The Push and the Pull

During a skydive, the threshold of an aircraft door is the shortest, yet widest, distance between frozen fear and unbridled flight. Crossing that threshold for the first time is uncomfortable, unnatural, and for most, unnecessary.

Unnecessary? That’s right. You can stay right where you are. You can absolutely stay belted in. 

Often the first leap is the toughest… that comfort zone sure is cozy. Come to think of it, it’s crowded, hot, loud and common. In this blog, I suggest we allow ourselves to ask for a little push, or maybe a little pull to help with kicking that threshold out and really seeing the world for what it really is… a place to be experienced. 

***

Standing on the edge of the open door of the Twin Otter aircraft, I stared down 13,000 feet at the Colorado Front Range. Cool air rushed at my face. I couldn’t focus on any one thing in particular because my eyes were teary under my thin plastic goggles. Why tears? I felt a little silly… the airplane was filled with about a dozen men, all of which had jumped before, some multiple times. The pilot yelled, “hurry up- get out quick”. There was no danger, we were just getting close to the clouds, which the aircraft was not planning to fly through. Before I knew it, It was time to jump out of the airplane… my two instructors told me to stand up- my legs wobbled and I hesitated. Guided to the door, they yelled instructions over the sound of flight. Every single thing in my body told me not to go.

Regardless of my fear, we left the airplane. We fell fast. It was happening. I was falling from the sky. 

When we safely returned to the classroom, my instructors sat me down and said to me, “tell us your recollection of the jump- how did it go, from your perspective?” 

Ok, sure, no problem.

*My* recollection was that we stood up on the plane, walked to the door, I went through the planned motions of a four count. “Prop, up, down, arch”… I thought that I focused on the propeller of the aircraft, counted one, two and then pushed out of the airplane and arched into a safe formation for flight. 

Nope, that was actually not the case. In my mind, I had done it… I had made the leap. To my surprise, I found that while I had focused on the prop, and counted one, two, rather than pushing myself out, I actually froze. Rusty pulled my harness and Dave pushed from his holding position and *that* is how I got out of the airplane. It all happened so fast that I didn’t realize that I hadn’t done it myself. Suddenly, I was out of the airplane, falling and my inaction was no longer an option. I was responsible for my choices on the way down and it was up to me to succeed at my first non-tandem jump. 

The moment that I signed up to go through the Accelerated Free Fall program at Mile High Sky Diving, I set the momentum of the jump in action. The first step was to learn, the second was to do, and the third will be to eventually excel. Steps, a process, allowing some to push and others to pull is all a part of trying something that makes you feel alive. You aren’t in these experiences alone if you don’t want to be… you are responsible for creating your team, involving those you trust to encourage you, pushing when you need, pulling when you need. 

Whenever we learn something new, we must first give into the fact that we will not be as fearless as we may like. As long as you put yourself in the environment to learn, to be around what it is you want to be and do, you get the benefit of momentum. Before you know it, you will be pushed, pulled, or maybe just nudged out the door by your love of your project, your ideas and your adrenaline. You will be forced to grow your own wings. 

When Rusty and Dave told me that I hadn’t actually took the initiative to push myself out of the airplane, I felt a little bit, well, lame. Why couldn’t I overpower my fear with rational thought and just take the leap? Because just like everyone else in the world, I wanted to protect myself from the uncertainty of fear and an unknown outcome. Could I pull my parachute, could I arrive safely back down at the landing zone? I had no idea, but it took the help of others who have gone before me to show that it is ok to get the initial push in order to truly face a fear. 

If you are afraid or hesitant to take a leap, surround yourself by those who will push and those who will pull. The fall seems like the most daunting thing you could ever do… but once you are in flight, the view is unmatched. You will have put yourself in a spot that so few dare to arrive at. Seek mentors, seek advice, love the push, love the pull, and allow yourself to learn from those who know the freedom you are seeking. 

After pulling a parachute, the sound you will hear will be one you’ll never forget. It is a triumphant silence- one that speaks to the chest expanding, love of living a life unbound by the resistance of an average life. 

