Blog

To Those Who No Longer Recognize Me…

I’ve been through a number of physical, emotional, personal, and spiritual transformations lately. And yes, all at once.

It started slow, like a trickle. But then it hit hard, like a waterfall. I eventually had no choice but to simply throw myself over the falls and hope for the best. To give up the land I was standing on for the rapids below. And to allow myself to drown so that I could breathe again in my new nature with a newfound sense of my own power and a commitment to respecting it.

In the past whenever I’ve ever transformed, I feared people saying “I don’t even recognize you anymore.”

That simple phrase used to wreck me. I used to think I was disappointing them. I wondered who I was to get too far out of the norm they saw me in. I worked hard to fit in. I wanted to be accepted. To be liked. To be loved. To be admired. To prove to myself and others that I could get along with everyone. To prove to myself and others that I was special because I was universally loved.

I needed the external validation.

I don’t anymore.

I didn’t realize that was a way to try to control me. I didn’t realize that I don’t owe anyone anything, let alone making sure they’re “comfortable” with my presence. I didn’t realize how I would hide major parts of myself to simply become what other people wanted me to be. I didn’t realize I would even pride myself on being someone who would go along with whatever you wanted, losing myself and my own preferences in the process.

But now I do. So now I say this:

If you no longer recognize me, you never actually saw me.

It’s not entirely your fault. I was a master chameleon. I naturally built others up and made them believe I was their favorite person to be around because I made them feel interesting and funny. I needed to be around others in order to prove that I was worthy of companionship. I didn’t believe I was enough on my own, so I became very good at attracting others to me.

I was afraid of my own light. It was bright and powerful. Anytime I shined before, I was told by the world around me to be careful. I was told to tone it down. I was told it was too much. I was too much. In order to survive, I had to keep it under wraps. I didn’t have the power to protect myself from those who wished to dim it. So I dimmed it myself.

But I have the power now. I’ve discovered it during this transformative and incredibly difficult time on my own. I’ve listened to myself in the silence and trusted what I heard.

I am enough. My light is not something that needs to be covered or caveated or condensed. It is what it is. I am who I am.

I am more myself than I have ever been. The young me that thrived before the conventions started shackling her down has been slowly, and painstakingly freed from them. When I realize one still has a hold of me and that I have more growth to do to be liberated from an agenda or a narrative that is not my own, I am grateful that I recognize it. And I remember all the work I’ve done to get here and the power I have to overcome it. Then I give myself grace, space, and patience to work through it and let it go with the rest of the remnants of my past self that I unconsciously took on.

There are plenty in my close inner circle who still see me. In fact, because I shine more brightly now, they see me more clearly. But I know there are those who won’t and who don’t. And I have accepted that’s the way it is.

Too many people spend their lives so concerned with conforming to what others want or what they believe they “should” do, they lose their inner purpose in the process. They never remember their own light.

I won’t be one of them anymore.

As long as I like myself and I work on myself and I listen to myself, I’m okay with the outcome. I know there will be people who are attracted to that energy and others who are repelled by it. I also know that I am not on this planet to constantly listen to other people’s opinions of what I should be doing.

I have other things to do. Come along or move along.


Thank you for reading. Please consider subscribing to my newsletter for ongoing updates.

Nextdoor Famous

I recently became the number one post on Nextdoor.

I’ll sign autographs for anyone who wants one.

If anyone is unfamiliar with Nextdoor, it’s basically a social media app for your neighborhood with the slightest amount of accountability. You have to put a name (it doesn’t have to be your real one). You have to be confirmed that you live in a certain area (I’m sure there’s easy work arounds for this one). And you can usually only see posts and information in certain areas, to keep it local (again…I’m sure with some savvy clicking this doesn’t have to always be the case).

It is a wild west of social interaction. Some people post pictures just to share. Some people post questions that could be easily Googled. Some people complain about menial or major happenings. Some people write helpful posts about missing or found pets. Others write depressing posts about their dead or dying pets. Some people just want to rant or be heard. Others scream friendly-yet-empty greetings into the void.

I’m obsessed with it in the same way I’m obsessed with French Silk Chocolate Mousse pie. I know I can’t control myself and that it has adverse reactions. But once in a while it’s the best thing in the world to indulge in.

For a little primer and a lot of entertainment, check out the Best of Nextdoor on Twitter.

