Would You Jump?

Standard

When I was a little girl, my mom used to take me to a place called Jenny Jump Mountain. That is where I first learned about the legend and how the mountain got its name. There was a time long ago when nine year old Jenny was out picking berries. She looked up to find Indians coming toward her and she yelled to her father for help. She was trapped and scared at the top of the mountain. Her father was down below and he yelled to her, jump Jenny jump, and she did. One ending suggests Jenny jumped to her death and the other tells the happy news of her landing safely in the arms of her father. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

For some reason, the story has always stuck in my mind. I was inspired to write this after reading a post on Dream Big, Dream Often. His post was about turning molehills into mountains. I, on the other hand, realize the opposite can also be true. I actually try and turn my mountains into a molehill because I get to that point I can’t take it anymore. I can’t stand the feeling of being trapped on the mountainside with no way down. I am afraid of heights. I panic and the anxiety becomes a constant gnawing at my internal organs. Sometimes I wish I could be like Jenny and just jump but I don’t think I have the courage. Then I think to myself, if I don’t jump, how will I ever learn to fly?

So, what do you think? What’s worse? Turning mountains into molehills or molehills into mountains? Which are you guilty of?

Who Is In Control?

Standard

Who is flying your plane? Think about it in simple terms. If your entire life was a journey, would you sit in the passenger seat of your own life? Would you leave the decisions and planning up to someone else or take the responsibility to do it on your own? This is YOUR life. You only get one trip around the sun so plan it well.  Don’t leave it in the hands of someone else. Fly wherever you want to go. You will find freedom there. That is where living begins and the journey becomes all it can be. The sky’s the limit. Fly away!

Flow With It

Standard

Late last night I shared my adventure of being diverted to another airport on my flight home due to weather issues. I guess life was testing me because the story got a little complicated way too fast. My intention was to go with the flow and not get overly stressed out by what I couldn’t change. Not long after we landed, the pilot made an announcement that the plane we were sitting on would not be flying anymore that evening. They had discovered some damage to the wing and didn’t think we could get flights back until the next morning. After what seemed like forever, they announced they were getting charter buses to bring us the hour and a half ride home. Flight time was 20 minutes so the crowd was pretty disappointed. Lucky for me, my husband was already on his way and I was very grateful. They eventually allowed us to leave through the back exit and make our way to the airport. The plane was half empty when they started yelling for everyone to get back on the plane. It would be fixed in the next 40 minutes and we were expected to sit and wait. I called my husband and told him to make his way back to the airport and sat there another hour and fifteen minutes. I, along with the other passengers watched in disbelief as the maintenance team duck taped the wing. At last we were off and our hour and forty five trip turned into five hours. It was a long day and I was exhausted but as I climbed into my own bed for the first time in weeks, I was very grateful, even if it was three in the morning.

Life is a test. Everyday we are faced with new challenges. Whether we pass or fail is entirely up to us. We can keep on flunking or finally get it right. The sooner the better because life will offer the same test over and over until we do. Someday, I will look back on this and laugh. Today is not that day. Until then, everyday, I will remind myself, I should not fight what I cannot change. Just flow.

Diverted

Standard

Little Ms.Go With The Flow was diverted on her flight home tonight. Due to storms we needed to land at a nearby airport to refuel and wait for the storms to pass. Sometimes, something you never expect interrupts the path you think you’re on. It is just a reminder that we cannot control the circumstance but we can control how we respond to it. I did not respond well. I am tired, my knees are hurting and if complaining would get me off the plane than I would have been off 40 minutes ago. Now, I’ve accepted that here is where I am going to be and that’s all there is to it. There is a plane full of people who are bummed that they are stuck here with me. So, I will sit here quietly and patiently wait to get home again. Reminder to self: stop fighting the flow and go with it.

Breathe

Standard

I am on my way to Mexico for a little rejuvenation and a lot of fun.  I remember the first time I heard the flight attendant say, “put on your own oxygen mask first and then help others”. I thought to myself, “what is she crazy?” Normally I would be traveling with both of my kids and my first instinct would be to protect them and then worry about myself. The older I get, I realize how important that tiny instruction really is. 

