Skydiving Article - Survival Secrets
It has been said that danger is forced enlightenment. This
is because, when we are at risk, we must be our highest selves in order to
survive. The specific methods that get us through danger are no different
from the skills that we need in our daily lives. Rarely however, do we make
the connection between our heroic selves and the person that walks our apparently
mundane existence. In truth, nothing in life is mundane. All our actions have
consequences and our future is shaped entirely in the present moment. There
is risk in everything we do.
Making the connection between our heroic self and our mundane lives is the
key to enhancing our persona and improving the way in which we cope with all
of life's challenges. When we begin to apply the principles by which we cope
with physical danger, we begin to dissolve the imaginary barrier between our
two personas. When we utilise the simple way of being that is the mind of
the hero, we begin to expand who we are as a human being and realise our true
potential in the world.
Here are the essential components of the hero's mindset. These are things
that we already know but often forget to implement. As pilots have pre-flight
checklists, we all need to reflect on these aspects of our experience to ensure
our safety in all situations.
Remembering to continue breathing while under stress is the most important
part of survival. Without the breath, there is no sustainability. Our bodies
require the gifts that aerobic inspiration brings. New air provides more
than just oxygen to the mind and body. It offers a new perspective, enlivened
Take a deep breath in. Open your lungs to their fullest capacity. Hold the
breath for a second so that you may control the momentum of the exhale.
Restrict the throat to ease the rate of the expiration, slowly releasing
the energy back into the world. Once the breath is back under control and
the cycle of respiration
If you carry tension in your mind or body you will lose touch
with the flow of the moment. Relaxing is as important as correct action, because
all well-conceived actions are born from the calm state. From this place in
ourselves, all answers are created.
We must store energy when we are not in motion, otherwise we will run out.
By resting whenever we can, we are prepared to act when action is necessary.
The metabolism is not a bottomless pit of energetic resources but a short-burst
machine that requires recapitulation in order to act with optimum efficiency.
Likewise, the mind also needs to store focus, sobering up to absolute clarity
so that we may see the world as it is.
We have it within us to sharpen our attention when danger
is near. When we let go of distraction and point our awareness to the world
around us, we have the ability to perceive even the minutest of details even
in a split second of appraisal.
This level of awareness is exhausting, however, and requires constant refocusing
of the attention. When we become mentally fatigued, our consciousness begins
If we train ourselves to focus through regular centring practices
such as yoga and mediation, we develop the ability to refocus our minds quickly
and efficiently. When we find ourselves becoming ungrounded and fearful, we
can take a deep breath and refocus our minds on the present moment, and our
eyes on the situation in front of us. In circumstances involving real danger,
seizing the moment to calm down and sharpen our awareness can be the difference
between living and dying.
When we are under prolonged stress, it is easy to slip into
the belief that we are no longer in immediate danger. This is a function of
the body's urge to calm down and rest, a task of the parasympathetic systems
that heal our bodies. It is these times that we find ourselves in the most
danger. Lulled into a false sense of security, we allow our sharp focus to
become soft, and we become complacent. This is how accidents happen. When
we are in dangerous situations, we must remember that we’re always walking
on a razor’s edge.
Although dangerous circumstances require our respect and complete attention,
this does not mean that we cannot enjoy the experience. In fact, in order
to be in the ‘Flow State’, it is essential that we act with a sense of intense
joy. Only in a positive frame of mind can we completely surrender to the
experience. The secret key to surviving danger is joy, not fear.
Trepidation disguises itself as prudence, but it is not. It is resistance
to a flowing situation that requires the elimination of all friction if
it is to function at all. Flow is disrupted by fear, as it causes us to
freeze when we need to act; and act when we need to stop. The only way to
glide through real danger is to surrender to the experience, and simply
love it. Love and fear are opposites, and cannot exist in the same moment
in consciousness. Although the contextual nature of stress is incredibly
varied, the core solutions are always the same. By remembering how we perform
in the face of physical threats, we can awaken the part of ourselves that
knows how to negotiate our reality. Rather than falling victim to habitual
patterns of coping, we can begin to step out of the part of ourselves that
sees problems, into the perspective that sees only solutions. When we walk
the path in balance, we can rise to any challenge presented to us, and become
the hero we were meant to be.