My story of Nextdoor fame begins humbly enough, with a simply Ring video of a hard-to-describe animal caught in our driveway in the wee hours of the morning.

My post said (something along the lines of) “Let’s play a game: Guess this animal!”

Tons of people responded. Like almost 200 or so in a day…which, on Nextdoor, is basically viral.

What’s funny to me is how many people made this clearly joke game suddenly an aggressive way of finding critiques, either with the other people who responded or with my own video. There were accusations and criticism that the video wasn’t long enough. Or it was too blurry. Or it was too far away. There were people convinced it was one animal and angry that other people were saying it was another. It was a pretty even split between people just having a good time (as intended) or people getting incredibly invested and very quickly angry at the nature of the post.

It was a goofy post about a weird-looking animal. And yet…vitriol from some, and neighbor to neighbor anger from others.

Even with the seeming accountability of the app, this post to me encapsulated so much of what is wrong with communication apps and all anonymous internet interactions.

It’s that we lose sight of each other’s humanity.

And maybe it’s especially intense right now because many of us have been holed up in our homes without too much outside human influence with only the digital creations of tech giants who make money off of our attention (and we give more of it when we’re fired up, especially when we’re scared or angry). Maybe the fact that we don’t actively have to interact with people who disagree with us because we can always find people who agree with us allows our ego to feel even more validated to scream loudly into our echo chambers and dehumanize those who might disagree based on their own just-as-valid life experiences. Maybe it’s a whole number of factors, seen and unseen, that have led us to this point. I don’t know.

But I do know that I’m tired of it. It’s draining. For all of us. It’s not our true human nature. We both survive and thrive largely because we’re kind to each other.

Yet as we feel and get more detached from our communities, we feel more isolated from both mother nature and our true nature.

In short, we’re sad little selfish assholes. And free social media services who promise to help keep you connected and validate your human experience profit from our assholery, our narcissism, and our depression.

So maybe we call them out. And we change our behavior. We get offline and we look other humans in the face. We let go of our need to be right and once again engaged our innate curiosity about others, recognizing elements of our own selves in them. We start remembering that we are actually a part of this earth, and not parasites who can drain it of its natural resources supposedly without repercussions.

We slow down. We calm down. We change our pace and think outside of the box. That way goofy posts meant to be jokes don’t turn into a soapbox where people call each other stupid.

And to preemptively answer everyone’s burning question: The animal has been confirmed as a beaversquirrelracoonfluffyfatcat. You’re welcome.

Please Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself…

Welcome back. I say that to both you, dear reader, and to myself.

It’s been a hundred emotional years and a couple lifetimes since we last met. I was looking at my last post and thinking of everything that has happened since then. The timing of that last post was incredibly the end of one season. I just didn’t know it yet.

I was a frog in a pot on the stove, happily flopping around. Someone had just turned on the heat, but I didn’t even notice.

And I wouldn’t for a while. Until, you know, I boiled alive.

Ew. Gross. What a terrible metaphor, especially from a vegetarian.

I’d delete it if it weren’t so accurate.

As I return to my keyboard, to this intimate and yet distant relationship I have with you, my readers, I want to make you a promise: No more platitudes. No more generic, unsolicited advice. No more people-pleasing or qualifying myself.

I want to bring you stories and inspiration every week. I hope to make you laugh. I hope to make you think. I hope to pique your interest in joining me on my ventures off this site and elsewhere on the internet (and maybe even in real life!).

Mostly I hope that this adds value to your life and mine.

For me, I need to create. Writing and creativity help me express myself, figure myself out, and synthesize any number of ongoing activities and input that are happening in my life. It’s part of my DNA. And I love when my words resonate with other people.

I’ll share as much of myself as I can, being as specific and as entertaining as is possible any given moment. I’ll also be brief. If you want to join me for other places where I get more thoughts out, I’ll provide those. But that won’t be here.

This is brain snacks. These posts are meant to be read quickly and digested easily. And they’re meant to be delicious.

So thanks for sticking with me. Thanks for reading. And thanks, especially, for subscribing to this blog or my newsletter.

Let’s get back after it, friends. I’m ready.

One Step at a Time

I’m currently in the midst of a particularly busy season.

If August was the sprint, this is the marathon. This is the part that feels overwhelming and exciting and where all the growth and anxiety and change happens.

This is the best and worst part.

I’m loving and hating it.

