Leaning in to Experience what "Icky" Feels Like So I Can Expand and Take Flight in a New Way

I've been reading a wonderful book.  The title is  "The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection" by Raphael Cushnir.   I stumbled upon this book while turning in some books for credit at the local Half Price Book Store in my hometown. The cover showcases the image of a hot air balloon that isn't able to take full flight because a heavy anchor is holding it back.   That image is very powerful on many levels.

This book  strikes all kinds of nerves and notes with me.   The book asks us to allow the current emotion we are feeling to be truly experienced, as opposed to pushed to the side or stuffed below the surface.   When you allow yourself to FEEL the emotion and ride the waves associated with it, you can get to a place of expansion as opposed to contraction.  And expansion is a good thing.  I bring this up because it has been on my bucket list to take a hot air balloon ride for years.    There is an image of a hot air balloon on the dream board I look at every day.   A few years ago, my husband and I booked an appointment for our ticket to ride.  Mother Nature had other plans.  The wind kicked up, and it wasn't safe for us to take flight.  It was a dream deferred, and off about our lives we went.

Just last week, we tried again.   We booked our appointment for our ticket to ride.  We got up at 4 a.m. to drive to the airport.   We were met there by a van that would leave the premises only when every seat in the van was taken.   By 8:30 a.m., we arrived at the venue where the hot air balloons were supposed to take off.   And, guess what?  At that precise time, Mother Nature expressed herself once again with wind.   The ride was cancelled for safety reasons.

Was I disappointed?   Yes.  Did I feel the emotion of that disappointment?   Absolutely.   My husband, son, and I all did our part to express our disappointment because, let's face it, none of us like to wake up at 4 a.m. to be disappointed with a journey not taken.  We headed back to our hotel to take naps and figure out a Plan B for the day.

But why is this dream of taking flight with a hot air balloon so important to me?   I think I've been stuck in the weeds of my business and life for a while, and I crave a broader view from a higher place.   I've been reaching for the moon to land on a star for quite some time.  I make progress, and then I settle into a holding pattern before I grow again.   The waves of emotion that I feel as I journey forward are real and varied, and sometimes, I don't allow myself to express them fully. 

In the spirit of authentic visibility, today I'll share that one of my colleagues is doing a very similar bio writing workshop to the one I've been teaching since 2009, and I feel really icky about it. She's got a pretty good sized ezine list of folks to whom she is promoting it.  It's out there is a pretty big way from where I sit.

I've been allowing myself to truly FEEL what icky feels like.  I thought this person was a friend.   The last thing I expected is that she would start teaching workshops so similar to mine.  I am angry about it.  I feel betrayed.  I was so upset about this yesterday that I accidentally slammed my finger in my car door.   At that moment, I was feeling some serious pain, which led to tears falling.  That wasn't so pretty either.

And as I feel into this "icky" emotion, I am starting to breathe in and out a bit more easily.   I realize that I have to run my own best race and serve my community the best I know how.   She has to do the same. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so some people say.   I am not so sure I agree. But that person who is doing something so similar to what I do reveals a lot by proceeding in this way.  From my view, that isn't pretty.  

When others reveal themselves, pay attention — so said Maya Angelou.   I am listening.  

And maybe my own balloon of life and business can expand just a bit more because I have leaned in to experience this icky emotion to set it free.  Maybe that is the lesson for me today.  I've got plenty of good work to do to serve people in my own community, and I had better get on with it.   Set this incident aside as a distraction and move on.   I am ready to take flight now.