Lessons From a Flock of Geese: How to Live in a Topsy Turvy World

Perhaps because of the dynamics of this year, or perhaps because I am ready to learn in a new way, I’ve given a lot of time and attention to Gaia, Mother Earth who has so much wisdom to share.  Her teaching methods are subtle, profound and always ‘right on target’ with what I am questioning or desiring to know.

Recently, I have been wondering about what to ‘do’ next and how I can make a difference in this topsy turvy world we are experiencing.  Some days I feel energized and eager and other days, drained.

I’d like to share with you my ‘aha’ experience:

cid_3b8aa8e0-ce70-43b5-9558-e17b6ee77523homeToday, I noticed a large flock of Canada geese flying in ‘V’ formation.

Do you know, “Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves an important purpose: It conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.” (from The Library of Congress Researchers)

As I watched their harmonious flight, it came to me:

‘It’s ok to fly in the lead position with your flock; it’s also ok to hang back, conserve energy and allow others in your flock to take the lead for a while. You are in this together, heading towards a common destination, while at the same time each of you are living your own unique experiences.

Listen within and be open to the position within the flock that is currently most life giving for you.  If you feel inspired to lead, then lead.  If you feel inspired to hang back and ride the current of another’s stream to regain your strength, then do that.  Remain open to the change of positioning that will inevitably occur. The energy of the flock is perfectly aligned for everyone’s joy-filled benefit.

You are carried on the current of Love’s harmony and perfect timing.  Let go and enjoy the flight of the flock and your valued place within it.

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise: Experience the video below, then listen within for the answers to these initial journaling questions: What terrains in my life am I currently flying over? Which areas of my life do I feel energized to take the lead? Is there a terrain I am flying over where I feel it is appropriate to allow others to take the lead?  Am I willing to switch positions within my flock?  Am I aware that I am even flying within a flock?  Am I open to allowing Love’s current to guide the flock and my positions within it?  Watch the video again, this time mindfully breathing and believing (even if you have to pretend) that you are perfectly guided within your flock of beautiful travelers.

Special thanks to those sharing Love & Light with the world! ‘Thank you’ for opening yourself to the joy of our shared flight- Joan Kappes

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YouTube video does not belong to the blog owner. It is used for educational purposes only

Photo via Thomas Ramsay

 

#IAMChoosingLove———Pt 2: Stories of Transformation

I amchoosinglove conscious step sai#IAMChoosingLove was born November 24, 2015.  Four simple words were gifted to me during meditation:  ‘I AM Choosing Love’.  Soon after I heard, ‘Because we always have a choice to love.  Will you join me?’

Yes! I was ‘in’ and quickly invited friends to join me.  We knew it was an inspired idea, yet none of us had a clue as to how it would manifest or what it would do, if anything.  One thing was sure, these four powerful words, I AM Choosing Love resonated deep within our hearts; we were intrigued, curious and eager to give it a try.  Little did we know that ‘playing around’ with it as a simple online hashtag would magnify and expand Love into our daily lives, transforming us in ways we never could have imagined.

Following are stories of how #IAMChoosingLove transformed the lives of six everyday people.  Enjoy……….

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stripe“I’ve always considered myself a kind and loving person so when I was asked to be part of the online #IAMChoosingLove campaign I didn’t have to think twice before I said yes. It seemed like a very natural thing for me to do. What I didn’t expect was the massive emotional impact I experienced when I began to use those words and respond to comments posted by other people.

For me choosing love means that I have to take a breath, think, and respond in a way that is loving and kind even when I’m upset or offended.  I am now aware of the many times I have unnecessarily created pain for someone else because of an impulsive response. Choosing love has helped me grow emotionally and spiritually.”

-Janet Nestor   Website  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest

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stripe“There can be no doubt that love is a choice, and my life has been transformed by the commitment to choose love…love rather than fear, love rather than anger (a bi-product of fear), love rather than expectation. The biggest breakthrough for me was realizing that choosing love is an opportunity that presents itself constantly throughout my day…a choice when someone is unkind to me, when someone bumps me with a shopping cart, when a total stranger verbally vents his/her anger at me for no reason other than I was present, or when a loved speaks harshly to me. The temptation may be to react with anger, but the opportunity is to react with love. And every time I choose love, the world feels so much kinder, so much more compassionate, and so much more loving in return. Love sparks hope, forgiveness, and connectedness. For these and countless other reasons, #IAmChoosingLove”.

~Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino  Website  Twitter 

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stripe“One day, as I was reaching into the refrigerator after a particularly stressful moment, I thought to myself, “No, not this time.” I am not going to stuff my stress with sugary, carb-laden food. I am not going to harm my body. I thought, ” #IAmChoosingLove. ”

I am choosing love for my body – this body that has supported every activity I do every day, perfectly, for many years now. I am going to choose to be my body’s best friend. I am going to shut out the voices in my head telling me my body is “too heavy”, “too this..or too that”, and let my body know it can rely on me to feed it the foods it needs to feel most alive, happy and full of joy, the foods it needs to support me in the life I live, the work I do, the communities I serve.

As I made a better, healthier choice that day, I thought, “Stopping to think #IAmChoosingLove for a second, before I made a wrong choice, made me feel so much better, it made me feel FULL – of hope.

-Leslie C. – Messages of Hope  Twitter  Facebook  Instagram

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stripe“Judgment of our self and others is the culprit of superiority, inferiority, and feelings of separation. Within these, many negative emotions can arise, e.g., anger, jealousy, bitterness, anxiousness, etc. When you take note of how many times during your day you habitually judge yourself and others, it is an eye opener. Even if you consider yourself a pretty open-minded person, pay attention to how often you judge. I think you’ll be surprised. I was simply amazed at my own habitual judging, and it never felt good! It goes against the grain of your true nature which is love. Love knows nothing of judgment. Replacing judgment with “I AM Choosing Love” mantra places you smack center into your heart where love lies and judgment transmutes to compassion and kindness.

Just this morning I did my weekly errand to the recycling center. There was a middle-aged man whom I could smell from 50 feet away and it was not a pleasant odor, to say the least. He had arrived there by foot and could have possibly been homeless. I found him initially very offensive and somewhat threatening. How quickly I had judged – such a knee-jerk reaction! With this awareness, I made the choice to quietly state the “I AM Choosing Love” mantra, and instantly left my judgmental thoughts and acknowledged the gentleman with a smile and loving heart. I received a smile back and that was the end of it. Yet, it was a powerful moment and none of us can underestimate the ripple effect of such a small act of kindness. I know I personally felt a whole lot better as a result. The I AM Choosing Love mantra has enriched all of my relationships, including my 37 year marriage which was already very loving.

Claiming #IAMChoosingLove, as simple as it sounds, is powerful when used with the intent of choosing love over fear or hate which stem primarily from judgment. “Judge not that you may not be judged.” Can you imagine a world where everyone is choosing love? It begins with each and every one of us. We are living in extreme times – love is the answer; the great neutralizer – choose it.”

-Denna Shelton  Website  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest

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stripe“I have had many aha moments concerning love. But everything hinges from intention. That moment when I consciously chose. When I decided love is what I want in my life. For me that choice is perfectly described with #IAmChoosingLove. Love begins with a choice, many choices: To be kind. To show compassion. To listen to the needs of others. To say ‘I Love You’. To notice the sun and flowers by day and to appreciate the rain that makes it possible. To walk into the darkness of night and say thank you for giving me the stars. Love is everywhere… the clouds that move and roll across the sky. Love is in the rising and setting of the sun and all those magic moments in between.

Recently these words came to my mind: The words we never speak will never be heard and the love we never show will never be felt. It reminded me of the childhood game, ‘Show and Tell’. Show and tell others that you love them. We are each a unique example of love. We are all somebody’s angel. Find those people in life that you are uniquely made to serve and give them all the love you can. Freely let it flow. Trust your heart and speak the love you feel. Trust love and do not be afraid. Perfect love is void of fear. Perfect love will bring joy. Perfect love will cause you to lose sight of yourself and you will begin to see yourself in the eyes of others. Look into the eyes of a child… of your best friend… a dog or a cat… and look! Really look! Love is there waiting to be seen!

How do you know you are doing it right? You will feel it! Love feels amazing! Love shines in the eyes of those who have it in their hearts! So help activate that spark that is always there in the people around you who perhaps may have forgotten. You can be their angel; a messenger of love.

To me this passage exemplifies what love is beautifully: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love requires courage. Love seems to have a sense of vulnerably and softness, but love is POWERFUL and STRONG, FEARLESS and BRAVE and yet very tender and sweet. Your love can change the lives of others and it will definitely change your life.

So make a great decision today. Join us in using the #IAmChoosingLove hashtag and spread the message of love. You’ll be happy you did and you will bring joy into the lives of those you touch. I love you and wish you all the best.”

-Dave S.  Website  Twitter

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stripe“My heart opened.  My self worth soared.  More and more, I see people through the eyes of Love and Joy.  I am experiencing our Oneness.

