  Are you choosing to live in fear…..or are you choosing to live life to its fullest, taking those risks and celebrating the victories that come from it?



I know I must say this after every book I read….this is an amazing book!  Okay, it’s more than that, really.  I bought this book because Rhonda was hosting her Fearless Revolution Workshop at my church.  I figured I should read her book before I attended her workshop.  I started reading the book, but did not get it finished in time before the workshop.  Why?  This is more than just a book that you read straight through.  This book is a work book inside of a book!

In this book, Rhonda not only shares her riveting personal story of watching her father kill her mother and then turn the gun on himself, but she tells us how she over came this tragedy in her life and shares with us how we can do the same things she did to over come the fear in our lives that keep us feeling “stuck”.

Like I said, it is not a book you can just sit down and read through.  When you decide to pick up this book, make a commitment to yourself to DO THE WORK!  It will honestly change your life!  Buy a journal and a pen and get ready to dig deep!  Do the exercises, take the notes, and make sure you have the tissues sitting beside you!

As usual I sat down to read with pen in hand ready to take notes and get to underlining.  The very first thing I underlined and took notes on was on page 29: the definition of fear:  “Fear is both the cause and effect of the feelings, thoughts, or actions that prohibit you from accepting yourself and realizing your full potential…..It’s number one fear is to guard you against any negative feelings that would confirm your worst fear–that you are not good enough….Fear is the gatekeeper of your comfort zone.”

Like Geneen Roth’s book Women Food and God, Rhonda talks about playing the waiting game.  “Waiting validates our negative self-image.  When we wait, we feel powerless.  When we passively wait, we are living in fear.”  So obviously our goals, dreams, or visions are not just going to appear instantaneously.  There is no genie in a lamp that will grant us our 3 wishes; sure our wishes may be granted, but they usually take time.  That time looks like waiting, right?  Well you can actively wait!  What does that mean? How do you do that?  Well Rhonda’s book gives you all kinds of tools and answers.  Grateful lists, Acknowledgment Lists, Affirmations, Forgiveness and so much more!  This is a MUST READ for anyone who has a dream they want to accomplish!  She will work you through it and give you the tools you need to see your dreams become reality!

Not only did I see alot in MY OWN life that can be changed and adjusted with her words, but I also saw where my own 10 year old daughter is starting to form some limiting beliefs that (if she continues to use) will keep her from being happy.  Her most recent belief is “Whenever I am happy and excited about something, I get physically hurt.”  Why does she believe this?  Because on the days when she is soooo very happy and excited about something (like on  my 41st birthday we were going roller skating with some of her friends and her uncle was in town and there were alot of things to be excited about) she fell while roller skating and hurt her wrist.  Before that, she was excited about something else at school, and she fell and skinned her knee.  She has created this belief…..if she keeps that up, she will believe that being happy hurts.  YIKES!  How scary is that?  She is only 10!  But how many of us share that same belief or something like that?  Do you remember the day you created that belief?  Rhonda will walk you through it and help you remember and then tell you how to work through it!

And, if you get the chance, check out her website on Fearless Living and find out when she will be near your city.  Her 2 hour workshop at my church was phenomenal!    She is such an inspiration and so genuine!  I was blessed to be able to hug her, get her to autograph my book and get a picture with her…I will always remember to live fearlessly!