Take your hands off the controls

Image: Mitchel Boot

One of my mentors-who-doesn’t-know-it, Michael Neill, tells about a story where a young pilot was in the process of getting his license...

In this particular part of the test, his assignment was to stall the plane out in mid-air. Then, as the plane fell, he was to let go of the controls and allow the gyroscopic mechanics of the plane level it out before re-starting the engine and resuming flight. So, the young pilot stalled the plane out and the plane started falling from the sky. Suddenly, he panicked, grabbed the controls, and tried to steer the plane back in balance to no avail. The plane tumbled uncontrollably through the sky at a high rate towards the ground.

“May-day! May-day!” the pilot radioed to air traffic control. “We’re going down!”

“Let. Go. Of the controls!” air traffic control radioed back. “Let the plane level out.”

The pilot finally snapped out of it, took his hands off the controls, and just like that, the plane leveled out. He was able to fire it back up and continue.

It’s easy to fight too much. To try to impose your will upon the universe. But we both know this doesn’t work.

You can only wage war. Peace happens when the war ceases being waged.

Fighting life/others/ourselves only gets us so far and usually has unfavorable, unintended results. More often than not, if we can take our hands off the controls for just a little bit without giving up alertness (yes, this is different than hiding/suppressing/running away from our problems), the unbelievable mechanics of life are able to take over and bring itself into a place of balance where we can then restart our engines and continue the flight.

Sorry, Goose. It’s time to buzz the tower.

Jonas Ellison is a transformative coach/writer from Reno, NV. To get his short vignettes in your inbox daily, click here.

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