#IAMChoosingLove is the most beneficial, expanding way of being (and habit) I have ever fostered.  It is a gift.  It is useful.  It is my new awareness, my new way of life, my new ‘coming home’ to me-ness.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world – and I don’t have to because Love is our world.

-Joan Kappes  Website  Twitter  Pinterest

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Part 1, ‘How’ to choose Love, pragmatically answers the question ‘how do I choose Love?’   A step by step process is given so that you (and everyone) can choose love – everyday, in every situation!

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The invitation to choose Love is given to all.  Will you join us? – Joan Kappes

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#IAMChoosingLove ——— Pt 1: ‘How’ to Choose Love…Every Day

During these crazy times, we want to ‘do’ something, yet often feel powerless. Our hearts yearn for Love and compassion.

These times are inviting us to ‘be’ different. They invite us to look inward – to hear the still, small Voice that says ‘You are More.’ The I AM within each of us calls us to ‘be’ Love and to choose Love. Have you heard the invitation? Listen, for it is there.

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i-am-choosinglove-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#IAMChoosingLove

Have you seen this hashtag lately? It’s a ‘cute’ phrase, right? Actually, it goes well beyond cuteness or trendiness.

These four simple words are life changing – world changing. They are all that is required. They are everything.

#IAMChoosingLove

Simply, yet profoundly, #IAMChoosingLove is an invitation, a life altering awareness that no matter the situation, we always have a choice to Love. The details of these 4 power-filled words may be found here.

Today’s reflection is a pragmatic one. ‘If I am hearing that still, small Voice and I want to answer ‘Yes’! to the invitation to Love, how do I choose Love? Really…..how do I choose it?’  The answer lies in the following three intentional steps:

 Step one:  Discover the reality that you always have a choice to Love! How? Become familiar with the phrase, ‘I AM Choosing Love’. Plaster it everywhere (so you remember to think this new thought) – on sticky notes, reminders on your phone, your mirrors, your fridge, in your car….everywhere you go. Become so familiar with #IAMChoosingLove that it repeats in your mind over and over (just like a song that gets ‘stuck’ in your head!).  Allow it to flow from your heart, into your mind.  Very soon after repeatedly using this phrase, you will become aware of the myriad of opportunities to choose Love.

 Step 2:  Focus.  Focus is a powerful tool, essential for choosing and living a life of Love.

Step 2 contains two parts:

  • Notice the thoughts you are thinking and focused upon regarding the topic or situation at hand, then decide if they feel either ‘loving’ or ‘fearful’.
  • Actively choose either the love-filled thought or, if the current thought does not feel ‘freeing’ or ‘loving’, find another thought that feels more in the direction of a loving, ‘downstream-like’ thought.

Click here for more about the power of focus.

Step 3: Use and choose: Use the words (silently and aloud) ‘I AM Choosing Love’ then choose the loving thought or action

Examples:

  • ‘I AM Choosing Love right now’
  • ‘I have a choice in this situation and I AM Choosing Love’
  • ‘This person is driving me crazy right now, and I have a choice as to how I perceive them. In this moment, ‘I AM Choosing Love’ instead of (fear, anger, self righteousness, judgement, etc.)
  • ‘I am not feeling very good about myself right now. I could have done this and I should have done that, but instead I AM Choosing Love.  I am choosing to Love Me.

The power of #IAMChoosingLove lies in your intention and practice.  You are internalizing and creating a transformational habit, so frequency is essential!

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise: Learning to monitor and choose loving thoughts is absolutely a habit.  It may seem awkward at first, but if you treat your observations as if they are a ‘what-am-I-thinking-right-now’ game and a ‘what-loving-thought-could-I-choose-now’ exercise, you will soon notice (and feel) your thoughts and actions ‘morphing’ into the Loving, magnificent person you already are!  Commit for 21 days and experience your metamorphosis!

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Be sure to experience Part 2: Transformational stories of six people who said ‘yes’ to the invitation to give #IAMChoosingLove a try, using the above steps.  The results are beautiful and life-changing!

I amchoosinglove conscious step sai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#IAMChoosingLove with you – Joan Kappes

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My Declaration of Freedom

Now is your time to be free!

