Leap and the Net May or May Not Appear

Posted on May 25, 2013

I’m a leaper. For better or worse (often for worse), I trust my instincts completely, and when my gut say leap, there I am–groundless, in love with whatever it is I’ve given myself over to in that moment, and on my way to quickly and indelibly finding out if that thing loves me back.

There are times when I’ve felt ashamed of this. When I’ve made terrible choices that have hurt me, come to conclusions that perhaps I would not have made if walking or crawling instead of leaping. I’ve envied the slow deciders. The cautious and careful. The reasonable. Surely, they didn’t get up on stage to sing and screw it all up. Or take the wrong job. Or marry the wrong guy and end up alone with a two year old. Surely, they don’t follow their intuition all over creation just to land back home where they started. The slow movers must certainly arrive somewhere significant and well planned, mustn’t they?

In the last few months, I’ve taken a new position on my leaping tendencies. I’ve decided to accept that this is the way I am. It doesn’t really matter where the slow movers net out, because this is not my speed and it’s not the way I’m going to move through life, no matter how much I might appreciate its advantages.

For better or for worse, my passions are huge, my movements are often big, and I trust this way of being because it is my most natural way. My job, as a leaper, is to also accept that risks are, well, risky. The net may or may not appear when I am in full-throttle forward. I could beat myself up about the fact that I’m free-falling in unknown territory, or I can do what I can to cultivate my landing skills.

For me, the mandatory landing skills are: gratitude, forgiveness, reckoning, and recommitment. Freedom is my primary value, and courage is the transportation of my choosing. If I am willing to make mistakes, get hurt, look stupid, disappoint myself and others, I will be liberated to love and give and aspire and try and fail.

The older I get, the more I wonder if the net is even the right thing to be wishing for. When we are moving at the speed that is most true for us, we will live into the opportunities and learn the lessons that are most aligned with who we are. Every landing is the one that we needed, no matter how clumsy or difficult or ecstatic it might be.


  1. drew myron
    May 25th, 2013 @ 8:52 pm


    I like the idea of “landing skills.”

    Keep jumping!

  2. Sage Cohen
    May 25th, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

    Thanks much, Drew! xox

  3. Nancy
    May 25th, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

    I like big-hearted, give-me-life you. :)

    You have to leap before you fly. Keep showing the way, please.

  4. Katie Bast
    May 25th, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

    So much gratitude for this piece, Sage. I, too, am learning to love my fabulous leaper self!

  5. Sage Cohen
    May 26th, 2013 @ 2:23 am

    Nancy, you make me sound so…voracious! : ) Thanks for that reflection! Katie, so happy to hear that you are welcoming the leaps!

  6. Dale Favier
    May 26th, 2013 @ 2:41 am

    Brava. Yes. I spent much of my life regretting that I was so slow and deliberate about all my life choices. Then one day I just decided, this is who I am: a cautious man who likes to research things and think them out first. There’s no need for me to try to be anybody else, and no reason to think anyone else’s style would work for me.

  7. Sage Cohen
    May 26th, 2013 @ 2:43 am

    Isn’t it amazing, Dale, that it can take a lifetime to give ourselves permission to be the way that is most natural for us to be?

  8. Niya C. Sisk
    May 27th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    Sage, I’m about to leap and have been facing all kinds of ‘hard on myself’s about it” — this piece comes to me right in a time when I most need it. And it’s SO beautifully written. While my decision to leap wasn’t as fast as decisions in the past…there is a portion of free fall in this decision where I can see myself having nothing more to offer onlookers and questioners than the answer “I don’t know.” I don’t know what’s next, it’s a sort of braille of hard-true-self-listening, day by day.


  9. Sage Cohen
    May 28th, 2013 @ 1:36 am

    A braille of hard-true-self-listening, day by day: Niya, YES! So beautifully and clearly said…You are one of my great teachers in the realm of the leap, my friend. I honor your journey.

  10. Bill Fletcher
    June 2nd, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    Hi Sage, ever watch the show “Quantum Leap”? terrific plot and message – many awards..

    I’ve always been a leaper, and yes, one leap left me as a single parent… Yet as an aspiring aviator, we learn “any landing you can walk away from is a good landing”.

    May your leaps be grand, your discoveries blue, your landings true…


  11. Porcelain Lotus
    June 2nd, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

    I envy the leapers. I envy the ability to completely trust oneself and to follow your passion wholeheartedly. Trust me when I say that leaping and get your heart broken is far better than being trapped by fear. Many planners are really just too afraid to move. I used to leap more but life got in the way. I would love to leap more, to open my heart. I hope to relearn that ability and find some balance between leaping and planning.

  12. Elise Hempel
    June 14th, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    I hate to be the negative one here, but no one is purely “leaper” or not. Hopefully, you make some very careful and planned decisions about the child you’re raising, along with other issues in your life. Hopefully, you also take some chances and risks and sing and have fun. This defining of one’s self as either leaper or not is too simple and sentimental and seems to me to be the opposite of what poetry is about.

  13. Warden
    June 21st, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

    Leapers move many non-leapers forward in their lives. You helped me many years ago understand the importance of leaping. Landing often can be on your feet or on your backside but you always land. I try and encourage my sons the importance of leaping. Thanks for an amazing story.

  14. Lydia Fraser
    July 15th, 2013 @ 1:34 am

    A gorgeous piece of writing on self-acceptance. You have embraced the spirit of your ‘grasshopper’ totem. Would you believe that my totem is the cockroach. I’m very proud of my tenacity.

  15. Sage Cohen
    July 15th, 2013 @ 1:45 am

    Lydia: a cockroach totem–how awesome! Thanks for your kind words!

  16. Sage Cohen
    July 15th, 2013 @ 2:10 am

    Thanks so much, Warden…I’m honored to have been of help to you…

  17. Gwyn
    October 25th, 2013 @ 1:44 am

    Interesting piece! I make decisions quickly (like you), but I always err toward the “safe” side of things. You sound incredibly brave, and I admire that about you. I have always seen the opposite. Win or fail, people like you have vastly interesting lives. From the places you have lived, the people you have met, or the opportunities you have seized, you have lived a full life. That, in itself, is an amazing thing.

  18. Sage Cohen
    October 25th, 2013 @ 3:31 am

    That is kind of you to say, Gwyn, but I think I’m just as terrified as that next person! : )

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