Without going into detail, mostly because I don’t have time, I just wanted to take a moment here in my personal space to say that I believe these big projects get accomplished one little choice and one little step at a time.

I heard this story about Desi Arnaz once and the huge piles of scripts and work he always had on his desk while he and Lucille Ball basically transformed modern television.

When asked how he got it all done, he simply said “One script at a time.”

In looking at some of the tasks ahead on the current project I’m embarking in (which is happening while all the other projects I’m involved in are still very much going and not relenting at all), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or wonder how the hell it will happen. But down that way lies madness. And even worse, not getting it done.

So instead a trust in the magic and I trust in myself and I do each task one at a time.

I just get it done.

No time for complaints or judgement. There is time to listen, but that’s different. Time now is just to act. Soon will be to reflect.

But until reflection, it gets done one script and one step at a time.

That Little Voice

I was inconvenienced yesterday. It was minor but I found it annoying because it was very nearly avoided. Ten extra seconds and the next twenty minutes of frustration could have been avoided.

I wasn’t proud of my initial reaction. I was pissed. I was annoyed. I was resentful. I was heated. I thought the person who made a mistake was an idiot. I thought the company who employed the person was automated and didn’t care. I thought the customer service representatives I talked to were obnoxious. I was even pissed that they were using soothing tactics with me that were working. I didn’t like to be calmed when I wanted to be annoyed and angry.

I was pissed at myself for getting so angry. I was peeved I let my temper flare again. Unfortunately for my husband, he came home right in the thick of it and left again without plans to help. That didn’t bode well for him, as you can imagine.

I felt the tension in my body. I felt the “I have to everything myself” and “People are so stupid” pity party starting. I even lost my patience on my perfect pups and begrudgingly walked them with very little care for what they actually wanted to do or smell or sniff.

The whole time it was happening, I heard this little voice in the back of my mind saying “Make it a joke,” and “it’s okay,” and “it’ll turn out fine.” It whispered that there’s a bigger perspective I’m missing and a version of me that actually could ride this wave…maybe even – dare I say it – find a way to get joy out of it.

I resented it. I knew there was some truth to what it was saying but I just wanted to let it let me be pissed.

I don’t know about you, but I was often told that I’m overreacting. That I’m being too dramatic. My emotions were mitigated so much that whenever I felt something that wasn’t beautiful, I got a side order of shame served right along with it for even feeling. The fact that I express and manifest emotions differently meant, to some people, I was obviously doing it wrong. So I’ve rebelled in recent years and been very protective of my own self worth and the fact that I’m allowed to feel whatever emotions I am feeling.

So I yelled back at the voice and told it that I’m allowed to be this pissed and I’m allowed to go on a small rampage and take it out on the creatures I love most and it can eff the eff off. It just patiently agreed and reminded me that’s true but also that’s probably not the most fun use of my time. I listened but raged anyway.

The dogs and I went on a walk. Long story short, because of the walk and listening to that little instinctual voice inside me, I was able to fix the problem set out. I even did so pretty quickly and with help of a kind stranger. And now I’ll be able to leverage this problem into a gift.

I petty quickly let go of the anger and listened more intensely to that voice again. It didn’t gloat. It didn’t berate me. It didn’t say “I told you so.” It simply calmed me down and reminded me that there is another voice in my head now even when the old frustration patterns creep up. It’s okay to be mad. But you don’t have to be that mad for that long.

I’ve worked hard to have another voice in there. Hours of meditation, reading, self growth, spirituality studies…you name it. There’s clearly plenty of work to do because that voice wasn’t my go-to. The old patterns still took over. But having her in there and having a seat at the table gives me hope.

This morning, I made it a point to meditate for a bit longer than usual. Yesterday, it didn’t happen (shocking). I tend to run hot and move quickly. The best thing I can do is in the moments of calmness, cultivate that voice more and give it more empowerment and muscle memory in my bones. That way, if and when something goes awry again, I can increase its influence over my reaction.

In the moment, it’s not going to happen. But I can do it in the in-between moments.

That’s where all the juicy good stuff happens anyway.

Remembering Your Why

The same question has been popping up lately in my world. It’s come up in myself. It’s come up with people I think are successful. And it’s come up with people who are trying to find their big break.

That question is variations of “Why didn’t I get that?

When my peers get big – or even small – successes in their lives, I used to constantly ask myself (or the universe, whoever was more open to listening at the time), “Why didn’t I get that?”

