|Posted on March 28, 2015 at 12:20 PM|
My first flight lesson was in Kauai on a beautiful morning that quickly turned ugly. My husband and I eagerly arrived at a long patch of grass and cement that was proclaimed a “runway,” and looked around with forced confidence. Two white hangars sat a mile away, and no planes were in sight. We knocked on a mobile cargo unit’s tin door, and in the spirit of island time, the door was *eventually* opened by our gregarious, welcoming flight host.
Only moments later, two planes known as “trikes” were wheeled up; one red, one blue. We stepped into our flight suits and began the safety training and initial instructions. This type of plane is an “open vehicle,” like a motorcycle, so you are right there in the fresh air and weather and wind. Only the helmet’s windshield protects you from getting too much air up your nostrils. The flight suit and gloves keep you warm enough. One trike accommodates two people - instructor and student - snugged together in close seats. Shoes must cover your full foot. Sorry, no cup holders here. And word to the wise: it’s best to make sure all of your precious limbs avoid the propeller in back.
As we picked up speed, all of my nerves were on high alert because everything about this sensational experience was brand new: the motion of the small plane, the fast moving air across my body, the plane’s light shake as we increased speed, and the loud churning of the propeller right behind my ears. The ocean sat at the end of the runway, so the only successful way ahead was up. I gazed at a glistening blue lagoon to the right, just as the little flying contraption took off easily. We lifted up smoothly as the air suddenly felt quieter. The sensation of flight was dramatically different in this vehicle than anything I’ve experienced hundreds of times before in commercial planes. Everything below us grew instantly smaller, brighter, blurrier.
We were in the air for a mere five minutes, my hands just getting used to holding the steering handles, when our instructors in both planes said we needed to turn back - now. A dark stormy wall of rain was quickly approaching, faster than expected, and we only had a few moments to get back to land before the winds picked up considerably. It looked like a solid sheet of dense wallpaper that had suddenly appeared above the ocean and was about to drench everything in its path. Not good for an open-air vehicle.
Back on the ground, we were lucky to be safe and dry as the heavy downpour suddenly began, soaking everything in minutes. We re-scheduled the full lesson for the following morning.
The second take-off was even better than the first because my initial fear was gone and the sensations were more vivid. Knowing what to expect allows you to shift your focus to the scenery, the colors, the imagery you can only see from above. We were close to the Earth, but also so very, very far away.
From behind my helmet's glass shield, the views were absolutely mesmerizing in every direction. A dark dot of a whale moved below us. We sailed near hidden flowing waterfalls. We witnessed shades of blue only found in the secret pockets of the ocean. We flew close enough to look inside dark green patches of hidden forests. Rolling mountains looked like bumpy beds; deep valleys were only visible from below the cloud line. Giant hotels looked like Playskool toys. We flew and glided and dipped along the sandy coastline.
I steered the aircraft with ease, surprised by its stability, and excited by how fun it was to fly this crazy thing. Only a little tilt created a desired turn. We rode the wind and galloped in the gusts. Exhilarating beyond description. We touched back down to Earth wearing permanent smiles, high on the thrill of doing something amazing. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced before (certainly better than riding on a motorcycle!) and the adrenaline high is still memorable, as if the sensations can be instantly re-created with a simple thought.
My husband loved this type of flying so much he committed to becoming a pilot. Unlike other sporting ventures where you can rent or borrow equipment, we had to go “all in” and buy a plane, the gear, instructions, certification, everything. He spent a hot summer flying over wheat fields and practicing maneuvers, perfecting skills that typically take years to develop and master. He was a natural at the helm. Whenever possible, I would jump in for a ride, too, because every time up in the air allows you to see something completely new, especially as the seasons change and the earth becomes a new tapestry of colors. This type of flight in the open air also has the ability to reconnect you with what is important in the moment - what is small; what is worthwhile; and what is essential when seen from a broader vantage point.
Every time the propeller fired up for a new launch, an inner excitement stirred up inside me: Anticipation, slight anxiety, preparation, accelerating up to speed, wheels up! Moving from grounded gravity to lift-off is unlike any other split-second in time. A new weightlessness sets in and you’re beyond what you thought you were capable of experiencing.
Launching yourself in any form is thrilling and scary and wild and breathtaking. It changes you, on some level, and opens you up to more trust in yourself and the Universe. Nothing else matters at that second of lift-off. You’re experiencing a new part of You that was only waiting for you to say “yes” – and to then trust the next moment as it carries you forward.
After experiencing these flight lessons, I wholeheartedly believe we are all meant to get off the ground in any area of life that calls to us now. You’re ready. There will always be a mix of inner sensations about something NEW, but you’re supported in ways you probably don’t even realize. The same physics that create physical flight also support launching more of your gifts out into the world, whether it’s a project, a business, an idea, or a new choice. We are living in a dynamic period where you can’t really sit still anymore – and you’re not meant to.
At a soul level, you’re here to grow and try and dream and accelerate. You’re here to launch yourself and lift-off in new ways because everything in the Universe is transpiring for your success. Everything is coming together to support your higher streams of happiness, peace, and joy. But you have to step into that trust (with or without a flight suit) and take the actions that will get you out there into a land of amazing possibilities.
It’s time. Your time. The winds are out there waiting to lift you up. Your angels will provide needed guidance. You’ll feel and see support show up in unexpected ways. And the new viewpoint of your life – what is small; what is worthwhile; and what is essential - will be absolutely exhilarating.
Say YES to yourself and allow the launch to carry you up and out.
It just might change everything. And in hindsight, you probably wouldn’t want it any other way.