June 29, 2016
“Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one’s balance and keep afloat.”
Eric Hoffer, American philosopher, 1898-1983
STUFF I KNOW © Kathleen McKern Verigin
A friend once shared an experience that was meant to be thrilling but turned out to be terrifying. He tried skydiving, mostly as an exercise to face real fear but also as a celebration for a landmark birthday. Feeling confident on land, it wasn’t until he was in the air that it dawned on him, “Why would I jump out of a perfectly good airplane that’s designed to safely carry me from lift off to landing?” While his mind was churning, the butterflies in his belly turned into drones—with no one at the controls—of his mind or belly. He watched as, one by one, the other divers exited the airplane, each with an experienced tandem buddy attached from behind. When it was my friend’s turn, he was suddenly paralyzed. Absolutely immobile. Frozen in time. His hands gripped the sides of the exit portal. “Goooo,” shouted his diving buddy. “Noooooo,” my friend replied. From the buddy came, “Yessss!”
With that, the two of them exited the plane, doing something that our brain tell us is irrational. Absolute panic set in as my friend’s arms began to uncontrollably flap and flail. He was sailing right into a full blown panic attack. He let out screams that defied communication with his tandem buddy. He had our dinner guests howling with laughter while he demonstrated this. The wild flailing caused their attached bodies to erratically swing about. The freefall lasts 45-60 seconds, but it seemed like an eternity to my friend, especially knowing they were heading towards earth at 120mph.
Things shifted when the tandem buddy gestured to have my friend lift up his chin up, thwarting his attempts to get into a fetal position. That’s what it took. A simple chin up. His arms stopped flailing. The two of them stopped swinging. Flailing morphed into soaring By the time the parachute opened, my friend’s sense of balance was restored. He soon discovered that he could feel balanced while in motion, even though it seemed like he was out of control. This is what I call Fluid Balance.
I think we can all agree that we are living in a time where there’s lots of flailing and swinging. We long for balance. After what just happened in Orlando, someone said to me, in tears, “I can’t make sense of it.” She is right. We can’t make sense of senseless acts of violence, around the world or at home. What restores me is to turn to Nature. The rhythm of the seasons remind me that there is no flailing, only flow. There are no rights or wrongs in Nature. It just is. And I can enter into that flow—a state of fluid balance—simply by lifting my chin. Try it. Right now. Try it the next time you feel anxious about the world. Lift your chin, enjoy a cleansing breath, and allow a soft smile to come over your entire being. No more flailing, only soaring, in fluid balance with All That Is.
Every heard of skyaking???
New Skyaking Tricks 2:11