Almost a week later I am still integrating my experience from this year’s Radical Aliveness Retreat. You see last year was a wild, deep, and intense ride for me. Intensely painful at times but with months of hindsight I know it was such a necessary and fruit filled journey. This year was equally moving but in a different way. After all, I’m in a different place personally than I was last year. This is good because it means I didn’t spend the year in between stagnant like a pond in mid-July! And it is all because I have been willing to come to the edge and look.

Let me share with you what that means. Dr. Susan Rangitsch who leads these retreats shared this:

Imagine you are standing on a ledge and there is a tree branch before you that you just know could not hold your weight. And the teacher says, "Come to the edge". "Come to the edge." Would you go?

Of course when I heard this last year besides being scared to death of the idea my first thought was that this woman was certifiably insane. I mean, really. Let’s be real, why would I knowingly wander out on a metaphorical branch that could not hold me? The logical answer is "DUH, of course not." But I learned over the last two years that there is more to this. It isn’t a "DUH"answer, in fact that is the response that keeps so many of us stuck far from the edge where it is safe, familiar, comfortable, and let’s face it, often painfully soul numbing.

I suppose the look on my face said it all, because she went on to share more of the teaching.

"Come to the edge." "Come to the edge." "Know that either one of two things will happen: either someone will be there to catch you or you will sprout wings and fly."

When she said this last year I have to admit I was still very skeptical. Although in this retreat much like in life, there is no hiding from yourself. In my experience the evening after she shared this with me, she drew me to the edge of my fear and rage. It was powerful, intensely emotional, and bone shaking. But guess what? It transformed me. In a way I still can’t and may never put into words it cracked me open right there in the heart space, that fourth chakra of self-acceptance, vulnerability, and love. I believe that evening that not only was there a circle of beautiful women there to catch me but that I also grew wings.

Does that mean that I am no longer afraid of the edge at all? Hell no! Get real! But it does mean that I am willing to come to and peer over the edge. And, when it feels right or necessary, I step off. For instance I did that last year with leaving Corporate America to work full time in my business. Sure I got a little kick in the pants push from the reorganization and layoff faeries, but I wouldn’t have been able to leap if I wasn’t already willing to look over the edge.

This year this same teaching came up several times throughout the weekend. I must admit after having it on replay in my head for the last 12 months it was sweet music to my ears to hear Susan say it again. Once again for a period of four days it was time to spend it at the edge -- peering over, pushing it, and leaping off. For me personally, this time it wasn’t nearly as dramatic on the dark side. Instead it was yet another opening -- this time to deeper love for and trust in myself and others. Once again a powerful circle of beautiful women held me up (and this time literally!) and I learned how to fly just a little more confidently. A more sweet and gentle transformation this time, but certainly no less powerful.

I am still a student; perhaps I always will be, learning to make fellowship with the edge; in all its pain and beauty. And if I could share a little secret with you -- I have to say I wouldn’t trade it in a heartbeat for the illusion of staying in some "acceptable’ comfort zone. The rewards are just too great.

Author's Bio: 

Paula Gregorowicz, owner of The Paula G. Company, works with women who feel angry & frustrated with having to compromise who they are in order to get what they want. To learn how to start getting more comfortable in your own skin in your life and business, download the Free 12 part eCourse at her blog or website .