*Originally published 1/25/2013
I want you to imagine being on an airplane. First, think about what would happen if someone opened the door to the airplane. We all know that doing so would create a massive rush of air, suctioning out and pulling, with great force, everything inside the aircraft, out into the abyss of open sky.
Now, I want you to imagine the opposite happening. Imagine opening the door, and instead of a huge suction pulling everything out, picture the entire Universe rushing in, with such force that you’re not sure you’d be able to survive it.
That is the image that has been in my head today. As I focus on clearing some major internal blockages, that image (and sensation) dances around my psyche. Which brings to mind two things.
The first is the famous Marianne Williamson quote (often mistaken for being Nelson Mandela’s words), “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
I guess I’m getting to the source of my blockages.
The other thing that comes to mind for me is Felix Baumgartner. But before I get to Felix, allow me to digress for a moment.
When I was younger (in my early twenties, to be exact) I had reached a place in my life where I was happier than many people will ever get to experience in their lifetime, I really believe that. It was out of this world. I was extremely high on life (and from time to time a few “mind-expanding substances” as well). I had a deep wisdom that was guided by a grand naiveté. I think that my naiveté allowed me to blindly trust my deep, inner wisdom. But It was also my naiveté that was navigating through that space, and one can only be flying blind for so long before, well, I kind of went into a tail spin and experienced a very harsh comedown from an incredibly exhilarating (to say the least) life-high.
I spent the duration of my twenties trying (and failing) to get back to that place, until finally arriving at the understanding that maybe the goal isn’t to get so extremely high, because the fall from that can be deadly. So heading into my thirties I became more focused on a different kind of happiness, a fully grounded happiness, from which I cannot fall.
Which leads me back to Felix. In case anyone doesn’t know who Felix Baumgartner is, he is an is an Austrian skydiver and daredevil who “jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere, setting the altitude record for a manned balloon flight, parachute jump from the highest altitude, and greatest free fall velocity… He set the world record for skydiving an estimated 24 miles, reaching an estimated speed of 834 mph, in October 2012, and became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power on his descent.”
Ever since my own personal fall from grace, so many years ago, and learning the lesson that maybe getting so high isn’t such a great idea, I have feared getting too high, because I never wanted to come crashing down like I did before. It’s also become very important for me to remain grounded, which I always lacked in my youth.
But thinking about Felix- his goal was, yes, to get higher than any other human has ever gotten (outside of a vehicle), but it was for the sole purpose of coming down from that space. The free fall. And the moment he felt both feet on the ground- that was the true moment of power- so powerful that it brought him to his knees.
So I’m starting to see things a little differently now. Maybe reaching incredible heights isn’t such a bad thing. And maybe coming down from said heights isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe opening a door (removing that which closes me off from such experiences) might not be such a bad thing either. Maybe allowing the Universe to rush in will allow me to experience my own power, which is beyond measure. And maybe once I allow myself to experience such power I can understand that falling from such great heights can be just as incredible as actually reaching those heights- perhaps even better! Because instead of flying blind, with a naive navigation system, my wisdom (not only intuitive, but experiential) will serve as my parachute, which I may direct, with one pull of a string, back to a place where my feet are planted firmly (and safely) on the ground, where I can experience a greater world than I ever imagined.