You are on page 1of 3


! By Barbara Schiffman & Camille Leon Is December 21st, 2012, just a date on the calendar for you or is it a personal invitation from the Universe to encourage you to evolve? Regardless of what occurs in the world &/or within our collective consciousness in 2012, start preparing for it now by fully experiencing life as an adventure. Strengthen your ability to flow with paradigm shifts of any magnitude by consciously taking Leaps of Faith so you can expand from the inside out and outside in.

According to sci-fi/fantasy author H.P. Lovecraft, The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. Most of us fear what we have not yet personally experienced, even if its something we desire. When something challenges us, adrenaline is automatically released in our bodies to give us energy to either flee or fight any threats to our survival. This bio-chemical rush also creates emotions like anxiety and fear. When we cant run or fight back -- or dont need to -- we often freeze. In fact, some people get so overwhelmed by the feelings triggered by changes, challenges or opportunities they become emotionally frozen most of their lives. We experience what doctors now call Chronic Stress when our inner adrenaline regulators get stuck from overuse. This common condition of contemporary life depletes our emotional, mental and physical reserves. It can also squelch our sense of childlike wonder as well as our desire for adventures and new experiences. In response to stress, many people narrow their focus and start experiencing the world primarily through an increasing array of electronic gadgets rather than face-to-face and moment-by-moment. By encountering life up-close and personal through actively stretching your own Comfort Zone, youll gain more strength to handle paradigm shifts wherever and whenever they occur in your life and the world-at-large.
As life breakthrough coaches, weve both learned first-hand that its easier to leap into the unknown when you have plentiful reserves of courage to draw upon. These can be built by taking small leaps today as practice for taking bigger leaps later. This works the same way lifting five-pound dumbbells helps athletes begin strengthening their muscles until they can heft fifty-pound weights with ease.

Courage is spontaneously gained by transforming the unknown

into something thats personal and familiar. Through building courage this way, you also reap the rewards of what we call The Exhilaration Effect: the adrenaline-endorphin rush that propels you more deeply inward and more powerfully forward in every aspect of life.
The positive after-shocks of taking a leap literally rejuvenate your brain and clear your mind by forging new synapses. This feeling of exhilaration also silences negative emotions and thoughts -- which can feel disconcerting. Most people are accustomed to the familiar sensations of fear and doubt that are constantly stimulated by media and advertising messages as well as the comments of our fearful friends and relatives. As you begin viewing the world through fresh eyes and experience yourself as confident and capable, however, youll discover theres a wider range of options available than before. As your mind and heart open, fear evaporates and faith takes over. How can the Exhilaration Effect help you move through 2012 shifts? Taking Leaps of Faith replenishes your Courage Reserves which will help you respond effectively to challenges and opportunities instead of reacting automatically and resisting them. What do we mean by a Leap of Faith? Its that initial step toward a goal which seems far away or even impossible to reach. Its doing something you didnt think you could do being something you didnt think you could be saying something you didnt think you could say and being transformed at the cellular level by the expansion that ripples throughout your life. According to Wikipedia, taking Leaps of Faith in any part of life requires "believing or accepting something intangible or unprovable, without empirical evidence." Naturalist-author Henry David Thoreau noted "we must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success. For some people, a Leap of Faith might be speaking up for themselves to an authority figure at work or a domineering relative. For others, it could be letting go of addictive behaviors or self-destructive thought patterns. It can be quitting a job thats been draining your energy for years to start a new business or artistic endeavor that may not be instantly profitable but makes your heart sing. For many of us, its stepping into our own spotlight after years of hiding in lifes shadows.

One quick and easy way to enhance mental, emotional and spiritual courage is by doing a series of simple things youve never done before -- like driving a different route to work or cooking a new dish. These may sound like easy tasks, but breaking out of old routines and trying something new often provokes high anxiety, especially in people who dont feel secure. After successfully accomplishing a variety of unfamiliar tasks by

choice, its much easier to try larger and less predictable leaps. In the process, dont be surprised to discover that some actions which at first feel stressful or scary are actually fun. As composer Virgil Thomson suggests, Try a thing you havent done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.
The first time you do something new, notice how you move through The Exhilaration Effects Six Stages of Leaps of Faith: Expecting, Exploring, Experiencing, Examining, Extrapolating and Expanding. Whether the leap calls you forth or youre thrust into its path against your will, youre likely to feel resistant at first. When it wont go away, you can begin exploring whats required to survive it and even thrive! Finally, youll step bravely into the unknown and just do it. After the shock and adrenaline rush of the leap wears off, youll realize youre safe on the other side. We suggest you pause and catch your breath before you reflect on what you did and how you did it. This helps you recalibrate so you can do more of it now that its familiar (even if its still not easy). The courage of taking a leap, no matter what it is, will expand your capacity to experience Life no matter what occurs around you. Youll also gain fresh perspectives on aspects of your life that were not apparent to you before. You may also notice the world treats you differently as your energy, behavior, communications and desires expand. These are all part of the positive paradigm shifts that will recalibrate your post-2012 world. We predict that the wisdom gained from experiencing new things and the exhilaration of doing them (and not just thinking about them) will generate a new you more attuned to the energy of 2012 and beyond. But please dont wait until 2012 to get started begin now! Barbara Schiffman and Camille Leon, co-creators/co-authors of The Exhilaration Effect: Building the Courage to Take Your Leap of Faith, coach people to have more fulfilling lives by taking leaps of faith. email: