What is the edge? The edge is a precipice between one place and another. The boundary between what is and what could be. The experience of the edge is often characterized by intensity and extremes. The edge is a place of unknowns and risk, and a place where there is very little clear direction about the next step. It is the space of transition which often leads us to be both excited and afraid. Hopeful for the movement to the next place, and simultaneously terrified about leaving the comfort of the familiar. It seems that we find ourselves on the edge often in our lives. It can emerge during big shifts like the edge of a career or the edge of relationship, but it can also happen with something as seemingly insignificant as the edge of a choice.
It is an intense place to occupy, and often we express that we feel frozen, stuck, unclear, and without direction. So, to stay “safe”, we prolong the process, and hold fast to the familiar and comfortable. We begin to develop a fear and mistrust about the space between, when in truth it is the space of pure potential. This space just outside of the familiar is where we learn to TRUST, to understand that it is all about us, but it is so much bigger than us. The less we cling, the more we can feel supported to make the choices that will lead us to greatest ease on our path. Once we step out into the unknown, the next phase of our lives opens to us. But that first step, for most of us, is the hardest one.
The choice to leave the familiar for what is right or good for our life takes a warrior’s heart. When we take that initial step into the unknown and in doing so, we open a path straight to our center. For so many of us, this is scary. We’ve invested so much time and energy into becoming that we have forgotten our own true being, the unchanging, purposeful, power within.
It is here at the edge of a quiet moment, or a dramatic life change, where we have a choice. We choose to step out into the unknown away from comfort because we sense it will bring us closer to who we really are. Taking this step will bring us closer to who we are becoming.
Friends and family may think we are crazy. Our colleagues might question our sanity. But when we make the choice to honor the call home to ourselves, we become courageous warriors and we feel aligned. The doubt and fears that we once had don’t disappear, but they begin to ttake a backseat to the hope, excitement, and knowing that surface when you step over the edge. We may do unexpected things like quit our jobs or leave a relationship. We might become unpredictable and spontaneous and go back to school or become a yoga teacher. We might allow our true selves to show up in ways that we never allowed before by falling in love or planting seeds in the ground. Regardless of the way your choice will manifest, the edge that we surf is terrifying and exhilarating, and entirely worth it.
If you find yourself at this edge, welcome. You are not alone, you are among good strong faithly company. Together we are stepping over the edge and supporting one another as we wake up, feel more authentically, dive into practice, and make choices that will change our lives and in doing so change our world.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
Establish yourself in TRUST. Trust in the process, trust in yourself, your inner voice, your preparation. Remember YOU are the point.
Be cautious about leaning too much into faith. Faith requires us to cultivate belief whereas TRUST requires no believing, it is belief itself. When we TRUST, outside evidence becomes an added bonus instead of the needed proof.
When you are in the intensity of the edge, the only practice is to keep going. Focus all your energy in what you know is true. Keep going, even if you are tip-toeing. Keep showing up to whatever is offered.
Be in relationship with your inner voice. Do a practice every day that tunes you into YOU. Your inner guidance, your truth. Don’t worry about what anyone else says, inhabiting the edge is ALL about YOU.
Don’t wait for Perfection. The desire for things to be perfect in order to make choices is a way we orient ourselves to what’s right/wrong, good/bad. So when we have no orientation, the absolute definition of the edge, we feel that it’s imperfect and something is wrong. Act from your gut instead of from proof.
Be fully engaged in the process. It’s the process itself that is the point, so don’t disregard it in an effort to escape discomfort.
Choose growth. When things are most challenging or confusing, see these experiences as an opportunity to refine and grow. Riding the edge is an opportunity to become more mature in our efforts. Apply your intelligence to your experience. Slow down, invite presence, feel your emotions, and watch how you evolve.
Be gentle with yourself. The edge is scary. It’s a difficult place to be. It’s exciting and full of potential, but often without clear and predictable outcome. If you find yourself seeking old comforts, or feeling discouraged, it’s ok. Be accepting of your humanness and recalibrate your efforts.
And lastly, take care of yourself. The edge is hard and you will likely be questioned rather than supported. Show up for yourself like you wish others would show up for you in these times.