Make the jump, cross the threshold and know that the view is worth the fear. Be pushed, be pulled, then do the same for others who want to cross over the threshold from average to amazing. 

The constant battle to maintain True North

True North has always been a beautiful concept to me. The intention of a compass, a direct line toward the North Star, a steadfast guide that ancient navigators used to determine where they came from and where they were headed. Because True North is a point in space that does not change, that revolution around that point allows for the creation of a center.

The most common way we can find True North is by using a compass. No matter where you stand on Earth, the needle of a magnetic compass always points toward North. You could be lost at sea, with only a vast, deep, dark mass of angry water surrounding you and you would always be able to determine direction with that compass. The reason this all works is because of the Earth’s magnetic field. This field is fairly weak on the surface, but is strong at the deepest point, at the center. The Earth is filled with a burning hot, powerfully intense core of molten iron. Alright, enough 7th grade science… let’s get to the good stuff.

While flying, we often use a magnetic compass to determine direction. We know, that even when our fancy glass cockpits show error, the magnetic compass generally tells us where we are headed.

There is, however,one little problem with that wobbly little guy that we have been staring at for years…

Magnetic Deviation

This is the error induced in a compass by local magnetic fields.

There is all sorts of metal in the aircraft that is taking the compass’ eye off the magnetic pull of True North. In comparison to the pull of the magnetic field of the center of the Earth, these attractions are minor. Here’s the issue: these minor pulls are IN VERY CLOSE PROXIMITY to the compass and they seem larger because they are creeping in close to home. 

They throw the direction of the compass off. If we follow the incorrect direction of the compass that is being drawn towards a false North, we can end up in a place we never intended. Our destination will be skewed by *minor attention detractors* that could have and should have been corrected for.

Magnetic Deviation is at work in our brains, our lives, our goals, our relationships all the time.

What we want, hope for, and believe in more than anything else is *our* True North. We are driven, much like a compass’ pull toward the molten center of the Earth, to our most burning, beautiful desires. When we are at our best, we are living and acting in a way that supports us staying on our path toward True North. Unfortunately, just like in the aircraft, we are often times pulled off our course toward True North by magnetic deviation.

Little by little, we start to pull away from True North. A negative comment, a cheap temptation, a too good to be true solution, the easy way out. These pulls to our internal compass can seem stronger than the pull of our inner-most desires and goals because they are SO INCREDIBLY CLOSE. We can give up on our big ideas because we lose sight of True North.

These pulls are only powerful because of their proximity.

Days go by, weeks pass in a blaze and then *wow*… we are so far off track that it feels almost too late to turn around or correct course.

I have been there. Give up, give in, it is too late, I am too old. Whatever the excuse, we are about to throw them out the window of the airplane.

How to eliminate magnetic deviation

In the aircraft, magnetic deviation is eliminated by calculating your accurate bearings. You must eliminate the magnetic attraction from the metal objects in the plane. You must correct your course. You have to separate the compass from all the minor pulls in order to focus on the deep, powerful pull from the center of the Earth. It will not steer you wrong.

In life, we have to get away from the junk that is pulling us of course. You’ve got to move further away from the distractions, the people, the temptations that are doing their best to pull you away from True North. We all know, but sometimes brush off the fact that these distractions are ALL OVER THE PLACE. When you are doing great, big and beautiful things, there will be people who want you to fail. When you are on track and rockin’ your goals, the distractions are going to multiply. Think of these distractions like bait… but you are working toward the big prize here… don’t give into a thousand little easy outs. That’s what average people do. You are anything but average.

When you keep your eye on True North, by eliminating the pull of insignificant distractions, you can stay on your course.

You are much stronger than any form of magnetic deviation because you know the power of True North.

“OMG I am so busy” and why nobody cares, not even your mom.

Sometimes you read something that just plain stops you in your tracks. Consider my e brake officially engaged.