When talking to people who are in early stages of their career or who are trying to figure out how to pursue creativity as a career, I’ll often hear then bemoan about people who are in similar boats to them who have found some traction. They’ll ask variations of “Why didn’t I get that?

Even people who are successful will look at others who have made different choices and wonder, “Why didn’t I get that?

It’s a natural question. We’re creatures who love to compare. But it’s even more potent at the moment in a world where we share more information than ever before, so it’s easier and more addictive to compare yourself to others than it has been throughout human history.

Though the question is natural, it’s not helpful. And the longer you entertain it, the more it will lead you down a spiraling path where entitlement and victimhood are unhealthily entangled.

The truth isn’t what you want to hear. The truth is, you didn’t get that because it wasn’t meant for you. It was never your thing. It was always the thing of whoever has it. And the longer you bemoan the loss of something that wasn’t yours, the more opportunities that could be yours pass you by.

The best advice I’ve recently heard about changing this same perspective into a more positive and productive one is from a person who is killing it in their respective field at the moment. They said their major mental shift came from thinking “Why isn’t the world giving me what I want?” to “What can I do to really make an impact on the world?”

Not to get all JFK on you, but ask not what your creativity can do for you, but ask what you can do for your creativity.

The more you lean into what you really want to do and the type of content you want to create, you start to inevitably become more unique. And the opportunities that are unique to your particular perspective and interests start to appear. And those feel more tangible and more uniquely you because you’re creating tangible things that are more uniquely you.

It’s about remembering your why. Why are you doing whatever you’re doing? Why do you want to do it? What is it that originally drew you to this world? What makes you stick around or keep coming back even when it’s difficult?

Once you understand and lean into that, your interest in comparisons diminishes. It doesn’t really matter to you what other people are doing because you’re not doing it for the outcomes they’re receiving. You’re doing it because of the reasons you remind yourself. You’re doing it for the purposes of really making an impact. You’re doing it because you love it and you need it.

Accolades are fine. But spending your life staring at the accolades of others and wondering “Why didn’t I get that?” seems like a boring existence, if you ask me.

And you didn’t. But you’re reading this. So I’ll pretend you did.

You didn’t get something because you did get other things. So recognize, embrace, and utilize what you’ve got and use it to make your unique mark.

Or don’t. I can’t control ya.

The Invitation

I talk a lot about my dogs.

Believe me, I know.

To me, dogs have a lot of simple pleasures figured out. And, like all living creatures, there are lots of wonderful things you can constantly learn from them. My dog, Clyde, taught me another lesson recently that I have found to be incredibly inspiring, so I’m going to share it here with you.

Plus you get to see a cute Clyde pic. So really, all around, you’re welcome.

My Clydie loves this one ridiculously colorful furball we have for him. He used to love a very similar furball we got that was all yellow. So I went to get him another and found this multi-colored one. We call the original “furball” and the other one “party ball.”

It’s his favorite toy. When we get home from being gone, he loves to show it off to us. He runs to get it and then brings it up with his tail wagging. If you throw it, h’oh boy game on. If you don’t, you might eventually find yourself with a party ball in your lap and a cute Clyde a few feet away with his tail wagging beckoning you to throw it.

It’s adorable.

IMG_5145

He doesn’t just grab it when we get home, though. He grabs it often. Even if I’ve been sitting and working for a while, he will sometimes come up and just hold party ball in his mouth and wiggle his tail inviting me to play with him.

If I get up after a long spell of work, the first thing he does is go over and grab party ball. He brings it over and gives me a look, inviting me to play with him.

I don’t always do it. In fact, most of the time when he grabs the ball, it is not play time. Sometimes I’ll throw it for a minute but then get right back to work. Sometimes I just throw it once. Sometimes I just acknowledge him with it and move on.

But, see, the thing is… Clyde doesn’t dwell in rejection. He dwells in possibility.

And, no matter how many times I don’t throw party ball, he always invites me to play every chance he gets. Because sometimes I do. And when I do, it’s awesome.

I adore his optimism. I adore his ability to not count the rejections. I love the fact that every time there’s a break, I get a small little reminder that there’s always time for quick play. Or at least, time can (and should) be made for a little whimsy.

He’s a wise little furry cutie patootie and I’m grateful to call him my baby.

 

 

Lesson from the Islands

I just got back from Hawaii yesterday.

