“The hardest thing in life is letting go of what you thought was real.”
I wasn’t going to go to the short documentary screening of Assetto di Volo at the Italian Club last Thursday. I’d driven from one end of Calgary to the other running errands and dealing with a car repair and I was sick of traffic. I was also feeling world-weary; the endless barrage of bad news had exacerbated an already sagging morale and the sofa beckoned. But something nudged me to go.
Those of us in attendance were graced with the sparkling presence of Italian filmmaker Giulio Venier who was doing a screening tour all the way from Gemona del Friuli. He introduced us to his “docufiction” and afterward stayed for a Q & A.
The short film gives us a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of disabled adults and the impact their innocence has on a miserable man who is doing some type of “penance” for an unbeknownst wrong.
As he softens, he suggests the idea of a tandem paragliding field trip to the school’s director. When the cameras captured the awe and unabashed joy of each member of the group set against the majesty of the Dolomites, it made my skin burst with goose bumps and my eyes sting with tears.
While they were preparing their parachutes and set out to fly, I whispered, wow, I’ll never do that. After they landed, I added it to my bucket list—in gorgeous Gemona del Friuli.
The next day I discussed the film with my coach, and the power of the metaphor struck me as we talked. I saw how we are all disabled in some way by our fears and stories.
I spent this past Thanksgiving weekend mostly alone, contemplating. I thought of my own fears and immobilization, part internal, part a reaction to the external dramas playing out on Earth’s stage. I sought a way to best maneuver this unfathomable period of history with some semblance of sanity.
In, possibly, an oversimplification, I categorized humans into five camps:
The Power Mongers
These are the Monsanto Poisoners and Food Destroyers, Big Pharma, Big Brother, the Harvey Weinsteins of Hollywood, the Financial Puppeteers, Homeland “Security,” the Chemtrailers, the EM and Toxic Waste Polluters, the Nuclear War Pushers, the Police Staters, the Kim Jong Yuns. And then there’s He Who Shall Not Be Named—the Moron-in-Chief, “running” the world’s rapidly declining super power (#MOTUS).
These marauders have absolutely no regard for humanity, for the Earth, and can’t even find a small corner in their hearts that has interest in the welfare and future of their own children or grandchildren. They want power, money, and control at any cost. They are the master narcissists and the lost sociopathic souls of the world, devoid of any grounding with divinity.
This faction comprises of the bullies and Internet trolls who hide anonymously behind their computers. They are the fundamentalists and supremacists (whom, if DNA tested, would discover that they are them). They are the terrorists and the vengeful, defending their misguided dogma and protecting their rights to nothing. They are the mass shooters and the Machiavellian congressmen who seek to play God, sitting in judgment of the basic rights of human beings.
These are the people spending their spare time in malls to feed their shopping addictions with blatant abandon and walking through life in a self-indulgent haze. They are the body and image obsessed. Some thrive on reality TV and the lifestyles of the famous. They are the food bingers, the sexaholics, the gambling addicts, the ‘I’m an entitled and privileged white malers,’ the perpetual drinkers and partyers, the drug-addled.
These are the people who are no longer going to London or Vegas or wherever. Their world shrinks as they find new reasons to stop doing things. They hunker into the bad news and scary-assed studies and negative discussions. They are the complainers and victims. They feel ineffective and powerless and sometimes hopeless. They hold tight to things they don’t like or enjoy in the name of security. They don’t bother attempting to access the magic or miracles behind the facade. They are losing sleep and fun and are missing out on the still available beauty of life.
These are the thought leaders and renegade entrepreneurs. They are the truth seekers and fearless deliverers. They are the neuroscientists showing us the maps of our traps and the immense power of our minds. They are the artists and creatives and inventors. They are the healers and horn-blowers and maverick doctors. They are the Greenpeacers and volunteers. They are the love spreaders and peacemakers who raise the consciousness of all.
They don’t care if you are black, white, or purple, gay, straight, or a eunuch. They are the unsung millions working behind the scenes with great love and unstoppable persistence.
The first two, who pervade our conversations and clog our airwaves, are viciously clinging to their antiquated beliefs and patriarchal control, swinging their machetes to take out anyone in their way.
The Head-Up-Bummers are focused on the self to the extreme and can’t really see past their own dramas, delusions, and predilections.
The Fearers are holding tightly to their (our) backpack of stories, limitations, excuses, and anxieties.
The Imagineers have made the effort to relinquish their sad tales and old baggage and have daringly stepped into their greatness. These are the folks to focus on. Because what you focus on expands.
Personally, I sit straddled between the Fearers and the Imagineers vacillating back and forth, with a deep calling to leap into the world of the bold and brave. I have had the grit to write my legacy book to help heal the world, yet I hide.
No matter which way you look at it, fear will only serve to tear down your morale, your results, and bring down your vibration. The only healthy fear is the kind that motivates you to run like hell when you’re truly under siege.
Assetto di Volo (Flight Attitude) beautifully symbolizes how in flight, there is freedom. All are equal—disabilities disappear when we let go of our pack of stories and fears and limitations—and leap. These people literally flew off of a cliff for the first time in their lives, yet unwaveringly trusted their pilots.
Life has changed and continues to do so with alarming speed. The ugliness frequently overwhelms us. How can we cope with the crazy?
I feel that we are being called, individually, to step into our courage and be 100% who we came to be. I believe we are being asked to let go of our backpacks filled with our personal dramas and self-created stories of why I can’t or shouldn’t or won’t. I’m certain we’ve hit atonement for the places we have allowed to run wildly unchecked and it’s showing up in a myriad of dysfunctional and dangerous ways.
Those on their deathbed will often express this sentiment or some version of it: If only I hadn’t been so afraid to take the next step. If I hadn’t been so worried about what people thought or said or how long it would take or the effort or the perceived riskiness of walking into my place on the planet, I would have received my blessing; I would have known my greatness.
Gently and pointedly steer your attention away from the untruths, pandering, omissions, and sensationalism. Pull your mind away from the societal mesmerizing that hammers us with the idea that we are powerless to make change and are victims of circumstance. We have tremendous dominion to actively create a much improved experience of life, especially when we tap into our all-knowing hearts.
When we want to lie down and curl into a ball for the sorrow we feel for the world, I know we must not fold; for we have the power to light the darkness for others along our paths, be they wide and sweeping or small and quiet. When we own our one-of-a-kind brilliance, we give others the permission to own theirs.
Sound Pollyanna? Reconsider. If each individual reconciled their hate, fear, faced their demons—and then soared into their potential—we’d have an incredibly different world, one human being at a time.
Love oh so deeply.
And … fly.
Illegitimi non carborundum.
(Don’t let the bastards grind you down.)
Post © Wanda St.Hilaire
This fusion guidebook-memoir helps navigate prevention as much as it is for the those diagnosed with disease; it is a resource for living life to the fullest. St. Hilaire presents simple-to-digest material and wisdom woven with insightful anecdotes. She provides an invaluable amalgamation of research in a context not always accessible at your cancer centre.
“What a remarkable mixture of facts, data, research, warmth, humour, compassion, inspiration, vulnerability and courage!”
-Dianne Quinton, Coach