It’s not new information that the more we think it about things, the higher the chance is of them occurring.
What we focus on grows. Right?
The past 3.5 days have been a pure example of this theory.
In July last year, the company that I work alongside announced an incentive trip. 4 days in Fiji packed with fun, adventure and great company. Boy, did they get that right.
During the qualifying time, I was working consistently, doing what I love, yet not focussing on the trip. I can’t even tell you why. I just wasn’t. It wasn’t until I got a sent a visual reminder of the opportunity in the mail that I placed it on my wall and on my Vision board (yes, I am one of those people).
Daily, I would be reminded of the opportunity, essentially a free trip to Fiji. Seriously, what work place do you get the waved in front of you.
So in October and November, I had it in the back of my mind. I thought about how it could happened and wrote it in the planner. I created space for it in the calendar and mentally prepared how it would work and could be executed.
In December, I got the message.
I had qualified.
A paid trip to the Fijian Islands to soak up the sun, go Ziplining, Cruising, soak up the culture with the promise that there would be many more surprises to come.
Monday morning, I boarded my flight. With a group of new friends that I met when checking in. You see this is the culture of my profession. You have never met someone in your company, yet all of a sudden you hear they do they same things as you and you are long lost friends. A bit like when bus drivers wave to each other for no other reason than they are both drivers!
In an attempt to not overwhelm you with the in’s and out of my trip I would really love to share with you a few key experiences. Today, I will start with the Zipline experience.
Let’s all get geared up, attach ourselves to a Zipline and fly through the Fijian Jungle….OK!
So in my head, I had thought that maybe it would be one Zip. We would walk up a bit of a mountain, hook in and fly down. Abit like in survivor or Celebrity get me out of here.
Now, I think the reason I was so wrong about this was because, for a change, I didn’t book the trip! I totally released all control and let someone else do it for me and therefore had not done my usual Mumma Bear research.
So when I found out that it was actually a 5km course and 16 zip lines, I was pleasantly surprised. Oh did I mention that it was wet season in Fiji and it had been raining consistently!
I was pumped, it reminded me of my school camp days, I was eager to be at the front and get at it. There was no fear. I was comfortable. Unlike some others around me who were scared of heights and who were fearful of falling or something drastic happening.
We started to climb. I was in my element. I watched as 3 people went before me. I got hooked in, the adrenelin was flowing through my veins and then I heard 5 little words - “You are good to go”.
With a hesitant look, I grabbed the instructed areas to hold, raised my feet and with a smile from ear to ear I was off. Soaring through the Fijian jungle, 100m from the ground relying on and trusting that the person I had only meet 10 minutes earlier had tightened my harness correctly and attached my caribena the right way.
What a buzz, what a rush, what incredible way to spend a Tuesday morning.
I did it.
It was interesting to hear as our group one by one came off the line and shared their roar emotions. People felt amazed, relieved, invigorated, some filled with fear that there was still another 15 to go.
As we came to the top of the course, their was a hold up. An unexplained hold up, that we weren’t told about. All of a sudden, I started to feel my shoulders tighten, my chest get a little tighter as I looked out to the horizon and noticed the rain that had stopped for a short stint of time was heading towards us off the coast. I wanted to go, my head was screaming to get this show on the road. The rain is clearly coming people, let’s hop to it.
I started to feel frustrated. I didn’t have the information, I didn’t know the answer. Why we were stopping? My inability to control the situation was manifesting itself in fear.
This was not a set of Survivor, they were not going to helicopter us out if we were stuck, there was no secret stairs, there was no mobile communication between the organisers, nor was there any type of communicative devices. If this rain storm hit. It was me and the 10 people in our group.
I took 3 deep breathes, looked around and noticed that others were not overly bothered by the situation and decided in that moment, that it would be ok. I was going to release control and trust the process.
As the rain hit, we huddled close to each other, cracking jokes, making light of the situation, feeling grateful that we were there, right where we needed to be. Creating memories with new friends. Oh and wondering if the mobile phones we had tucked between our boobs would be safe from the water that was saturating our bodies.
It was time to go, one of the chief instructors gave it the go-ahead and we were back on our way although now looking like drowned rats.
It was incredible, the vibe had lifted, the team had united and their was singing and dancing going on. Partly because we were now trying to keep warm but partly because we were now so friggin happy.
As we started the descent in the journey, the Zips became a whole lot faster. I was now on high alert, the little voice in my head was now pleading with me to make sure I remembered how to break correctly. There was a visual now playing in my mind of George in the Jungle slamming straight into a tree.
On the very next Zip, I was zooming, absolutely flying. As I started to get closer to the end, I did what was instructed and started to slow down, pressing solidly down on the line with my glove. I could start to feel the burn as I only mildly slowed down. I pressed harder to only slow just a tiny bit more. The more I pressed the more my hand was burning. I saw 2 of the Fijian men at the end of the line, urging me to pull down on the break. “I am” I heard myself screaming in my mind. All of a sudden, I felt these 2 massive arms grab my waist and there it was….someone holding me, supporting me, I had stopped.
A gentle reminder, that just like in life we don’t need to do things alone. Sometimes, we just need someone to show that tiny bit of support, whether we ask for it or not.
As we came closer to the end, the group counted down how the amount of Zip’s left, not wanting the experience to end.
From that moment and forever, those 10 new friends and I share a memory. The day we Zip lined around the Fijian Jungle in a rain storm.
Lessons from the Tree Tops
1. Feel the Fear but do it anyway – Fear is a bit like our internal navigation system. I believe it is there to guide us, reassure us that the way we are heading the correct way. So often we see fear as the opposite, something that heightens our awareness and turns us away from following the path. For now, feel it, embrace it, welcome it in and continue on with your harness tight.
2. Trust the process – Each day, we are faced with situations that we need to trust those around us.
3. Allow those in their zone of genius to work their magic - Identify what you are good at and do it. Identify what others are good at and let them soar!
4. Decide. Make a choice. Decide things will work out. That everything will be ok and then trust the process.
5. Allow others to support you. You don’t need to do it alone. It is totally ok to ask for help and support. Never feel like you have to go through anything alone.
6. Lighten up. Ziplining, like life is meant to be fun, it is meant to be enjoyed. Try not to take everything so seriously and have an amazingly fun time along the way.