Friday, June 4, 2010

Riding With No Hands

I remember hearing someone say many years ago that sometimes on the rollercoaster of life you just have to put your hands up in the air, open your eyes, and go for it.  It stuck with me because at that time, I didn't feel at all brave, but wanted to be, on rollercoasters and in life in general.

Actually, my experience on rollercoasters had been alot like my other experiences up to that point - willing to try them after a bit of coaxing, anxious but hopeful of a good outcome.  Fourteen years ago, when my son was six, we took the kids to Disneyland.  Later, when my son talked about what the inside of Space Mountain looked like, I had to admit that my eyes were squeezed shut the whole time.  He thought that was pretty wimpy, and I did, too.  (For those of you who haven't yet been to Disneyland, Space Mountain is an indoor rollercoaster that is very dark inside, making it look like you are in deep space hurtling past stars and planets and . . . . other deep-space stuff.)  I realized that keeping my eyes shut tight in fear the entire time kept me from really having the experience, and it was a symbol of how I approached other things in my life as well.  I told my son then that next time I would leave my eyes open.

I finally had the chance last year, when we again took our now-adult children to Disneyland.  It was a great time, running between the rides, all of us acting like kids again.  I made a conscious decision that I would live up to my promise to myself.  My husband and my kids were indulgent with me, listening with smiles on their faces but somehow not laughing, when I said proudly that I was going to keep my eyes open on the ride.

The first one was the new rollercoaster in California Adventure.  I felt a big rush of excitement as I buckled in, and I have to say it was great as I watched upside down as we barrel-rolled our way down the track.  As we climbed a hill I went for it, first time ever, and put my hands in the air as we crested the hill and came tearing back down.  I waited 51 years to have that experience, and I'm glad I finally did it.

Later we hit the Hollywood Hotel ride that is open to the outside, supposedly in an elevator that falls a number of stories before stopping abruptly.  We rode that one twice, and I'm happy to report that I did it eyes open!

One of the last ones we rode was Space Mountain, and I have a picture on my refrigerator of all of us - one of those that the ride takes at an especially scary part and then lets you buy the picture at the end if you want to.  There I am sitting in the front of the car, screaming and clearly having a great time, and my eyes look like bug eyes, but they are open.

Being with my kids for that weekend was tremendous fun, and the fact that I conquered my fear made it all the more so.  I'm still proud of that Space Mountain picture.  The great thing is, I've been learning to fear less and trust more for a long time, and I think in some small way that trip really did help me realize that I am brave, in many ways.  Every time we stand tall in our own truth, we are being brave.

Each time I deny a belief that anything but good is at work in my life, I am brave.  And each and every time I choose a reality of my own making, affirming that I exist as an expression of loving and limitless creation, I know my own unbounded power.

May you live with your eyes wide open, and may this tool be a blessing. . .


  1. Thank You for this your post just helped me make a life changing desicion!

  2. Thank you, Sherry. This is one rule I truly need to remember... Mary Ann

  3. I, too, have a photo of myself facing my fear - my fear of looking silly in front of others. It's proudly displayed by both of my daughters. I find it's been easier to face my fears as I grow older -

  4. This is a great post - and I just love the picture of the Tibetan monks!

    Fear stopped me from doing so many things in the past and I must have missed out on great experiences.

    I had never ridden a roller coaster. At the age of 45, my husband (10 yrs older) and I went to a theme park for a day with the sole purpose of experiencing this stuff. Oh my, it was truly terrifying but at the same time exhilerating. I will not do it again as I really didn't like it one bit, but I am grateful to have had the experience as now I have the knowledge to make my future decisions if faced with a coaster again!

    I also spent many years saying prayer didn't work. One day, a very wise man asked me if I had ever tried it. The honest answer was not really, just going through the motions when taken to church as a child. This man asked me to be open minded and willing. I tried it his way and today prayer is the whole centre of my life.

    Contempt prior to investigation bars all spiritual development. So today, if an opportunity comes my way, I don't dismiss it out of hand. I pray and ask God for guidance and he knows me well enough not to put me back on a roller coaster!

    F.E.A.R. - Face everything and rejoice.