There are so many isolated incidents that make up my day. From my first waking breath, to my first conscious thought, my sense of where I am, who I am with, where I’m choosing to be next… To break it all into individual experience is often impractical and unnecessary right?
Some months ago I was walking along this suspended rickety footbridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, two adjacent islands located south-east by boat off the coast of Bali, on my way to a three day beach view rejuvenation resort. At another previous time in my life, the idea of walking over an ocean passage via a less than one lane wide, wobbly, swinging, suspended structure with limited rails, greeting and navigating oncoming motorbikes, may have triggered some not so pleasant emotional and physical responses, and definitely a ranting, and perhaps irrational, verbal commentary. And yes, had I at that time been on my way to the same destination, my responses may have bordered on the rational with the benefit of hindsight.
OK, back to the bridge…! As I looked at the length of bridge which seemed to stretch well beyond a kilometre before me, I watched others approach it very differently, and with varying degrees of ease. It would have been a matter of seconds that I was actually pondering my version of approach. I clearly recall though that I was engaged in a conscious calculated conversation with self, preparing to experience it in the most fun (and safe!) way possible. I’ve seen movies where the call out to anyone appearing nervous when approaching an unknown experience involving height was “Don’t look down!!” Good old movies…. my mind was offering me all sorts of reasons why this was likely to be less than fun.
OK, back to the bridge, again! I took a breath as the next motorbike came off the ramp beside me, and I saw a clear break to about, half way along the bridge. Watching my step through the bottom of my transition lenses, I was intently adhering to the “don’t look down”, head up, and stride firm with a slight bend in my knees to absorb every projected bounce risking a destabilization of balance type consequence. I attempted to pace each step in sync with the up/down rhythm of the bridge, and once I felt in flow I sensed a fun kind of skip in my step. About a third of the way along, I did experience the palpable sense of ease which I intended to feel, and looked down to the incredibly beautiful glimpses of flowing blue/ green water revealing the decreasing variation of depth of sandbanks on the incoming tide. And there I stopped…
An overwhelming sense of awareness synchronisticly washed over my entire body like the gentlest nurturing reassuring of waves, and I suddenly became acutely aware of tears of release streaming down my face… I suddenly understood that the entire relationship between my past present and future experiences all connected in my here and now, and whatever I wanted to feel about where I was in my head and heart on the planet at any moment, was for me equally plausible and potentially real.
The gaps between the boards as I slowly and comfortably progressed forward became in segments more spaced, and some boards were less secure. Everything from that emotional aha forward was merely an observation as I held my state of release from fear and past beliefs, and my renewed sense of freedom. I love that walk on the rickety bridge, and am in immense gratefulness for how it came to be my experience that day. It’s funny how the simplest of moments can be so transformational. I now have a different view of how I approach unfamiliarity anywhere, and know in my heart there are glimpses of what else is possible everywhere, when I permit myself to look.