Michael McCarthy

Dreams of Flying: from Michael McCarthy’s Blog

“Since my earliest awareness, I have
felt an unnameable force drawing and pushing
me to be airborne, to soar,
to escape rigid habits of mind,
to fly free.”

Sam Keen, philosopher and author of Learning to Fly: Trapeze – Reflections on Fear, Trust, and the Joy of Letting Go, always dreamed of flying. Two months prior to his sixty-second birthday, he began practicing the flying trapeze. Crazy? Up, up and away; he rose to new adventures.

What adventures do you seek? What are your deep passions? What makes you come alive? These questions invite each one of us to take the breathtaking leap – of body, mind, and spirit – up and outward to new heights.

This kind of flying is not risk free. It is often fraught with dangers. Falling, from time to time, is inevitable. It takes courage to fly.

Life invites bold exploration. Is now the time to rise above “rigid habits of mind” to the open expanse of the blue sky? The world, from above, is seen in a new way. One sees the bigger picture.

Let’s come back down to earth for a moment. The ground feels safe. Why fly? Well, to be free. And we are free – free to act or not, free to dance or not, free to fly or not. Freedom is wonderfully terrible and terribly wonderful.

We humans seek settlement. We desire, and to a certain degree need, the safety and security which comes from being grounded. We are homesteaders to be sure, yet in danger of becoming complacent. It is so easy to get stuck in a place – a place where attitudes remain fixed, imaginations dull, and behaviors become hasty. And when this happens, we often lose our childlike qualities. We can be in danger of losing ourselves.

I am most free to love when I can embrace wonder and let go of the fears that keep me from simply being myself.

The sort of flying that Keen speaks of is essentially ascending to one’s highest self – transcending selfishness, apathy, greed, pettiness, and narrow-mindedness as we daringly soar to the heavens.

Keen beckons us to fly; let’s take the leap!

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