Have you ever felt drained because you are constantly catering to everyone around you? You give and you give until one day, you’ve got nothing left. Your tank is empty from everyone slowly sucking the life out of you and it doesn’t take long until you start to resent them. You get frustrated over the endless amount of give, give, give while all they do is they take, take, take. The worst part is you took the pin and stuck it in your own balloon and now you wonder why you feel so deflated? You have to know when to say no to everyone else and yes to yourself. What we forget is that people can’t take advantage of us unless we allow them too. You decide what to give. The point is, there has to be balance. You have to fill your own tank so it never empties out. It’s only when your tank is full that you can really love and provide for others. So put on your own oxygen mask first, so you can be there the way everyone needs you to be.

Will You Buy a Ticket?

Standard

I’ve been trying really hard to be positive lately. It’s amazing, don’t you think, that the way we perceive something depends on our attitude at the time. It takes diligence and focus to see everything  you can from the most positive point of view. Perspective is the difference in feeling elated or surrendering to being miserable. Two people can look at the same picture and one will see beauty, the other scribble. It sounds easy enough but it really comes down to who you are around. It’s impossible to be a positive person surrounded by negative people. Try as you may, eventually they will bring you down. Choose where you spend your time and who you spend it with. Look for the good, the silver linings and focus on the things you are grateful for. Find something that makes you happy and do it all the time. Being positive is a one way ticket to happiness. Why not be a frequent flyer?

Lessons From An Airport

Standard

As I traveled home last night, I started to reflect on the past year. The first flight went amazingly well. We had a quick 50 minute layover and then a short a 30 minute flight and we would be home. I saw a parallel in those crazy flights and my own life. My goal every year is to to look back and see growth. I want to know that as the year comes to a close, I am a stronger, better person that who I was when it began. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Only I know myself inside and out. I know my thoughts and I certainly know my own heart.

As I sat there totally frustrated with the unexpected delay, I began to understand how our thinking can shed a negative light on a year of growth. All I had left was a simple 30 minute flight. It was a long day but I was almost there. Instead of focusing on how far I had come, it was easy to let a few minute delay change my entire perception of the entire journey. I think we do that in our lives as well. There is so much growth and so much to be grateful for, but sometimes we get so caught up in what we haven’t accomplished that we convince ourselves we must have failed. That last part is the hardest to travel. The inner critic voice reminds us we are not done yet so we forget to celebrate how far we’ve already come.

Life is a constant journey of discovering who we are. We strive to be the person we want to be but sometimes we get delayed. The journey will continue when the time is right. It’s okay to pause for a moment and remain still. It is in that stillness that we start to hear the inner voice that reminds us tomorrow is another day. Delays will happen but they are a temporary pause in the journey, not the end. Don’t let your mind let you believe you are stuck there. Maybe it’s just that higher knowing that softly whispers you are headed in the wrong direction but you can always choose another flight to a different place.

As the year comes to a close, celebrate who you are and how far you’ve come. There is only one unique you. You may not be perfect and really that’s okay. Remind yourself you are only human and every day offers a new chance to be a better version than who you were yesterday, but don’t forget to pause for a moment and rejoice in who you are today.

Flying The “Friendly” Skies

Standard

Have you ever felt on top of the world one minute and boxed in and smothering the next? It happens. We all have mood swings but how do we get ourselves through those lower points to rise back up to a more positive frequency?

I didn’t sleep well last night. I got up at 3:15 to fly back home to family over Christmas break. I was excited sure but I could feel the stress creeping up my throat choking me until I felt I couldn’t breathe. It just wasn’t going to be a good day but somehow I knew I had to get through it. The kids were tired and grumpy and kept arguing over who would pull the third carry on. Granted, if I had known I had to pay for the bags I would not have brought nearly as many. But, I am used to flying Southwest where bags are free but ironically the airline “American” has the motto: screw the people. Coincidence? Maybe, but who really knows. As the kids mouths snarled back and forth at each other, a little jingle from that silly Lego movie popped in my head. Everything is awesome. I kept singing it over and over again silently in my mind until I couldn’t help but fight away the beginning of a smile. As I swiped my credit card for my 3 bags, I heard it again. Everything is awesome! If there was a world record for how many times a passenger could stand up and slam her head into the bottom of the storage bin, hands down, the winner would be me. Everything is awesome! Every time the girl sitting in the seat coughed in my direction I heard it again! Everything is awesome. Every time someone blew their nose or a baby cried out, over and over, all I could hear was Everything Is Awesome!