I was cruising my Twitter feed this morning and this little gem popped up:

“Relax. Your ship will only come when the sea is calm” – @liveunbound 

Here’s a link to follow this awesomeness: https://twitter.com/LiveUnbound

At first I thought a simple “yep… usual good stuff from an engaged, alive mind”. So I kept scrolling through a gaggle of political rants, complaints about *everything, and tips on how to get my beach body in 3 hours, thinking of all the things I have to get done, catch up on, plan for, call back, email, fix, and then it suddenly hit me:

RELAX

When we run around, acting like everything we are up to is so important, so busy, so must-get-done-right-this-minute, so all-about-me, so dramatic, so my-life-is-way-harder-than-yours… we are spinning like a tornado, too caught up in our own debris field to witness the opportunities that are headed our way. We are surrounded by calm, inviting skies, but we would never know it… we are ripping a destructive path through the rest of our lives, leaving everyone to wonder, “where the hell did they come from and how soon are they leaving?”

For instance… when we convince ourselves that we will never get everything done that we “need” to accomplish our goals, then we are correct. Some of the most successful people I know are these beautifully calm, laid back, intelligent people that feel no need to tell the world how busy they are.

Do you have that friend (or mirror) that is always running around with an armload of paperwork, a drippy, sloshing sugary latte from Starbucks, a pen behind their ear and a iPhone with 3% battery power? When they run up to you, usually the first thing out of their mouth is “Oh my god I am SO busy”. Well, obviously.

If you were a big opportunity, offer, idea, helping hand, would you want to get close to that mess? Not a chance.

RELAX 

In flight, we plan our routes to places that have weather and conditions that we can handle. For a pilot, calm winds, great visibility, a smooth ride are all things that make flying fun, effortless and beautiful. I am talking about the kind of romantic flight that we day dream about on stormy days.

Of course, we plan for the weather, we become instrument pilots that can fly in low visibility, and we absolutely know that the dangers exist. However, there comes a time when the winds are too crazy, the ceilings are too low and the ice is too thick. We have to make a choice to go somewhere else, choose another option to avoid the drama and danger of getting involved with that mess.

That’s when we use our alternate airport. We simply have to find a smarter place to land. 

As you look at your current state, are you a calm, organized, relaxed, blue skies kind of day or are you an ice storm with a 40 kt tail wind and a 50 ft. ceiling that sends everyone running?

Like the @liveunbound quote eluded to, ships only come in during calm seas. You may be keeping people, opportunities and new good things in your life away because you have convinced yourself that you need to continually run around “busy”.

Yes, yes, I know… we all get busy, but cut the drama and just get what needs to be done, done. Be that graceful, well put together chap that makes other’s wonder… “How the hell did they pull that off? They always seem so calm”.

Less tornado, more blue skies. Less crazy waves, more glassy ocean. 

The tornado, the huge waves, they are both amazing (and scary) to watch and the fact is, we all pretty much want to maintain our distance for safety. That’s why storm chasers and pro surfers are so rare.

-Amelia

May 19th, 1pm: Alive Decisions Discussion

The very first Fly With Amelia Foundation event is now on the calendar and I am excited to have you join us. On May 19th, 2013 at 1pm, I will lead an interactive discussion for adults, kids, teens… anyone who makes daily choices and wants to lead an engaged, focused life. The discussion will be based around flight metaphors and will be an open interaction between all who want to participate. The day includes FREE admission, a short film in the Harrison Ford Theatre, and a museum tour with me, after the live talk.

The Fly With Amelia Foundation will also give away a flight lesson during the event. All who arrive will be entered to win. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please send me an email at ameliaroseearhart@gmail.com.

Thank you!

Amelia

FLYWITHAMELIA19

Subtle weenie or bolt of lightning? Both are within your reach.

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
-Frederick Douglass

In a matter of 24 hours, our moods and emotions can fly all across the spectrum… from pure and unadulterated love and affection, to deep sadness and loss of hope, to apathy and aloof nonchalance. We are logical, smart human beings… so where does this fluctuation come from? There aren’t usually that many changes taking place in the real world. Most of these changes come from our reaction and feelings that we place on external factors. We all know that, but how do we conquer these sometimes dampening emotions and keep on our inspired track where progress, happiness and encouraging others is the rule rather than the exception? Don’t get me wrong, I am a feel your emotions deeply kind of girl… but it is the tricky little, inspiration crushing moments that can mean the difference between rockin’ a goal and rockin’ your sweat pants.

