For most of my adult life I felt stuck. I knew that I wasn’t living my best life, but inertia and resistance kept me grounded… like an airplane on the tarmac unable to get enough momentum to achieve lift-off.
Conventional wisdom said I simply needed to work harder. That’s what an airplane pilot would do, right? Expend more and more effort against a single goal until you gain enough speed for the air to catch under your wings.
Plenty of people are able to get lift-off in this way, so I assumed I was defective when I couldn’t make myself do it: when some other interesting shiny thing would catch my attention… when I’d question whether this direction was really worth this amount of effort… when I felt burned out and joyless… when I simply couldn’t work in a linear fashion.
An airplane is the wrong metaphor
After decades of racing up and down the tarmac, I’m finally getting lift-off… and it’s not from treating myself like a machine. Instead, I’ve been working with the laws of nature in a much gentler fashion.
My process now is more akin to a hot-air balloon. When air is heated, it rises and expands, filling the balloon and lifting it off the ground. When air is cooled, it sinks.
When we do what we love and what brings us alive, we feel a whole-body YES: it feels warm, light, expansive; we can’t help but rise. When we’re not in alignment, it’s like cooler air: we contract and sink.
Lest you think this sounds too easy: yes, we still need to do the work. But we’re no longer fighting against our own nature, burning the candle at both ends in order to succeed in a life, career, or relationship that doesn’t light us up.
Instead of putting the pedal to the metal, we can be more emergent: resting in one place, adding more fuel to the fire, building our skills and connections in a way that’s aligned with how we’re wired.
A balloon festival is much more fun
Do you ever see people congregating on a runway celebrating the planes taking off? Not often. Sure, there are airplane shows, but let’s leave those to the hard-charging linear thinkers. We’ve got something better.
Let me tell you about the Albuquerque Balloon Festival… now that’s a party. I lived in Santa Fe for a couple years, and this was one of the highlights. Watching the balloons at dawn gently lift off and take flight is one of the most magical things I’ve seen. It’s here I discovered my love of photography.
The festival is technically a competition, but with a strong spirit of camaraderie. Everyone’s balloons are unique, but they all share the love of flight.
We’re each in our own balloon, navigating the winds and weather… but we can fly together.
Ready to fly?
If camaraderie is your thing, check out my upcoming Rebels in Transition group coaching program, where you’ll create your Inner Compass and get lift-off with other rebels who understand how your mind works.
Want more intensive support? I have one 1:1 coaching spot left in 2020; book a call here to chat with me.