“In order to fly, you have to give up the ground you are standing on.”
– A common saying.
Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon: every time I’ve looked up in the sky, I sense that my eyes are instantly lured to a plane or a bird taking flight directly in front of my line of vision.
Others might view that as a coincidence, but I’ve been on this journey way too long to think that anything that occurs in life is mere coincidence anymore.
My gut feeling tells me this phenomenon means I’m going to “leave the ground” soon. What that means exactly, I’m still not quite sure, but honestly, if I had known that this journey to fulfill my dream would lead me to make so many hard choices and to grow so quickly and in ways I never thought I’d have to grow, I might have considered never starting.
And I also never would have thought that the hardest challenge about all of this would not be falling with grace, or being resilient in the aftermath of that fall, or finally getting back on my feet, or learning how to stand on my feet—but learning how to give up the ground I stood on.
Cutting Ties With The Earth
In preparation for my imminent flight, I’ve been observing the behavior of things that fly, and I’ve found that the first step for skybound folk is always the cutting of ties with the earth.
This is a drastic first step, I know, and yet giving up the ground we stand on is required for flight.
We are often tied to our past by our patterns, or by other people who want us to stay where we are so that they may feel more comfortable—but, unbeknownst to us, we have allowed these things to hold us back.
As always, it is our fears, and the fears of others, that keep us from realizing our full potential. But, as the great Nora Walker, the matriarch in the television series Brothers & Sisters, said once:
“You will never do anyone any good by pretending to be less than who you are.”
As we prepare for flight, we have to learn that those who still hold us back out of fear, do so without the knowledge that our evolution means their evolution as well. For, when we take flight, we will not doubt take others with us—this is how interconnected we all are.
So please: bless those who fear your growth, they will join you in time. Don’t fear that you will lose them in cutting your ties with the earth because it is your transformation—it is the deepening of you—it is the process of your delicious soul essence (so penetrating and wonderful) bubbling to the surface that will be the catalyst for healing and true happiness for the rest of us.
How To Prepare for Flight
There are hard choices ahead, for so many of us.
So many of us sense that we are going through huge internal shifts that none of us seem to understand—and yet we recognize that something is right about all of it. We must trust that feeling of “rightness.”
There are those who are not going through those internal shifts, but even they are wide-eyed and amazed at noticing that their friends and family members are shifting in profound ways—even these “skeptics” may intuitively sense that there’s something exciting and thrilling going on, just beneath the surface, that they can’t quite put their finger on.
For instance: they may have noticed that people who never exercised or ate healthy in their whole lives, are now suddenly starting to exercise regularly and are eating healthier foods. Or they may have noticed that people who never had a spiritual bone in their body are now devouring ancient wisdom books like The Bhagavad Gita, or The Tao Te Ching, or The Bible (or they are reading contemporary books by living authors who simply translate the wisdom of the ancients for the modern audience).
These skeptics may have also noticed that people who never displayed “emotional literacy” before, are now displaying profound heart sensitivity. Or that people who used to be so analytical and so mind-centered are finding their thoughts too overwhelming to handle and are now taking time out of their day to meditate, relax, and become more mindful and aware. Or that people who always kept to themselves (and were therefore isolated from the community) are now, miraculously, reaching out, sharing with the community and even giving back to it in wondrous ways.
Or the skeptics may have noticed that the people who used to be so committed to following the conventional path—get a steady job, have kids, buy a house, etc.—are starting to let go of convention and are starting to embrace the courage to forge their own unique path: they are starting to follow their souls calling.
If you notice, there is one common stream that interconnects all these many pathways: and that is the stream of love.
Love is now the driving force in our lives and it is growing stronger still. You may feel the need to withdraw in fear over this expansion. Don’t. Keep moving forward in love, keep speaking words of love, keep thinking thoughts of love and keep doing acts of love—for you and others.
They say that “love is the answer.” It isn’t. An answer is a statement. A few words stringed together. And as much as I love words and recognize their power, I know that words can never encompass the expansiveness of love.
Love isn’t the answer. It is everything. Absolutely everything—and everything cannot be written down as an answer to a question. Everything can only be experienced.
So continue to experience love and you will be prepared for your flight. YOU WILL NOT MISS THE BOARDING CALL. YOU WILL BE GIVEN FIRST CLASS SEATING.
The Great Shift
One day, we will all have a name for this incredible time we are currently living in.
For now, I will simply call it The Great Shift.
I am calling it that because I can see how we are all shifting, growing, and changing so dramatically… and although sometimes we get afraid because it’s all so new and different, we can’t help but smile at how magical it all is.
As we prepare for our inevitable flight, let us please continue to trust our inner knowing. Trust that, in losing the world, we will gain the entire universe—and although that may seem overwhelming and hard to understand right now, it is a beautiful thing and it is our destiny.
The great Sufi poet, Rumi, has this poem that talks about how humanity was destined to fly. What he meant by that is up to interpretation, I suppose. But I think it might just mean that we are all meant to live our wildest dream in the present moment—as totally manifested—and no longer just yearn for its manifestation.
That is a revolutionary statement if you think about.
Just when we got used to seeing life as a process—and that there are steps to achieving what we want—it is quite shocking to come to the realization that our next step is no step at all. That, in fact, the next step is the dissolution of all steps: the next step is arrival.
Cutting ties with the ground we stand on can be sad and painful and confusing. But that is the only way we can continue on the path. Some thing in us is too restless to just stay grounded for the rest of our lives. Some thing in us wishes to expand, to explore, to evolve, to reach—dare I say it—enlightenment.
As clichéd as it may sound, this may very well be where we were all headed all along: a type of “oneness” with everything. Maybe that’s what the pain was for: to get us to the healing, so that the healing could get us to the wholeness, and so that the wholeness could get us to oneness—that last and absolute truth that joins and unifies all the other truths into one fabulous supernova of creation.
A while back, when I serendipitously came across an art exhibit of Carl Jung’s mandalas, I got a hint of what the next step in my journey would be, but it was so big and so expansive I could not grasp it, nor could I speak about it in detail until now.
You see, Jung, like so many who took this journey before us, understood that there could only one conclusion that would satisfy the needs of our soul: and that is complete union with the universe itself.
If that sounds ridiculously ambitious and absolutely impossible—that’s because it totally is.
And there could be no task in this world that would require so much courage than to become one with creation itself.
Today’s Courage Exercise
Prepare for your imminent flight by cutting your ties with all the fears that are holding you back, and by expanding your love for yourself and others.
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