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…


  • 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:

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


5 thoughts on “Subtle weenie or bolt of lightning? Both are within your reach.

  1. Create your own force of nature…..
    All of the external factors you site are very real and can pose severe weather conditions to the climate of your day. However, you are a force of nature to be reckoned with Amelia. Your perpetual, positive outlooks and passion for finding goodness and self-motivation will not permit you to falter. Don’t allow some of those “external factors” or occasional negativists impede the relentless path you plow into the hearts and souls of others. You A.R.E……ARE, da BOMB! Don’t forget that!
    Yes, you indeed are always a building thunderstorm, gathering energy and power from conditions and environments that surround you. You have a unique ability to inhale all the beauty and wonderful things that God places before us, without taking for granted or missing a moment. As you breathe in all the goodness….it fills your lungs and begins to compound for you, to nurture and harvest before exhaling your inspiration, graciously to the rest of us out here in the Amelia Rose Garden. Yes……inDEED……you manufacture energy for yourself, as well as us, your loyal followers.
    Congratulations on rocking your IFR written exam! This should be more evidence to you that, you DO foster positive outcomes. You continue to succeed in your daily flight plans, because you embrace the ownership of cultivating your own garden, nourishing it with love and commitment.
    Envisioning you as “a big ole lame mess” is a distant reach for me, but I can relate to the fact that life’s demons present themselves to each of us every single day. Can’t imagine you as ever being “thick-skinned,” but do recognize that you have a special gift of being resilient to setbacks. Thinking back on your tumble last year, and the broken bones you endured…….I remember how you always seemed to peel life’s onion back a little deeper to find the sweet spot. Hurtful people are just another layer of our day that needs to be peeled away. Your posts and blogs would seem you succeed in doing this religiously.
    You set forth on an Action Plan to de-funk your condition and you picked each bullet point off, one at a time, until you awakened early-to-rise…..the next day…. a blossoming thunderstorm….filled with negative ions and positive energy……a wonderful environmental condition to experience. You remind us that, snap, crackle and popping our way into a new day is a choice we each must make. Do we do so gulping, at dawn, by eating on the run? Or do we scoop berries onto our Rice Krispies, artistically planning each bite to be more flavorful? You always choose the latter and prompt me to do the same.
    Your friend, Jessie’s comments painted vivid pictures of appreciation in my mind. Then, going to her link and actually seeing what she had experienced was even more moving, realizing her descriptions were spot on! Her word choices of “pinnacles, inside bowls, shoulders” etched images so clearly that the photos simply underscored her ability to share her gratitude and admiration for the day she had reaped. Very impressive young lady!
    Today would have been my mom’s 93rd birthday. One of the things she always loved was that, on her birthday, I’d return home with a spring planter of flowers she’d pamper and nurture through the summer as if she was still cooking meals for my dad, sister and me. My lightning today, will be my choice to deliver a planter onto my sister’s porch, and rock the memories of our mom. After the lightning and thunder of this swift-moving moment, the skies will part and the radiance of her eternal life will energize this day.
    Blessings Amelia………….and……… always…….may the “force” be with you!

  2. Nice Essay Amelia, though I can’t imagine anyone EVER leaving a negative comment to you!

    When I find myself in the duldrums of life I get my “lightening bolt” by climbing onto my Harley and heading down a windy stretch of highway. Riding is my drug, my shrink, my inspiration, my dose of happiness that never fails me. The freedom of riding the open road, is so uplifting and awe inspiring; it’s one of those things that people just don’t get, until they try it for themselves. I am sure you can relate to what I’m saying knowing that feeling you get when your plane lifts off the ground and you are heading into the open air. There is simply nothing like it is there?

    Thanks for the article and your insight on life!


  3. Unfortunately we can all let a little negative comment ruin all of the great and positive things we hear or see. To recognize that we can’t let it get the best of us and to not respond back is hard. However, you have to see all the great things in your life and move on. Those people have to be miserable in their life some where because how else could they find a negative in you or your blog? You are so happy and inspirational and your zest for life is contagious. Keep on keeping on miss Amelia and don’t for one second have any room for negativity. All we can say is God Bless those that aren’t happy! You rock sister!
    Happy Flying!! :)))))

  4. To my flying buddy Alpha Romeo, you are a brilliant writer. Ever given any thought about writing a book? If you would, I predict it would be a best seller…and I would be the first to sign up to buy it!

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