Building wings while in free fall

Reading through a past blog of mine, I found this post concerning my own Personal Legend.

Paul Coelho, in THE ALCHEMIST, summarizes what most of us know, but few accept — we were put on this Earth for a reason. We each have our own paths to travel to reach our goal. When I first published the post below, I was in a different place than I am today. My dreams were different, I realize now; what made me happy seems mostly trivial now (although my love for my boys will never dim.)

Although my definition of happiness has now changed, my dogged perseverance continues.

The lessons I learned from Coelho settled into my soul like helium into a Mylar balloon, expanding until the silver balloon was too strong. As children, our dreams are grand, but they’re brought down to more “reasonable” levels like a balloon tied to a bedpost. That’s not the only stumbling block along the journey. Like that same balloon, we are lashed away from our dreams when we fear change, be it for fear of losing the ones we love or for the fear that we are not worthy of reaching the next level along our journey.

I’ve changed, and sometimes I am saddened by the losses. Then I remember the joy in my soul as I continue on this journey my soul set out for me at birth.

A former writing teacher gave me this nugget once. Sometimes, my memory forgets, but, apparently, my soul didn’t. To paraphrase, she said “Jump and build your wings on the way down.” I hadn’t realized how deeply my soul would accept this idea. Now, three years later, I am in free fall.

Into my backpack, I have placed the lessons from the past that weigh the least and yet are worth the most.  Among others, Love, forgiveness, acceptance, knowledge and the quest thereof, and the strength to make it through the doubts and tears that sometimes cloud my journey.

And that balloon is flying free now.

I hope your free fall is as joyously life-changing as it is for me.

The Dragonfly’s Student

And now, that old reflection….. from StandforSomethingNow on Blogspot:<http://standforsomethingnow.blogspot.com/2012/03/personal-legend.html&gt;

My Personal Legend. According to Paul Coelho’s THE ALCHEMIST, it is the thing I live my life to accomplish. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” the Old King tells Santiago. But as I studied that book and Antoine de St. Exupery’s THE LITTLE PRINCE (a book that should be taught in a companion unit), I realized something. What you experience on the journey to your Personal Legend is sometimes more important than the legend itself.
Okay. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been working to become a published novelist for over a decade. When everything seems to be looking up, that mythical gold ring on the carousel of life eludes me. With the perseverance that came when I realized I had discovered my Personal Legend, I brush off the disappointment and keep moving forward.

What I missed, though, was the fact that I am happy. As I travel the sands of this desert searching for my treasure chest of Spanish doubloons, I have found the soul mate who makes the trip worthwhile. I have realized that my sons are amazing boys-becoming-men. I have admitted that I love teaching and giving my students a chance to succeed in their own Personal Journeys. And I have learned to push my body to new physical goals like running (and finishing) races.

I am not the same writer I was ten years ago — I don’t even recognize her anymore! I grow every time I take a class or finish a manuscript. When I’m revising, I readily dump passages that don’t work anymore because I know there’s more where those words came from. And I can’t remember the last time I had mind-numbing, finger-freezing writer’s block. The words are always flowing — onto my journals, my Facebook essays, this blog, or into my works in progress.

I have made wonderful friends and met great people along this writing journey. I would never change a moment of this trip. Some of my good friends are the most magical writers in publishing today, and that circle keeps growing. Rarely, jealousy rears its ugly head, but I rein it in knowing one day my day may come.

But if my day doesn’t come, I’m okay with that, too. See this has been a great journey. Sometimes I made mistakes that threatened the stability of my world, but I’ve learned how to find that distant star I’ve been following throughout this journey. I train my compass on North and continue searching. As long as I can see my Personal Legend shining in the distance I know this trip will have been worth every step.

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