Looking back, my feelings of exhilaration are found in the peak moments in my life.

Memories quickly come to me that are aligned with major life experiences like falling in love, learning I was pregnant, and having my children. Next, I recall major life accomplishments, like graduating from grad school, closing a major sales deal, and being recruited for executive-level positions.

As I dig a bit deeper, I recall the exhilaration I felt when I’ve overcome a fear of learning or experiencing something new, like downhill skiing. The first time I wound my way down what felt like a double black diamond and looked back up at it, I gasped at what I was capable of doing.

Then I recall the high that comes with first-time experiences like being in Jamaica and standing in line to swim with the dolphins. One of my lifelong dreams was about to come true! The man I was dating at the time agreed to join me and despite all of the other people in line being children, I knew we had tapped into an opportunity that many other adults would only observe.

Wading and waiting in the water for the dolphin to surface and “pick me up” for a ride was daunting, to say the least…yet a sudden “swoop” and we were off!

It felt exhilarating to be holding onto a real live dolphin, to be cruising along, skimming the surface of the water, catching my lover's eye knowing he was next. It was an epic moment I will treasure forever.

Over the past few years, I’ve realized my opportunity to find the glimpses in nature that instantly bring me to that place of exhilaration.

Experiences like watching the sunrise over many different shorelines, seeing a banyan tree in Hawaii that is hundreds and hundreds of years old, and cycling down Mount Haleakala at sunrise.

In these moments it is my physical senses that capture the essence of the exhilaration.

All, wonderful moments that I treasure.

What I’ve come to know now is that since I have reconnected within and regained a sense of “trusting my own instincts”, exhilaration does not require the “thrill of danger”, or the "high" that comes with accomplishment.

The understanding I have nothing to fear, nothing to prove to anyone, and there is no value in “pushing” myself harder and harder has given me the freedom to love and appreciate where I stand right NOW.

Perhaps that is the core of exhilaration, being fully present, embracing the now, without looking back or distracted by what’s coming, because it is there that endless opportunity lives.

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