I spent a long weekend in Maui. I was there for a wedding. They call it getting “Maui’d.” I enjoyed that pun probably too much.

I feel somewhat behind on things. That’s likely thanks to the intense travel I had for a couple weeks before this trip. I don’t have to travel again until early next week. Woot. Go me.

I realized this morning I wanted to share the lessons I learned from my trip to Maui. It wasn’t a pure vacation since there were some marriage-oriented obligations. But those were easy and fun. And I spent the few days I was there at a condo that was right on the ocean, so I went to sleep and woke up every day to the sounds of the ocean waves.

I always like to be “productive.” I like to get something out of or make the most of almost any situation. So with four or so days off-the-grid just hanging out with minimal obligations, I wondered what lesson I have to show for it. What can I share with the world that is life-changing from these precious few days letting my brain fully let go and just enjoy?

It’s actually pretty simple. The lesson is relax.

Relax.

That’s it.

There’s so much we can’t control. There’s so much to see. They’re so much to linger on and dawdle over. There’s so much in this world to enjoy.

Sure, packing up and living on the islands isn’t the trajectory for most people. Though I loved it, I am happy to be back (with my dogs). I’m happy to be in a place where my industry thrives and able to take advantage of many opportunities around me. But that doesn’t mean I need to be tense about it all. I can enjoy and relax even without going to sleep with ocean sounds every night.

The environment on Maui caters to relaxation. So if we know it’s possible to reach that level of relaxation, why not do whatever it takes to allow elements of that external environment and the lesson it provides to internally cultivate that same feeling? 

Even with all the beauty, you can still be stressed on Maui. And even with all the chaos, you can still be calm in LA.

Or wherever you are.

Just relax, baby.

Relax.

Deliberately Taking the Hard Way

I spent this morning playing at the City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri. If you haven’t been, go. I don’t care how old you are, you need to experience it at least once in your lifetime. It’s basically a large welded windy weird and wonderful playground for kids of all ages (and that includes grown-ass kids aka adults).

My body is sore and I have bruises everywhere. I loved it.

All around the City Museum are choices. The whole experience is really just a series of choices. From the moment you walk in, you choose which area you’re going to explore. They’re mostly interconnected, but unless you’re an expert at it, you don’t always know where one place will lead you.

There are all kinds of choices in every area. You can stay on the outside and enjoy some of the sights and sounds available from outside of the jungle gym-style area. Or you can take some of the easier stairs and other routes that don’t require too much physical work. Or, you can take some of the more mysterious and exciting tunnels that are often dark and confusing and it’s purposely unclear where they lead.

That’s my favorite mode. Go the hardest and weirdest route I can find. If it looks like I *might* even be able to get through, I’m trying.

It’s by far the most fun.

IMG_4874

I feel like we often choose the easier route in whatever decision we’re making. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel some ease and some flow into your life. I’m not saying we have to choose hard things because we need to feel like something is difficult to get enjoyment out of it. But I do think sometimes we miss out by choosing the path we can see and/or the one of least resistance. 

Resistance can be good for us. It can be good to us. It’s a wonderful teacher that forces us to push ourselves to the limits. And, in those limits, we can see the truth… which is that they aren’t really limits after all. They’re just arbitrary limits we set on ourselves.

I mean, sure, sometimes you actually can’t fit in a tunnel. Your body is physically too big to get through a space. I get that. But for the most part, you are able to do a lot more than you thin you can. You’re able to push yourself past where you think your own boundaries are. Then those new further boundaries become the new goal to push past as you continue to grow and change.

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot. I don’t always love to do things that I do. I do love the growth that comes from choosing to do them. And so I get over the petty hurdle of actually doing whatever it is I’m doing in order to reap the hefty benefits.

For example, when I’m in my routine (and not traveling like a maniac), I’m a very early riser. I get up, journal, meditate, read, go to the first yoga class of the day, then come back and start my day with my family. By the time 9 or 10 am hits, I’ve accomplished so much, had a ton of quality time, and my brain is ready to be incredibly productive for a while.

But let me be clear: I don’t like getting up early. I don’t like anything about it. I need my sleep, so in order to sustainably get up early, I go to bed early. This means I miss out on a lot of things. And if I have to be out, I’m often tired too late into the night. I love to sleep in and I don’t always get to cuddle with my dogs or my hubs first thing in the morning. Instead, my ass is out of bed quickly so my alarm doesn’t wake them.