Time for some transparency… I am afraid of losing my ability to find inspiration. So what do you do when you can’t find the thing you need? You make it yourself.

My biggest, scariest, most smile killing, couch and cupcake inducing emotion, used to be the feeling that inspiration was rare and hard to come by and that it simply flew in and out of our minds and hearts on a whim. For a long time I convinced myself that inspiration was like lightning. I knew that, in order to find it, I needed to locate a thunderstorm… but even when I found the source of this awesome power, seeing the lightning was random and out of my control. Sitting on a hillside, hoping to see a bolt, much like waiting for someone, something, some place or idea to inspire me, left me feeling like my life’s accomplishments were based on some spark of outside influence. It became a wandering, seeking feeling that I needed to be perpetually staring at the sky, paranoid I would miss the view. In the mean time, I found myself missing out on exciting, creative, real-life opportunities because I was waiting for a flash of lightning-like inspiration to spur me on to do all the things that I knew, deep down, I could be capable of.

When I realized that I was the thunderstorm, I began to understand that I had the option to create my own lightning. 

Winston Churchill said, “You create your universe as you go along.” This type of mindset can sound a little narcissistic. Stay with me here… you can’t be of any use to anyone else, unless you are living and breathing the highest form of who you believe you are capable of becoming. Create, seek, love and nurture all the moments that make you feel alive. Seal them up and store them in your freezer for future use.

When I was driving out to Centennial Airport, heading to one of my last IFR flight lessons before my check ride  (I passed my IFR written exam!!) I was filled with lightning. Bright and bold, ready to strike and light up the sky, I easily learned and sought more understanding during my lesson.

This is in contrast to a few days back when I was a big ole lame mess. Tired and apathetic, I procrastinated and gave in to the negative feedback and pessimistic outlook of others. One of those influences was a negative note here on the blog. I was a little sullen and lacking that lustrous glow of potential and I was waiting on someone else to light me up. Anyone who has the time and need to send negative feedback should get the whole story first, rather than toss out random and hurtful words… Like Taylor Swift said, “why ya gotta be so mean?” ;) When I realized how silly this was, I had to pull up my boot straps and motivate myself.

Kind of vague, right? Vague sucks. Let’s get specific.

Here’s what I did to get out of my funk:

1) Went to the gym. Physical activity will almost instantly get you out of a bad mood.

2) Worked on the Fly With Amelia Foundation board of directors plan and created an outline for the May 19th event at Wings Over the Rockies.

3) Read a few pages from my oral prep book and realized how much I enjoy precision flight

4) Called a friend to talk about what was new in her life. Turns out she is really happy and that was instant smiles on my part.

5) Took a hot bath and went to bed on time… which meant 9pm. I get up at 3am so it takes an effort to be done with everything that early!

The point is this…when it comes to inspiration, no one is going to inspire you on a consistent basis except for yourself. You’ve got to have a plan for being that charge of energy that ignites the storm, that lifts clouds, crackles and pops with excitement and *change*.

I got an amazing facebook message from my friend Jessie yesterday…

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  • Jessie Louise

    “Miss Amelia. I don’t know when you’ll get this message– but my goodness. I have so few chic friends who have any idea how amazing what we do is. I spent the morning/afternoon flying around Eagle/Leadville/Rifle/Vail– landing on pinnacles, inside bowls, on shoulders and all above 10,000 (highest was 11,400). We landed and had lunch in Leadville– then flew some more– no rushing, just practice, practice– got to fly to several crash sites, the old Camp Hale (10th Mtn division did extreme cold wx training there during WWII), abandoned mines/ghosttowns– an A-10 crash site (on a pinnacle)– Amelia it was just the most brilliant day of my career so far. (I’m at the High Altitude School the CO national guard has in Eagle btw– its a train up for deployment, but I got lucky to come here to learn– otherwise I’d be doing all this training in a combat zone in August! We are so frikkin blessed girl!!!!!”

