Has anyone else noticed lately that life seems to be more overwhelming? With all of this uncertainty, those of us who crave certainty seem to more easily get thrown off course. I find that all I have to do is check the news and boom! I’m emotionally thrown off within minutes. Perhaps someone says something I perceive as mean-spirited. Or, someone looks at me cross-eyed and I take it personally. Maybe I’m mind reading again and think that someone is talking behind my back. Any and all of these experiences can throw me emotionally off course and make me feel badly about myself. I lose my equilibrium and serenity.
When this occurs, the antidote is to:
- Assess how I’m disturbed.
- Readjust my position.
- Take actions that will set me back on a straight path.
If I stay disturbed, I cannot function. If I cannot function at the optimal frequency, I will not be successful. Thus, I must fix the problem as it happens in order to get back to normal emotional functionality. I have to do the footwork to right my course. When I do so, I am okay. Getting thrown off balance will happen. That is life and to expect it to not happen is not realistic. It’s having the tools to readjust that makes the difference.
When I am willing to do the footwork, I will be able to return to equilibrium and function throughout my day. When I do this realignment footwork consistently, I find that I am in much less danger of wasting a day nursing an emotional hangover, and can function at a much higher level.
The Wright Brother’s Contribution
The Wright brothers’ have always held a fascination for me. They accomplished the impossible – they developed an aerodynamic miracle. The created the first aircraft which defied gravity and could fly. Although they were plagued with setbacks, mistakes and challenges, together, they overcame each obstacle and eventually achieved their goal. With every challenge, they reassessed their position, modified their plan and attempted once again. In time, they found the formula which allowed them to continue to adjust their position. Once they found they were out of alignment, they only had to recalibrate and that would set them back on a correct course position.
Using the example of Roll, Pitch and Yaw
Every aircraft has a center of gravity. From that center, the brothers used a formula of roll, pitch and yaw to correct their positions when they found themselves thrown off. Maybe the wind blew them downward, or the a quick adjustment sent them too far to the right or left. Once the Wright brothers figured out their formula to right their position, they were able to fly. Their successful machine made history.
Imagine an airplane on a three-dimensional plane. It has many ways it can turn.
It can go up, down, sideways to the left or right. The simplest way to explain the action of wind on a plane is this:
Roll is the rotation around the front-to-back axis.
Pitch is the rotation around the side-to-side axis.
Yaw is the rotation around the vertical axis.
A plane has to realign when it is thrown off course. Humans can learn how to realign as well.
We spiritual seekers are like airplanes flying in the air. We are solid when we fly with the wind, but there are obstacles that can throw us off course. For instance, we can have a bird fly into our motor. We could have a crowd of air (turbulence) push us around. We can see a storm in the distance and have to change altitudes.
We too have the ability to realign ourselves as do the planes
What kinds of disturbances do we face? Insecurity, fear, annoyance, anger, sorrow, resentment, grief. The list goes on. When we feel these feelings, how do we use roll, pitch and yaw to readjust?
We find equilibrium when we:
- Recognize the disturbance. Name what is going on. I feel _____ Fill in the blank. Own it. It’s okay to feel that way. Denial of the feeling or judging it is not helpful to moving through it. We have to acknowledge the feeling so we can work with it.
- Second, we have to assess the disturbance. What is the cause of this problem? What is it affecting within me? What will happen if I do not solve it?
- Finally, once it is written down, we can either, call someone and ask for help to solve the problem. Or, if we can’t or won’t ask another for help, we can pray for guidance from the Divine. Sometimes when we take a problem into prayer, an answer or direction will come. I personally take it to another human being before taking it to a Higher being – just to make sure I am thorough in my inventory. Perhaps there is an angle I am not seeing?
My spiritual advisor said that I cannot think my way out of a problem with the same mind that got me into the problem.
That is why I need to have another person’s perspective on my problem. Because most human brains are broken, 2 people with half a brain each, when put together, gives me one good brain.
Years ago when my children were infants, I had a fight with my spouse. I was sure I was right, so I took my children and left for the day. I went to my sister who confirmed that I was right and my spouse was wrong. We spent the day changing diapers and rehashing the fight I’d had, secure in the notion that I was correct! After eight hours, I left my sister and returned home. Nothing had changed, the fight was still lingering in the air. So, I called my spiritual advisor, sure that he would affirm my side of the story. Instead, he told me I was wrong and I had to go apologize to my spouse! Needless to say, I was not happy but I knew on some level he was right. Instead of course correcting, I wasted 8 hours of my life justifying my position. (Even though it was nice to spend that time with my sister. But perhaps the day would have been even more wonderful had I not spend it complaining?)
The End Result
When I use this formula to get undisturbed, I am in a better position to enjoy my day. When I regain equilibrium I can be free from the problems my mind perceives are happening. Then, I can operate at a higher level of productivity and enjoy life a lot more. Who knows, if I get really good at this spiritual “roll, pitch and yaw” – I just may be able to fly!