Now is your time

Now is your time

Now is your time to let go

Now is your time to let go of the habits of fear, insecurity, sameness

Now is your time to let go of it all and release whatever is holding you back

Now is your time to let go of being right, justified, angry, fearful, unworthy

Now is your time to let worthiness overtake you and reshape you

Now is your time to go to the next level – the level you have been anticipating for so long

Now is your time to experience that everything you’ve hoped and dreamed of becoming is already who you are and resides in your heart and soul

Now is your time to change focus from looking outward for validation and worth to inward where Love, Joy, lavish abundance and the real You dwells

Now is your time to become aware, understand and know the Divine Presence that resides in you and through you and as you

Now is your time to allow yourself to be wrapped in the precious blanket of unconditional Love

Now is your time to let yourself be loved… by you

Now is your time to be free!

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Find an uninterrupted, relaxing spot.  If you can, go outdoors and find a spot in nature that gives you a sense of joy and peace.  Get comfortable, and take 4-5 deep breaths.  Focus on your breathing.  Allow the events, thoughts and circumstances of the day to drift gently away for a few moments.  Now it is time to claim and revel in your independence.  It is time to “Come to the Edge” and embrace the next level of your life.  Out loud, if you can, read the following:

My Declaration of Freedom

Now is my time to be free

Now is my time

Now is my time

Now is my time to let go

Now is my time to let go of the habits of fear, insecurity, sameness

Now is my time to let go of it all and release whatever is holding me back

Now is my time to let go of being right, justified, angry, fearful, unworthy

Now is my time to let worthiness overtake me and reshape me

Now is my time to go to the next level – the level I have been anticipating for so long

Now is my time to experience that everything I’ve hoped and dreamed of becoming is already who I am and resides in my heart and soul

Now is my time to change focus from looking outward for validation and worth to inward where Love, Joy, lavish abundance and the real Me dwells

Now is my time to claim the glory that is me

Now is my time to become aware, understand and know the Divine Presence that resides in me and through me and as me

Now is my time to allow myself to be wrapped in the precious blanket of unconditional Love

dreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)Now is my time to let myself be loved… by me

 

Happy Independence Day – Joan Kappes

 

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Photos courtesy of TinyPic

Love IS Love.

I saw this on a young woman’s Twitter feed this week: #LoveIsLove.  Her simple words inspired me to write this reflection (and ‘leaping’ exercise) and share it with you……..

 

Love is Love

No ‘ifs’. No ‘ands’. No ‘buts’.

Love Is Love. (period.)dot

No distinctions made of culture, race, creed, sex, orientation or any other human category.

No boxes of who is deserving and who is not.

Love IS Love.dot

Love is One.

Love IS.

LoveISLove. (period.)

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise: LoveISLove. This little red dot has the power to change your life – in fact, it has the ability to change the world.  It is ready and waiting for your willingness to ponder, notice, listen, then act on inspiration given to you via this exercise.  Yes, more than one day is required, however the benefits of committing are worth it!  Ready to rock your world? Ponder the phrase (say it out loud, if possible) ‘Love Is Love. (period)’ for an entire day.  Let it run through your mind over and over.  Notice and Listen: What, if any limitations or beliefs arise?  Ask yourself: ‘Do I believe this? Do I want to believe this?  What would my life look like if I did not believe these thoughts?’

Next, throughout the day, allow the phrase ‘Love Is Love. (period)’ to travel through your heart.  Notice and listen: How does it feel?  Are there any messages your heart has for you as it travels through your heart/soul center?  Feel the energy.  Are you open to what will happen if you let go of the boxes that confine Love in your life?  Are you open to taking the leap and allowing Love’s pure Light to flow?  Notice the inspiration and guidance that comes to you from this exercise. Act: Follow its path and open yourself to experiencing greater Love!  Notice! Enjoy!

Love is Love3

Love’s pure Light lives in all of us- Joan Kappes

#IAMChoosingLove

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A Memorial Day Letter to My Dad

Dad and TomDearest Dad:

I read the brief story of your WWII experiences in the U.S. Navy (see below).

What were you feeling and thinking as your ship, the USS Mallory was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic that frigid day, February 7, 1943?  You survived that day, yet hundreds of your crew mates did not.  You rarely spoke of it, as that was your way – leaving memories and experiences to remain quietly in your heart.*

Still, I am filled with questions, ponderings and awe.  I wonder:  What was your heart and soul saying to you that day?

As the ship was sinking and you were struggling to survive, I know your thoughts (when you at last could ‘think’) were of Mom and your only son (at the time), Tom.  Love was your motive.

You lived the rest of your life with an intense, yet quiet way of doing your part to make the world a better place – every day.  Your career choice as a fireman explains it all.

You and millions of service men and women like you, no matter the situation were/are motivated by these driving forces:  Your Love of family and your desire/commitment to make the world a better place.  This is the gift given by you and all who serve(d).