And I don’t like it. But I do love what it gives me so I do it anyway.

At the City Museum, I don’t actively think “I can’t wait to bruise my knees and body as I attempt to go through this tiny tunnel.” Instead I think, “Oh, that’ looks fun I wonder what wonders that will lead me to.” And I take it.

Even if that tunnel turns out to pop up right next to a really easy path, I enjoyed my harder road because I knew it challenged me. And I got to see something others won’t. And I got to push myself past my own boundaries. And, hell, sometimes taking the longer route is fun just for the whimsy of it – and whimsy doesn’t have to explain itself to you or anyone else.

I’m not saying make your life hard. But I guess I am saying if opportunities that might be more challenging arise, think about what lies on the other side of them. If it’s worth it, do it.

There’s only so much satisfaction that can come from coasting.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes that seems to fit this perfectly:

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

 

Above the Clouds

One of the most powerful visuals I remember learning when I was first learning how to meditate was the idea of your thoughts being like passing clouds. Usually you hear this when you’re learning Buddhist-based meditations, which I probably was. But the truth is, so many good meditation teachers this same idea (and I’ve always been pretty voracious about learning so I like to learn multiple styles at once…so who knows where I first heard this).

It’s often been repeated to me. I’ve always loved it. I’ve loved the idea that if you allow a thought or feeling to enter, you can simply observe it as it passes through your mind, letting it pass as easily out as it did in.

I’ve always found a calmness in looking up at the sky and the clouds. Even when the earth itself seems dirty or chaotic, there’s a calmness to the clouds. In their meanest form  (like thunderstorms or hurricanes or lightning) they’re still incredibly beautiful.

I’ve been back at traveling season for me lately (hence the belated post today). Traveling is not easy on the body. It’s not easy to find good nutrition. It’s a lot of weird hours and time spent in cars. It’s a lot of negotiating with your travel companions and attempting to find balance when and where you can. I didn’t get any (any!) yoga classes in this year. (I did a couple small sessions on my own in my hotel room, so I did something but stillllll) I didn’t get too much sightseeing in the beauty of nature. I got a few adventures and stolen moments away. But I’ve got a lot of projects on my plate and a lot of personal ambition to satiate. So I often felt frustrated, even if it was just an undercurrent.

When I travel, I have to be in a lot of airplanes. I’m a decent flyer. I’m not great, but I’m not terrible. I can handle it. I’m usually the first one to jump at the slightest turbulence and like to grab my seats to help the pilot concentrate to get us through it… but otherwise I’m alright. I have my methods for getting through it.

But as I was flying this time and letting my brain wander while staring out my window seat (my preferred seat so I can see we’re still in the air during turbulence), I had a thought that connected my love for meditation and my frustrations on the road. I remembered that every small frustration is something that can simply be observed, learned from, and let go. I realized that the frustrations are often a result of my own expectations or something happening in my own personal life or from my own personal perspective. They have nothing to do with anyone being “out to get me.” They just exist. And if I see them, allow them to come in, and let them go, I’m giving them as much power as the thought I treat like a temporary cloud during meditation.

And…get this.

When you fly, you’re often relatively smooth after you get up above the clouds. Even if you’re escaping rough weather, it’s typically close to where the cloud cover is. And some of the roughest parts of even smooth flights are when you’re getting just above the clouds.

Because… you guys the clouds are what keep us from seeing clearly.

Sure, I’ve been in intense thunderstorms where I saw our big plane hit by lightning on the wing several times and have often prayed to whatever god was listening for a second chance at life even when my plane was above the clouds. But typically the meanest weather and the roughest air is when you’re at or below them.

So I’ve been forcing myself to see every frustration as a passing cloud, even outside of my meditations. When I’m really in a good headspace, I become genuinely curious about the frustration. I wonder where it’s coming from. What underlying belief is it bringing out in me? Do I really believe that or is that something I’ve been programmed to believe? And do I want to keep thinking that? What does this emotion feel like in my body? Where does it live? Have I ignored it before and there’s a lot of residual emotions in that particular location? And so on…

Once I had the cloud realization about flying, I’ve been able to approach it with a lot more patience and surrender. The air will be whatever it wants to be. I can’t control it. I can simply experience and learn from it. And I can wait for the moment we clear the clouds and enjoy the “cruising altitude” for however long it lasts.