I was driving along this scenic stretch of road out of Queenstown, New Zealand. I was heading towards the outskirt, just driving and taking all the warm air and the picturesque scenery in one afternoon in December 12, 1996. A friend, Nadia, was with me. The road was winding and at every turn there was another corner to negotiate. To my left was a gorge. A meandering river flowing right along it. The river water was fast flowing and I could hear the sound of the water flowing speedily along. What a wonderful feeling and a sight to behold, I told Nadiah and silently to myself. It is so peaceful although the warm air of the winter was brushing against our faces . Life was indeed fabulous and to be alive was such a good thing, I thought to myself.
20 minutes of the journey into the unknown, we heard a faint sound of screams and cheers coming through out half-wound down windows of our car. That was so strange. Out of nowhere the sound penetrated the silence and the peace around us. Being my usual inquisitive self, I suggested to Nadiah that we checked out the source of the intriguing noise. We followed the direction of where the sound was streaming from. After a short drive off-track we saw a parking lot full of cars and coaches. As we approached, the screams and laughters were so loud. We could feel the hive of activities that was taking place there.
We quickly got out of our car and ran towards the source of the commotion. Guess what we found? It was the place where a historic bridge was located. Right below the bridge is a gushing river with white water. The gap must be easily be 30 storey high. This is he location where the first bungee jumping started. Every minute, a jumper would leap into space and fell almost to the surface of the water below and bounced back up only to fall back close to the river once again. Both Nadiah and I looked challengingly at each other; our eyes probing each other to consider taking a go at it. We discussed, from where we stood, the jump didn’t seem to be difficult as the height did not seem a formidable task. Finally after much encouragement, nudging and probing by each other, we decided to pay up and make the plunge, literally. Much to our amazement that we could ever make such a decision. Just minutes before we were feeling calm while enjoying the drive and the next moment we got committed to such a decision that added an element of strength into our lives. Our hearts raged with excitement and wonderment. How could we have decided to do this!!
Being “ladies first”, Nadiah took her first step after having being fastened with the bungee cords. There was this narrow wooden plank she was to take and at the end of this, Nadiah was to take that final step and let gravity decide what to do with her. She slowly edged towards the end of the plank and was told to smile as she was on video camera. She said “Push me…push me!!”. I could hear her scream so loudly and off she went into space. Then the screams turned into “aahhs” and I must say those were not words of fear but sheer ecstasy. Nadiah bounced several times and moments later, released from her bungee cords. Nadiah emerged in total mesmerized expresssion and speechless.
It was my turn. Both my legs were tied to the cords. I slowly took small steps along the plank. I could empathize the emotions and thoughts that were going through Nadiah’s body and mind. I told myself what sort of wisdom had driven us to this decision. From that point onwards, nothing else mattered except to gather the courage to reach the end of he wooden plank and jump. Fully aware of what was there for me at the end of the plank did not help much at all. While I reached my final step, I could see people all round watching and cheering me on. I bravely look into the video camera. I lifted my arms, standing at the tip of the plank, as if in flight (and fright!!). A feeling of that height below overwhelmed me. I had never done such a thing before. Right in front of me, just less then an inch away, an open space and wilderness; right below me the river and empty space. Known and yet unknown. A very calculated hesitation in my step forward and yet an expectation of achievement if I took that leap. I decidedly smiled into the camera, screamed my head off and leaped into space, spreading my arms. Mere seconds later, I was touching the surface of the river water. I was bounced back up instantaneously and then brought back down to almost to the river. A few seconds later, the jump was over and I was hung upside down waiting to be released from the cords.
Immediately I was on a high. If only I would be staying up there and bouncing up and down forever. What a feeling and a tremendously joy that would be. Both Nadiah and I once again were trying to encourage each other to go for it another time. We finally decided to move on. Just a few minutes more, we could have decided to go for a second round. Sheer madness.
I am sharing this for the simple reason that all of us could get out of our comfort zone and do something that we have never tried before. Take the risk and what really could happen. We can learn from the outcome and live our life well. Our mind is very powerful and once we can transform our mindset, nothing is impossible. Something ridiculous might not be something silly or stupid at the outcome. It is just another experience and just living our life to the fullest. Mistakes made. So what? Our journey is about taking small steps and be able to live like we have only the next seconds left. And be able to learn while doing so. I have made many many mistakes and those are priceless and precious learnings that I picked up along my way. If I had not done the mistakes, I would not know better.
Metaphors are being shared to re-frame a person’s mindset and perspective. Children love stories. Learnings are very quickly absorbed as messages moved right across into the unconscious mind. There are no filters to sieve the messages. Adults are fond of limiting what they want to take in; so unlike children. Therefore, adults learn slowly. Children do wonders in picking up languages and everything when they were growing up. Just like a sponge. Metaphors are therefore used for changing minds and making positive transformation. The understanding and application come about when the need by the individual arises. Metaphors are subtle and yet they are fantastic teaching and therapy tools. Metaphors, yes, they speak volume.