Happiness is Dropping off a Cliff.

Last weekend I dropped off a cliff.

I was attached to a yellow rope, a green rope, and a bright blue harness. It was as safe as these things can be but it was so scary I almost froze. Before I could go down, I had to back over the edge of the cliff and stand on a small ledge while I was fastened onto the ropes and then lean back into thin air and drop.

It was supposed to be abseiling, but in my case it was less like sailing and more like a crab scuttling over uneven ground in slow motion. I placed my feet carefully on each small outcrop, took jerky steps, and held on to the rope so hard my hands hurt.

I was so awkward that the instructor thought I was in trouble and stopped the descent. I was left hanging against the rocky cliff long enough to forget the danger and worry what my ample thighs looked like from below.

As I landed, my knee hit the ground before my feet and I landed in a heap, but I was exhilarated. I felt three feet taller.

Doing something tricky, scary, or challenging is a great way to improve happiness.

Is there something adventurous you can do this week?

Here are a few ideas.

Make adventure a priority. Even though I am as busy as most people, I left the house renovations and garden weeding for another day. I will remember this forever. I wish I had done more of this with my children when they were young.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities for adventure. I saw the brochure for this activity at the local shopping mall and booked it straight away.Abseiling was just part of the adventure. The activity took place on a mountain with panoramic views of other mountains. Double good.

Be willing to take the first, sometimes scary, step, and do it quickly. I had left my bag at the bottom and suddenly I needed to get down and find it fast. Without enough time to think too hard, I just stepped over the boulders and into position without much time to think. A few of the other ladies in my group waited too long and never made it to the edge.

Don’t give up. After my drop, I watched some of the men bounding down the rocks like sideways kangaroos. I want to turn my crab crawl into a bounce. I want to go abseiling again one day.

I encourage you to find more adventures to be part of and maybe you too will have more bounce in your step.

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