May 04

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The Miracle of Wanting to Fly

“I want to fly again!” As I heard the words come out of my mouth yesterday, I knew that they were something very special and very new.

When I was eight years old, I started taking ballet classes.  Let’s be clear about one thing from the start – I was terrible.  I had no coordination and precious little grace.  I was never going to be the next Anna Pavlova.  What I did have was desire.  I was certain that if I worked hard enough, I could develop into the next Gelsey Kirkland.

One day, our teacher put a gym bag in the middle of the floor and told us that we’d be practicing our leaps over it.  As I crossed the floor the first time that afternoon, I remember taking off over the bag and feeling like I was flying.  It was incredible.  For one absolutely pure moment, I felt free.

And then the thought came – “If I keep flying, the other kids will be jealous; they won’t like me”.  And I came crashing back to earth. Gone were the dreams of Pavlova and Kirkland.

I have never flown again.  Never again did I leap off the ground and feel like I had transcended the bonds of earth – either literally or metaphorically.

I have thought of that incident many times over the years, always with a tinge of despair. Having learned so effectively to stay safe on the ground, how would I ever again learn how to fly?

I've had this painting by LaShun Beal on my wall for several years. It always reminds me of how free it would feel to fly!

Yesterday this came up quite unexpectedly during a conversation with the amazing Ken Kizer. He helped me to go back and have a conversation with that little girl who learned that staying close to the ground – cutting herself off from her desires – was the best way to stay safe.

As that conversation came to its natural conclusion, I heard myself say, “I want to fly again!”

No longer are the words edged with resentment and anger. No longer do those circumstances of so many years ago keep me unalterably fixed to the ground. No longer am I obligated to stay on dry land in order to be safe.

With those words, I acknowledged that it’s possible to re-learn the art of flying. It may not even be so much a re-learning as a re-allowing. Perhaps it’s something I never stopped knowing how to do.

Why did I title this article “The Miracle of Wanting to Fly” rather than “The Miracle of Re-Learning to Fly”?  Because in this moment, learning how to want again is a HUGE miracle.

As usual, I don’t know what the next step is, but I trust that it will be revealed to me in its own time and manner. Who knows – perhaps someone will throw a gym bag down on the floor and ask me to jump over it.  🙂

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.leahcarey.com/themiraclejournal/2011/05/04/the-miracle-of-wanting-to-fly/

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