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"I'm scared, Rick."

 

It was the last full day of a VisionQuest Bali Retreat and everyone was soaring.

 

Everyone except for one guy. Unexpected because he’d been on fire all week.

 

“Rick, maybe you can go talk to him,” said one of the other participants who had known him for many years.

 

I knocked and entered his room and instead of the vibrant, charming, powerful man that had been adventuring with us, I saw a young boy sitting on his bed, hiding, looking away. I saw wet cheeks.

 

I sat next to him and took my time asking him questions about what was going on.

 

He was concerned about many things related to going home and returning to his life. To his partner and son. To his work. To himself. It was like he was hoping that somehow his life situation would have magically changed during this trip to Bali.

 

I gave a few suggestions, but they were bordering on bullsh*t. After a few attempts I could tell wasn’t looking for advice.

 

I didn’t know what to say. So I just listened.

 

He'd done a custom 4 week program with me. For the past month we'd spent so much time together motorbiking, surfing, talking, meditating, yogaing, partying, laughing. He’d become a friend and it hurt to see my friend hurt. 

 

Feeling a little helpless, I asked him to stand up, and I hugged him.

 

After about a minute of silence (except for his sniffles) he said,

 

“I’m scared, Rick.”

 

And immediately, with those true words, the wall came down, the drama evaporated... and he was back.

 

As a man. Who felt scared in the face of bold change.

 

Out of the hundreds of unforgettable life-filled, love-filled moments with a group of truly inspiring human beings during that retreat, the realness of my friend’s “I’m scared” was my favorite moment.

 

Oh, except for the next morning, in the last hour of the retreat, when I watched him do a gainer (like a forwards back flip) off the high cliff jump.

 

And THAT somehow gave me the courage to attempt my very first back flip off it -- something I’d been wanting to do for 2 years but had been too scared to try. 

 

Heart pounding, I leapt, rotated and landed... Feet first! 

 

Funny how much can change from one moment of courage.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

UPDATE:

 

After this participant read the blog post he replied:

 

"I couldn't explain this moment better. I was scared of being better, older, wiser, truly me. And by just accepting this fear it just changed everything. There's a before this moment and an after this moment. You've been with me through the best journey of my life so far. Thank you, bro! Love you."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

To Your Most Fulfilling Dreams,

 

Rick Cowley

 

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