Recently a beloved friend and yoga teacher, invited our yoga class to form a group intention: “I am strong and flexible and I can easily dance with the winds of life.” I loved that so much that I’m making it my intention. And how will I begin to manifest that intention? I turn to Flying Lesson #3: Take the Pilot’s Seat.

When I look around me, I only find one person who can put me squarely on the route to being strong and flexible. That would be me. And, I also find only one who can help me easily dance with the winds of life. Again, I’m the one. So I’d better just strap myself into the left seat of the airplane and pilot myself through the coming year.

Barb and our yoga can help me be strong and flexible, and I can do my weight-bearing exercise and walk on the land. Those are outer actions I know how to take. The “easily dancing with the winds of life” part is more subtle and complex. How do I navigate that one?

Well, part of taking the pilot’s seat is learning to “source” or make decisions from the “seat of the soul,” as author Gary Zukoff put it. Exercise can be acted out using the mind and body—even the ego-- but dancing with the winds of life comes from a deeper place.

I know what my dance will require from me. This last year has taught me that pushing is not dancing. Setting goals and expectations that are too high and unrealistic only sets me up for guilt, disappointment and burnout. So what does my soul/pilot suggest as a course correction?

Part of piloting, she points out, is being the one in charge of my airspeed—my pacing. My soul has its own preferred rhythm, the pace that makes it most contented, and contributes to my well-being on every level. And since I am fortunate enough to work for myself, I can be the boss or pilot who decides on my “attitude—“ the airplane’s angle of “nose up” or “nose down,” one way of decreasing or increasing airspeed.

When I walk on the beautiful land here in the Sutherland Valley, beneath the Catalina Mountains, the land reminds me that Mother Earth has a heartbeat, a rhythm. Being in nature attunes my body to her rhythm and reminds me of my own natural pace. So does meditation—it is a way of stopping to check in with the Source, and with my own body/mind, and re-calibrating. I need to change my attitude, to pull the nose of my airplane up a bit and slow my speed.

Another practice is continuing to say “Yes” to my life as it unfolds. The winds of change have been turbulent this last year, and the intensity may only increase. All the systems and habits that are outmoded must be dropped. I can choose to say “Yes” not to things I dislike, but to the notion that I am capable of holding space for all that I encounter.

Can I control those winds of life? Certainly not. All I can do is pilot myself through them. I am the only one who can decide whether to do that through struggle and pain or whether I’d prefer grace and ease.

These simple practices are transformational. They return us to the wisdom of the ancient ones, who knew that well-being and real peace and growth come from being in touch with the Mother, syncing our heartbeat and our dance with hers, and managing our own energy. This is moving beyond being a victim or fate and instead, seizing our true destiny.

And so I pass on to you the intention you may decide to adopt a combination of Barb’s and mine: “I am strong and flexible. I easily dance with the winds of life. I am taking the pilot’s seat .”

Author's Bio: 

Interact with Pamela about taking the pilot’s seat on Flying Lesson's Facebook Page

Pamela Hale, founder of Through a Different Lens, creates powerful, practical tools and experiences that bring vision, creativity and wisdom into focus to help people thrive—physically, professionally and spiritually. Journey with Pamela as she conquers her own self-doubt and fear of flying and the gifts she gathered in her new book, Flying Lessons ~ How To Be The Pilot of Your Own Life. Pamela uses the story of her pursuit of a private pilot’s license to help anyone—in the air or on the ground—to break free of “gravity” and realize one’s potential to soar. Flying Lessons is a practical and entertaining journey in authentic power, freedom, and fulfillment. More about This beautifully illustrated, multi-layered memoir