Seriously, my mind is somehow amusingly demented and here I am halfway through my last fight still smiling as I type the words Everything Is Awesome! Sooner or later the words and the mood will intertwine lovingly and perfectly together. Until then, silently I sing. Everything Is Awesome!

My Very First Post

Standard

Today, I have been blogging for one whole year. I thought is was appropriate to repost my very first
entry, one that has gotten quite a bit of attention. I hope you enjoy it.

THE LITTLE BIRD….

One day there was a magnificent bird. All the other birds looked up to the magnificent bird and longed to be just like him. They felt pangs of jealousy, and as much as they wanted to like the magnificent bird, their jealousy kept them from doing so. One day, the magnificent bird flew into a tree and injured his wing. All the other birds that admired the magnificent bird from afar finally found the courage to approach the injured bird. They became friends, and used their new found friendship to become more like the magnificent bird before he became injured. Then, one day, the injured bird lost his will to fly. All the other birds started to believe they were better than the sad little bird because he could no longer fly. They didn’t understand how the little bird could just give up, because flying had become the once jealous little birds whole life. They felt sorry for the bird and better than the little bird. What they forgot though, was that this was the same magnificent bird that inspired them to be a better bird in the first place. Guess what? The once jealous birds became so busy choking on their own feathers that they would never notice that the bird that they thought became a sad little bird, was not so sad after all. See, it wasn’t that the little bird couldn’t fly, he just enjoyed walking better because he forgot how beautiful it was down below.

Part 2: What Happened to The Little Bird

The little bird did quite a bit of soul searching while he was on the ground. He filled his days learning new activities he wouldn’t have been afforded if he remained in the sky. He met new friends and rediscovered new ways to live and survive. He took it all in and cherished his new life. However, after many months he began to yearn for something familiar and instinctive. It wasn’t his flock he longed for but the freedom he found as he spread his wings and glided effortlessly through the sky. This was the day he decided to go back. He feared the old birds because of the pain they had once caused him. But this time, he would hold his tiny head up high and not even give them a second look. He realized that some birds only wanted to be around him when he had something to offer and he was smarter than that now. Up he flew, finding new freedom as he climbed higher and higher. The old birds saw him coming and gathered in groups to watch his next move. They made jokes that he was beneath them now and it was obvious to them he would never fit in with their superior little flock.The little bird didn’t even notice the other birds. He was so caught up in his moment of flying that he didn’t see or hear anything going on around him. He would fly wherever the direction of the wind took him and cherish every second of the first day of his new journey. The other birds couldn’t help but trail far behind. They couldn’t help out of their curiosity to follow him and see what he might be up to. But the little bird just kept flying unaware of everything but the joy in knowing there was nowhere he had to be. His wings would take him anywhere he wanted to go. And for today, it didn’t matter where that would be, he would just enjoy the journey and fly. I guess he was a true leader after all, because the other birds couldn’t stop themselves from following. They wouldn’t be able to catch up though, because all the time on the ground rested his wings so he would fly higher and faster than ever before. And fly he did.

Turbulance

Standard

I was flying back home on a flight tonight when all of a sudden out of nowhere the plane started rattling around. Turbulence. It didn’t last long but long enough to remind me that even when everything seems to be going smooth, the uncertainty of each moment can catch us off guard. We have to be ready for anything, open to what the moment may bring, and trust that eventually, if we hang on tight and breathe our way through, that moment will melt away and a new one will appear. We all experience turbulence in our lives. How we react says a lot about who we are. For me, I don’t tremble in fear. I strap on my seatbelt and enjoy the ride and use my breath to slow the rapid beating of my heart. In a crazy way, it awakens me and makes me feel more alive. Sometimes I believe it takes a little turbulence to help us recognize and be grateful for the calm. How do you react when you experience turbulence? Pay attention to it next time it crosses your path.