Sometimes the idea of a leap of faith hovers over your head like a dark shadow. In certain lights, it has a halo around it, while other times you see terrifying devil horns. At the age of eight-years-old, big wave surfer and innovator, Laird Hamilton, decided he would jump off a 60-foot cliff while taking a simple stroll with his father. It’s an attitude he’s carried with him still to this day.

Even when the cliff is right in front of you and the water is plenty deep, the perils of what’s in the water can cause you to keep walking down the same path instead of taking the jump.

About seven years ago, I faced a cliff. Drenched in vulnerability, I ripped the band aid off and I jumped. To this day it was the hardest decision I have ever made. I am confident it was the right move, but I often think about the place I left behind. Hamilton was in his hometown of Hawaii when he jumped. The path I jumped from, to me, was just like Hawaii. Not so much in nature, but in sheer beauty and sentiment. I was not escaping a hazardous situation, I was simply trying something new, taking a chance — a leap of faith that I felt was necessary in effort to follow my dreams.

Though I visit as much as I can, I don’t get to go back to my takeoff spot all that often. I knew when I left, chances are I would not ever live there again. I consider myself beyond fortunate to be in my current environment, still …many days, I miss the old faces and places dearly.

As I prepared for my journey into the unknown I compiled a list of songs that I felt would match my emotions. While they vary in genre, mood (they are all very moody) and subject matter, there are a few themes: 1- you are not alone. 2- honesty, what’s going to happen? 3- you can do it.

Here is an updated list of 10 songs to buddy-up to during your leap. I still listen to many of them as my journey is on-going. They serve as both a fire-starter and a scrapbook.

WE ALL WALK THE LONG ROAD: Photo by: Michael Young

“Life Must Go On” by: Alter Bridge

Because it must. If you are arranging a song order to your playlist that will accompany your journey, make this song the opener. A profound set of perspective lyrics from top to bottom.

Keep rolling…

“Be Here Now” by: Ray LaMontagne

“Don’t let your heart get heavy
Child, inside you there’s a strength that lies…
Don’t look for love in faces, places
It’s in you that’s where you’ll find…”
Be in the moment.

“Lost Stars” by: Adam Levine

“God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season and the lambs are on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?”

“Something Good Coming” by: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

“I’m thinking ‘bout mama, and about the kids, and the way we lived, and the things we did…
There’s something good coming, there has to be.”

“Not Ready to Make Nice” by: The Dixie Chicks

A fiery- I will stand my ground and not back down song. I love how it represents the full journey of owning your decision, fighting for what you believe in and regardless of outcome, being proud of it. 1.47 to 3:12 gives me the chills all the way through, every single time. Made my bed and I sleep like a baby.

“Taillights Fade” by: Buffalo Tom

This is the — everyone’s asleep in the car but you, and you’re driving in the dark down a desolate highway in an unfamiliar area song. Your mind is running wild and you miss home.

“Run Away” by: Carl Bell

“Gonna find a way to chase our dreams down, push all our chips in and leave this town and just run away.”

“Preach” by: Daniel Johns

“I don’t care if it’s too late for this I’m used to that. I don’t need an angel. Now I dance to my own beat, … and I fall at my own feet.”

“The House That Built Me” by: Miranda Lambert

A song to keep in the locket and remind you of home.

“Porch” by: Pearl Jam

“Hear my name, take a good look, this could be the day.”

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