A Leap of Trust

This month’s illustration is inspired by a card I made for my sister who was born on February 29 — a Leap Year baby.

Horse and Hobji Leaping into Abyss - A Leap of Trust

Leap Year is an interesting name for a year that has one extra day. Specifically, it refers to the jump in the progression of calendar days that happens from year to year. For a great explanation GO HERE.

The jumping horse in my illustration, which just popped into my mind, suggests an entirely different meaning for Leap Year.

I believe this year is calling for us to make a huge leap of trust, into a new way of being.

Many of you, I’m sure, will agree that saving the earth and our species from the impending disaster of climate chaos will require massive shifts in the way humans behave. Our primitive habits of fear, acquisition, and unchecked reproduction — which served us well in Paleolithic times — are now leading us to the brink of extinction.

There are positive signs that we are beginning to change. See Al Gore’s Tedtalk: The Case for Optimisim on Climate Change. But this is only a start and unfortunately motivated more by fear than by any fundamental change in how we are being.

I believe the leap of Leap Year is into our real passion and purpose, to finally do exactly what we most long for and desire.

Mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell calls it, “following our bliss.”

When we follow our bliss, when we share our gifts and talents and are  in alignment with our true self, we feel contentment, joy, compassion and love. Fear and greed really do drop away. This is felt not only in our minds but in our bodies, because it is really what humans are designed to do.

There is a Vitality, a Life Force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the Urges that activate you.
Keep the Channel open.
– Martha Graham

Fortunately, living your calling does not really require you to hurl yourself off a cliff. Although at times it may feel like that. The leap can begin with baby steps.

A colleague of mine, Phyllis Ginsberg author of Brain Makeover, asks the questions:

  • How much of your behavior is motivated by fear?
  • How much by love?

Answering these two questions is an eye-opening exercise. But we mustn’t stop here. We must ask how to change the balance in favor of love. Acting from love puts us on our path to bliss.

Let me give you a mundane example: I find that it is much easier to be loving toward others when I am loving toward myself.

Being loving toward myself, however, is where I find resistance.

I, like many women, have been socialized from early childhood to be accommodating. At the root of accommodation is a desire to be accepted and loved. It is a survival strategy that while useful for the dependent child may produces undesirable results as an adult, e.g. disdain, dismissal, devaluation and disadvantage.

Because of my habit of accommodating, I often find it difficult to know what I want. So this is where the baby steps come in. Every day, I practice asking what I want. This is very different from making decisions based on what I “should do,” what is “logical,” or what others “want me to do.”

Sometimes the desired action is as simple as choosing what I want to eat rather than relying on the selections of others. It is getting easier to ask a second and even third time for what I want, when in the past I might let it go. I am even saying no to the requests of others or at least delaying my response until I’m clear.

It is amazing the resistance that can show up in attempting these baby steps. At the same time, it is surprising how fast my behavior is changing. The big ah hah is how much easier love, compassion and presence come when I take my baby steps.

Are you ready for a leap?

Begin with self observation. When is your behavior motivated by love and when by fear. What baby steps can you begin to take to change that? What would you LOVE to do instead? Notice what shows up when you act from love instead of fear.

Please share what you’ve discovered in a comment below.

What are you waiting for?

With love,


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Grief, Loss and Death Expert Michelle Peticolas, Ph.D. helps professional women struggling with grief and loss to have peace-of-mind, closure and a life worth living. If you’re ready to shift into a whole new way of being with death and loss, a new way of living your life, get Michelle’s complimentary guide, Essentials for Grieving Well at www.secretsoflifeanddeath.com


  1. […] April 1st – April Fool’s Day. The Fool inspired this month’s illustration. The Fool is the perfect next step to last month’s blog: A Leap of Trust. […]

Speak Your Mind