Here’s a link to her photos from that day: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.947501243203.1073741825.45200821&type=1

Moments like Jessie had yesterday don’t just fall into her lap. They happen because she creates her own storm, day after day. This girl is a ball of fire and feisty amazement and she is a role model to me. She is lightning and thunder and she isn’t waiting around for someone else to hand her inspiration on a silver platter. She’s in the kitchen, making a big ole batch of it right now.

If you want inspiration, don’t sit around and wait for it to pop up on your newsfeed, a pretty sunset view, or a bolt of lightning in a storm, go out and seek it like a thirsty dude looking for gatorade in the desert. Think of how incredibly turned on your life becomes when you know what you want… life comes alive and decisions can then be made to get yourself closer to where you want to be.

Being subtle is for weenies. Go get what you want and encourage others to engage in what they love.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work. -Mark Twain

Shuffling your deck

Did you know that EVERY single time you shuffle a deck of cards, the outcome will be completely UNIQUE? That goes for every shuffled deck that has ever, will ever, be shuffled by anyone. Ever. Think on that. The permutation of a standard deck of 52 cards has the following number of possible arrangements:

cards52 isn’t a huge number, but the combinations of options from the 52 cards is a pretty healthy batch of changes. Jacks, Kings, the 2 of hearts, they are all in there, ready to be shuffled and rearranged, ready to create a combination that has never existed in history and will never, ever, exist again. I am a firm believer that the hand we are dealt is made wholly of the cards we allow ourselves to play with.

When I heard this big ole number, my head started spinning. If 52 cards can be arranged in that many ways, what does that say for choices, decisions, outcomes and opportunities in our own lives? We all have way more than 52 things we could rearrange in order to create a new scenario, a fresh outlook, a new angle, a feeling of starting over.

My top 52 for today (the best part is, they change all the time!): attitude, goals, family, work, diet, hours of sleep, focused time on studies, time spent writing, alone time, work relationships, health, intention, time spent flying, building new relationships, asking for help, friends, social media interaction, breaking bad habits, building new positive habits, organization, time spent worrying, care for others, my budget, prioritizing tasks, my importance of the opinions of others, wasted time, being uncomfortable, planning, daily tasks, charity, unconventional ideas, time spent online, being kind, saying yes, saying no, saying not today but maybe soon, down time, relaxation, speaking up, acting like a child, acting like an adult, decision making, being aware of the big picture, meditation, focus to detail, dreaming, outside input, inspiration, research, safety, conservation, feeling.

You may relate to some of my 52 or maybe none at all, the point is, when you focus on the same top 5 out of 52 day in and day out, you are leaving out a lot of very important other options that all have a place in your deck. You don’t have to eliminate cards, but you also don’t have to be afraid to give the deck a shuffle every now and again to feel that fresh newness of a renewed, excited plan.

If I dig deep into my deck, and tomorrow, I focus on things like saying yes, research, organization, breaking bad habits and dreaming, I would probably have a totally different day than if I went by the usual plan of focusing on attitude, family, work, diet etc. as the same way I focus each day. I am by no means saying to ignore your typical top 5, we already know we’ve got those covered, but a shuffle can allow you to feel alive, fresh, renewed and inspired to see through a slightly different set of eyes. You will naturally pay mind to the things you focus on during a typical day… but… with a new hand that you deal yourself, you’ll be playing the game confidently and with a strong hand full of intentional choices.

When you start of each day by looking at all your options, rather than going with what makes you feel comfortable and at home, you will inevitably start to do some rearranging along the way, fixing and plotting, getting priorities aligned in a smart way that can build your strategy for success… heck, maybe your deck will go flying into the air and you’ll have to pick up all the cards one by one, once again, creating an arrangement that is all yours.

The best part about all of this is that the new arrangement that you are priviledged enough to hold in your hot little hands has never existed before and will never exist again.

So go ahead, shake things up, shuffle your deck. Just remember, you decide what goes into that stack of cards.. every single day.\

Here’a link to the video I mentioned in my video blog above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKZStlBECHo

The two days of the year when nothing can be done…

Click for a larger view, share for larger inspiration:

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 6.06.04 PM

I hope your day was filled with delicious, ambitious, heartfelt action!