Love and the desire/commitment to make the world a better place. What greater legacy could there be?

Thank you for your Love.  Thank you for showing me how to choose Love.

With honoring and thanks, Joan

*I’ve read many excerpts from families whose dads were also on the USS Mallory and most say the same thing:  ‘Dad never shared much of that night’.

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My Military Experience – by Edward L. Ramsay

“Just a word about my military service. Nobody wants to hear war stories – I would just like to mention a few things that impressed me: The Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Pier 92 New York, the one Walter Winchell called ‘the concentration camp’ of the Navy. I stood watch on the Normandy as it laid on its side at Pier 92. As most of you know, the USS Mallory (the ship I was on) was sunk in the North Atlantic February 7, 1943. Incidentally, sometime later Elling (my brother, a Lutheran minister chaplain) was asked to dedicate a picture of the Chaplains that were aboard that fatal ship, the Mallory, not realizing at the time that it was the very same ship I (his brother) was on. We have a picture still up in our basement of Elling at this presentation.

Places in the Atlantic I was at during the war – Londonderry- England, Liverpool-England, Murmansk-Russia. Just a bit about the coast of Norway where the German Pocket battleship, the Von Tirpitz and a cruiser Scharnhorst were tied up in Trondheim, Norway: Watching these ships so they wouldn’t come down and mow the convoys heading for Russia were the English battleships Duke of York, Duke of Kent, our battleships – the North Dakota, Alabama, three destroyers and air craft carrier USS Ranger.

Then, heading for the Pacific, the very impressive Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor and the invasions of the Marshall Islands. Those were the highlightsDad of my Navy career.

Thanks to the Good Lord above for saving me from that North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Pacific, U boats, enemy ships and aircraft.”

 

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Honoring all who Love – Joan Kappes

#IAMChoosingLove

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Posted in History by JoanK. 2 Comments

Opening the Lid of Your Dream Box – It’s Time

 

When we were young, we spent our days dreamingimagining, living a wonder-filled life of “what if”s.  We imagined ourselves to be anything.  Remember?

My imagination came to life through Barbie.  Yes, I was hooked on Barbie, Ken, Skipper – the whole gang.  Life was good at the Barbie and Ken house!  I was very shy when I was young, so Barbie really helped me to live out my adventures. What were some of your vivid dreams and imaginings?

The years pass… and we have ‘grown up’.  How are the dream/imagination adventures going these days?  Do we still use them everyday or have they been put away with the childhood toys?

box SAI imageIt’s time to “Come to the Edge Today!” and open up the “imagination box”.  There are oodles of dreams and imaginings in there!  Even though our adult conscious mind may not have allowed them, the dreamer part of us would not be kept at bay, so it lovingly tucked all of them away for a time when we would be ready to receive.  Our dreams  have exponentially multiplied!  As a matter of fact, there are new dreams you placed there just today!  The box is overflowing!  Can you feel them prodding you to open the lid? 

Here’s the daring part:  Begin to listen to them as they want to manifest in your life!   They have been stored, lovingly in your heart and if you are reading this, it’s time to allow them back into your thoughts, then into your experience.

Imaginationdreaming and belief, along with the gift of free choice are the tools we use to shape and form the life we truly desire.  So, dare to imagine!  Dare to dream!  Let them percolate. Begin to use that wonderful gift of dreaming and imagining again!

What comes after daring to allow them back into your life?…..The unfolding of your dreams into manifestation!

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Allow yourself 15 minutes to an hour (or as long as you desire).  With paper and pen, begin writing (or voice record) dreams you used to dream with your imagination.  Begin when you were small, then recall dreams as you grew older.  Re-mind yourself of recent dreams, wants and desires – even as recent as today.

Allow yourself to open the box and explore its contents.

When you feel you are complete, read the list slowly.  Acknowledge that these are yours…You created themNotice how full and rich they are.  Gently remind yourself that opening and acknowledging is enough for now.

For the next 30 days, read the list each day.  Dare to imagine them coming true – use all of your senses and savor the experience!  Try not to determine “how” they may manifest in your life – just imagine!  If you’d like, make a vision board with dreams on the list that have a special “pull” for you.  Keep it in a visible spot.

Be patient.  Be open. Be ready.  Life unfolds for you perfectly.  Know that you are supported by a Creator who dares to imagine everything!

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Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God, it is that. God dared to imagine everything.” – Henry Miller

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Imagination (and dreaming)  is the voice of daring…”  You are ready……… Joan Kappes

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Photos courtesy of Ruthi (a “leaper” who dared to Come to the Edge – literally!) and Tinypic