Learning to fly

I’m sure there are times when one step forward, two steps back actually works. Like in a dance routine. But it’s a little frustrating when it applies to your life and learning a new skill. Oops – there goes the perfectionism again; no patience in learning, want to do it right, and right now, while you’re at it! Still, if nothing else, I’m becoming aware of how I hinder my own success by avoiding trying so I can avoid failure. And like everything else, this also covers my definition of”success” as it covers mindfulness.

Mindfullness. Someone asked me yesterday if I ever stopped thinking. I smiled even as I acknowledged the truth of that. And it goes back to “being in my head” for the last decade – so it was a timely reminder to be mindful. Drop the double L! It’s been very very busy at work. And I haven’t felt that well with blood pressure playing up so been in bed sleeping by 10 a couple of nights in a row which is highly unusual. So not much time for anything much other than essentials. Yet five or ten minutes just BEING might just be an essential for me. So I’ve downloaded a mindfulness App for my phone and then found five minutes was more than I can manage! Truthfully, one minute was too much as things kept popping up. But I’m at least noticing my thoughts and just observing them without judgement and letting them go. Which is already a change. My journal has proved as useful as always in sorting out other things in my head; it’s so good to get them out and on to paper where they lose so much power. By the end of this weekend I’m ready to run my courses. Then I’ll just STOP WAITING TO BE PERFECT and as Patrick Overton says, I’ll then lean on the edge, take that first step – and learn how to fly.

Flying is natural to birds. It’s what they do; it’s what makes birds different from mammals and amphibians. Yet even though this is their natural state, even a bird has to fight it’s way out of a shell, rely on others to care for it, and then learn how to fly. What do THEY think, when they know it’s time to fly the nest and stand at the edge? Do they just know that their wings will work and jump with no thought of courage or fear because it’s the next step in their lives? They could flatten themselves against the back of the nest, fearfully, or they could stand on the edge for a long time wishing and hoping that their wings would work. And all the time they might be thinking (in their head) how free the other birds look, just swooping around in the wind currents. Then they might, after a few steps forward and backwards, just jump and find that the only way you learn to fly is by flying….And that it’s the first step that matters.

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly.” ~ Patrick Overton

0 thoughts on “Learning to fly

  1. Maritza January 24, 2011 / 8:51 pm

    Love it!….have been getting into Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness for beginners audio book….!

    • happinessvirus January 24, 2011 / 9:33 pm

      Oh Maritza – another link in my chain.. if you find it helpful, will you come back and tell me why and if it’s worth buying as there are so many books on the subject it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.

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