I wanted to share a podcast interview with SimpleFlight Radio that I did last week… flying, goal setting, and focused inspiration were the topics we covered.

We also decided to rock the Twitter Hashtag: #gulpingbeauty

Here’s a link: http://www.simpleflight.net/aviation-radio-show-archive.html

Thanks to the crew at Simple Flight for believing in general aviation and my plans for an around the world flight!

-Amelia

Obvious? You betcha. Incredibly powerful? Ohhh yeah.

airport3

I am a creature of the night, waking at the deeply dark, wee hours of the morning to head to the tv station where I prognosticate about all things traffic, weather and news. The alarm sounds at 3:30am these days, which is a nice break from the previous 2:30 honking that woke me from my delicious flying dreams at previous times. Eyes flutter open, muscles come alive and more often than not, a smile slips across my lips, knowing today is the best day in history.

Hair and makeup, dresses and heels, espresso (raspberry and vanilla these days) and I am out the door with a quick kiss blown to my faithful little pup, Nubbin. When I get in the car, I have approximately 14 minutes to set my mood just right.

The freeway is a runway leading straight toward whatever day I want to have.

What I noticed today, as I drove in for a Sunday morning weather shift at 9News, was how clear and deep the night sky seemed as I pressed the gas pedal and roared onto I-25. Through the windshield, the stars gleamed, constellations crisp and obvious to the North, inviting my stare to linger longer than usual. I was alone, baring the rare opposite direction freeway companion. It was the color of the sky that really got to me this morning. It was a bluish black, with no end in sight. There was no promise of impending light, no hint of a day ahead. Pure, calm, silky black eternity.

What would it be like to fly in this night sky? On a Sunday morning at 4am? Sure, I’ve had night flight time, as pilot, as passenger, as sleepy shoulder sleeper, but this, this would be different. My mind immediately went to the pinnacle of my flight goals, an eventual flight around the world. There will be hours upon hours spent flying at night and inevitably, there will be a 4am adventure across the night sky. I get chills thinking of what it will be like to look back on even just the writing of this blog post, wondering what and where and how and oh my goodness it is all so possible!

The first Amelia saw what I am imagining, craving, working toward, first hand, and summed it up in such a succinct way… “The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night.”

There is a reason that I am so focused and amped up toward diving into that night sky, especially as of late. A personal recommitment has been made, a show of respect toward the big goals and what they stand for and it has all come from a new sense of understanding exactly what we are all individually capable of. It comes down to deciding what you want to be and committing 100%.

Obvious? Completely.

Here’s where I realized I have failed in the past: Previously, a 99% commitment felt like a path toward success. If I was 99% there, 1% couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t matter, right?

Wrong.

That 1% is a powerful little beast. Take for example, a thought on exceptions to the “rule”. If you commit to working toward a goal 99% of the time, you will constantly use the excuse that today is the day to slack off, procrastinate, put it off, and let the work pile up. Is today the 1% exception? Sure, why not? I am 99% committed to my cause, my goal, my idea. This one time wont hurt. Two times is a fluke, everyone get’s a few free passes, three times starts to look like a pattern and then, before you know it, a 99% commitment looks like a 50% maybe I’ll get it done when I have the energy, when I lose ten pounds, when the kids graduate, when work slows down. Familiar? I’ve been there and I don’t want to go back. No way, José. 

That one little time turns to habit and you are back where you were when your goal was just a lofty idea without legs. When a 100% commitment is made, there are no exceptions, either you are or you aren’t. Do or do not. Be or don’t be. Progress can be slow, but commitment with intention and defined terms of success and hard work is sexy. Just make the first step, invite yourself to take the next, the third will feel good and then you are on a roll.

I’ll take it one step further… If you accomplished 99% of your goal, would you be happy? If out of 100 job candidates you were one away from the top, would you be stoked? In my case, if I flew 99% of the way around the world, I would certainly disappointed. You get out what you put in. Lately, my input has been learning, growing, soak up the amazing details of how awesome flight can be. When I talk about the goal, I show 100% on my face. You’ve got one life to give it all while you’re here. I don’t want to die with a bunch of unfulfilled ideas.

