This spring has been exactly that — a bouncing of sorts to places around the country where I am eager to serve and to learn. In order for it all to happen, I have needed to take flight, literally and figuratively. This most recent flight was perhaps the highlight as it involved flying parallel to a massive thunder and lightening storm that was quite a show.
I found myself initially puzzled about the light I saw in the distance, out the window of the plane–those tiny windows we scan the perimeter of to see the expansive view. Why don’t they supply us with over sized picture windows? I vote for that. As I peered out, the man next to me did the same and we began to talk about how fascinating it was to see a storm in action from 30,000 ft above the earth, high in the air. Over a time frame of about 20 minutes, it seemed as if we might be flying towards the storm and I felt anxious and uncomfortable. I didn’t say so aloud but he picked up on my shift in tone and pointed out to me that we could see the stars above the clouds and lightening. It was beautiful…and I was grateful to him for his subtle way of shifting my perspective because it changed my perceptions–my thoughts and feelings. My fears evaporated, replaced with awe. I found myself not needing to hang onto that sense of fear but instead embracing the opportunity to take on his perspective. I felt calm again. He added that the storm was actually quite far away from us. I knew this was true. The flight was lovely, interesting, and also magical. We not only take for granted this bizarre reality of being able to fly but to also learn each time. Each flight is unique from any other–just think about the ways in which this is true. There are different planes and people staffing them, certainly different passengers that we share the cabin with for the ride. I’ve been on flights that seemed like there was a heavy energy and others that were somehow lighthearted. I know I am always grateful when we land because I have a closely held angst during each flight that makes the feeling of my feet planted firmly on the earth much appreciated.
What is it about us that we slip so easily into automated mode and take for granted these marvelous things that happen to us daily? I blink hard when it feels to me that I am going adrift in that direction–I resist it and crave being in the moment, fully present, alive, and experiencing what is taking place in a cognitive and visceral way. Taking flight reinforced this for me.
Close your eyes and think of where it is that you are right now–where you are seated, what the sounds are, what the temperature is, what is in your view when you reopen your eyes and then also your heart. Embrace it now, make a memory of simplicity to hang onto for whenever you need to pull something lovely from your mind to sooth yourself. This is an exercise in focus and channeling your energy to build your inner strength.