Am I sounding like some sort of crazy tyrant? I am not saying you’ve gotta be all work and no play… that would be a terrible way to live. What I am saying, is decide what you want and pour your whole heart into it. You are completely capable of doing whatever it is you can imagine. It feels damn amazing to accomplish goals, right? Do it more often. I can’t believe I am quoting John Mayer, but here goes: “If you had started doing anything two weeks ago, by today you would have been two weeks better at it.”

Back to night flight… lately, when I have a hard time studying, or going to a lesson after waking up at 3:30am, or taking the time to understand my craft, I go back to what it will feel like to slip into the sky and fly East towards the horizon. It kicks me in the ass, it lifts my heart, it rumbles my soul. It is like the aircraft engine starting… it feels like the beginning of something big.

Almost there is ok, but hitting your mark feels realllllllly good.

Love,

Amelia

What *can* you be, what are you *willing* to be?

Watch the video before you read!

These are 4 minutes and 19 seconds you’ll be glad you devoted your time to! Brian Johnson, creator of en*theos (www.entheos.com) and Philosopher’s Notes (www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes.com) struck a chord with me during his latest YouTube video on Optimal Living… he talked about that tricky little zone we all tend to visit more than we’d like: “The Integrity Gap”

He describes this place as, the distance between what you are *capable* of doing and what you are *actually* doing.

I watched this video while on the treadmill at the hotel here in Minneapolis, I am here for a meteorology conference that 9News sent me to. But first, rewind a bit… we got in a few hours early and it is nearly as cold as Denver here! Right around 7 degrees today. As I walked into my pretty little hotel room, I thought, ugh, there are so many things I need to get done! My room looks out over the Mall of America and I gotta tell ya, it was less than inspiring. Buy, buy, buy, eat, eat, eat, spend, spend, spend. It instantly put me in a bad mood!

I sat there on my perfectly pressed bed, thinking about how cold it was, how much I needed to get done, how lazy I felt, and how I would be here all week! We have all been there, right?

The afternoon could have gone one of two ways, turn on daytime (ugh) tv, surf Facebook and listen to everyone complain about the cold, and generally replicate the view I was looking at through my window, or…

I could *close my integrity gap* and cancel out the distance between what I was actually doing and what I was capable of doing. So I laced up my Pegasus sneaks and got my butt down to the gym.

New view, new body temperature (hot hot hot) and a new feeling that I was now doing what I was capable of. I came back upstairs, wrote some exciting follow up emails about the round the world flight, made a few calls that included a big ask *with a yes response!* and popped up the lap top to jot this note.

((((I am not trying to brag by writing this blog, yadda yadda, I got so much done. Not that at all. I just want to make sure that the people who care enough to read the post get the same opportunity to feel as incredible as I do. ))))

As Brian says, the gap is filled with regret (I should have gotten more accomplished), anxiety (I am falling behind and my goals will not get accomplished), and disillusionment (blah, blah, life ain’t so fun).

Back to the point of the video- how can you close the gap?

It is truly as simple as being the highest version of yourself moment to moment. That even feels good to write… what would the best version of you do right now, literally right in this very moment?

For me, it is writing this down and having the courage to push the publish button.

To closing the gap…

Here goes.

Back to basics

Hey friends,

No election talk here, just a note for those who have this sort of thing stamped on their souls… and for those who could use a reminder.

I’ll run my hand gently over the wing of a small airplane and say to him, “This plane can teach you more things and give you more gifts than I ever could. It won’t get you a better job, a faster car, or a bigger house. But if you treat it with respect and keep your eyes open, it may remind you of some things you used to know — that life is in the moment, joy matters more than money, the world is a beautiful place, and that dreams really, truly are possible.” And then, because airplanes speak in a language beyond words, I’ll take him up in the evening summer sky and let the airplane show him what I mean.

— Lane Wallace, ‘Eyes of a Child,’ Flying magazine, February 200