Jul 282017

Aerial view from a bi-plane of Springfield, Ohio landscape at sunset

I don’t know what it is about flying that I love so much, or why I find barnstorming as captivating as I do. I suppose it’s the freedom from the world below, the things that have sometimes kept me from soaring into my best life.

Everything looks better from the sky. The feeling of transcending the mundane and rising to freedom is exhilarating. Flying is my favorite way to do that.

This particular sunset flight in the open cockpit of a 1929 New Standard bi-plane was courtesy of Ted Davis, one of the barnstormers who flew all day giving rides to folks who had driven for hours to ride in a bi-plane and indulge in a new adventure. The weather was perfect and this was Ted’s last flight of the day–as far as I know. He generously offered a few of us one last ride and we accepted.

For me, it was one of the highlights of one of the most perfect days I have ever experienced. It was my first takeoff and landing on the grass. As smooth as silk but the ride ended too soon. I was still in awe of that view as I drove out of the airport along a road that was lined on both sides with fireflies, or lightening bugs as we called them when I was a child.

I had driven from Florida to attend Dewey Davenport’s Barnstorming Carnival in Springfield, Ohio. It was a weekend of lighthearted adventure, joy, excitement, and camaraderie that I haven’t experienced in a long time. And best of all, I was in my element, in the sky with the birds, the wind in my hair, and no desire whatsoever to return to earth.

Falling in love with life happens when we are present in the moment. You have to slow down long enough to let the miracles catch up with you. That Saturday was one of my miracles. I am certain I shall remember the weekend for a long time. And I will return next year for another dose of charm from a bygone era which now doesn’t seem to be as bygone as I previously believed.

Technology and other worldly distractions connect us in the virtual world but not so much in the real one. We’re plugged in but not turned on. Life happens in between the electronic distractions that have come to rule the lives of many modern citizens of the world. It sometimes feels like the thrill is gone.

Then comes along an event like Dewey Davenport’s Barnstorming Carnival and the thrill is back. Life feels easy and real. The present moment catches our attention and we fall in love with life again. We relax and take in the experience, the miracles show up, and everything seems possible.

Back at home in Florida, the memories from the Barnstorming Carnival linger and settle deep in my heart. I am grateful for the rides, the wind, the new friends I made, the privilege of working with Dewey and the warm welcome I received from everyone. The excitement of the barnstorming life clutches at my heart and makes me laugh out loud. I cannot remember when I had so much fun.

The magic and the music of an era that has intrigued me for most of my life has drawn me in once more. I am falling in love with Life again. I can hardly wait to see what’s next.

It’s Never Too Late to Be Great! ®


Aug 172016

Sometimes I think if one more person asks me if I’ve ever heard of Linus Pauling, I will just scream. As a natural health advocate for most of my life, it’s hard not to feel insulted when someone asks me something so ridiculous. Could they possibly be speaking of the two-time Nobel Laureate, founder of Orthomolecular Medicine, the Vitamin C Pioneer? That Linus Pauling?!

One part of me wants to ask, “Where do you think I’ve been the last thirty years?” and lay out a diatribe that will force them into submission. But then I catch my balance, and the lesson at hand. It’s all about lifelong learning. And that takes patience.

They needed to ask someone. They needed to share something important to them with someone who wouldn’t make them feel stupid or small. Somehow, they heard the compassion in my voice and sensed my patience when I did not interrupt them as they spoke. This was a victory for them. And it was a victory for me, as well.

People have a natural need to share what they know. Their excitement about what they have learned in their Aha! moment overshadows any thought that someone else might not share their enthusiasm. It doesn’t occur to them for a moment that they might be preaching to the choir. They only want someone—anyone—to listen. They want to share part of their lifelong learning journey with someone who will hear their voice. Someone who will be happy for them. Someone who will make them feel like they matter.

Today that someone was me. Tomorrow it might be you. Lifelong learning can strike anywhere at any time. Will you be the teacher or the learner? Will you be ready to step up to the plate, no matter which side of the lifelong learning platform you are on?

I hope that the next time someone tells you a funny but tired old joke, you will laugh. It’s okay to be the listener. It’s okay to let someone else be the teacher, or the messenger. Maybe it’s their turn to feel important, and your turn to make their day. How often do we get to do that anymore?

Be patient. Lifelong learning is a blessing and a gift, albeit an undervalued one. Sadly, the true value of lifelong learning is often realized only when we are no longer able to participate in it.

It’s Never Too Late to Be Great! ®

Image courtesy of Keattikorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Mar 212016

Joel's Sky 1-25-16 What is your passion? What is your dream? What is it within you that you are so comfortably certain about that you would abandon the logic of your mind, put your complete trust in God and the Universe, and follow your heart because it just feels right?

Trust doesn’t just happen, you know. Trust is like Love. It’s a verb. Trust is something that you do. No one can convince you, convert you, or persuade you to trust. When your heart is ready, trust is there like a bright sun shining a beam of light into the darkest recesses of your heart. You are exposed, revealed, and vulnerable.  And you don’t even care.

Trust opens the door to your heart, but you are the one who must walk through it in order to claim your rightful abundance. So, what are you waiting for?

It’s Never Too Late to Be Great! ®

Image courtesy of Joel Harts, Pilot

Mar 102016

“Butterfly” by RawichI grew up in a small town–a very small town. I loved being around nature, eating food right out of the garden, or off the tree. The stars were bright and endless, and birds sang all day long. There were seasons and many of my high school acquaintances lived on farms. Beautiful autumn leaves, snow days, playing outside, and spending eight grades at a small school next door to a lovely church.

Growing up in the Midwest, you get used to certain things and take some things for granted–not in a bad way. You just expect them to happen, like Spring, for instance. I grew up, moved away, traveled, got married, had a child, got divorced, and moved to Florida. I missed the seasons but it was nice to have fresh flowers year-round. I love flowers, always have.

Wherever I traveled, or lived, I always made time for flowers, especially the ones that attracted bees, birds, and butterflies. Wherever I was, as long as I had flowers, I had a piece of home with me. A little piece of my Kansas home. I carried it with me in my heart everywhere I went.

Then one day, a little piece wasn’t enough. There was nothing to hold me to any one particular place, so I decided to move back to Kansas for awhile. It was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life which, by the way, was changed irrevocably by the love I was shown there. It was much better than it was when I was actually growing up there.

I moved back to Florida and life went on, but not as usual. There was no usual after being home. My life was richer, my experiences more fulfilling, my heart more open. Small town life ruined me. It’s all I think about now. But I no longer have to carry a little piece of it with me. It’s part of who I am.

It’s Never Too Late to Be Great! ®

Image courtesy of Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Feb 112016

“There is a direct and proportionate relationship between the degree of inconsolable pain that we have and a deep-seated misunderstanding of our real purpose for being alive”.  Guy Finley

Inconsolable pain–that’s the feeling, all right. The intense loneliness we feel when we are in slave jobs that steal our energy and keep us from doing what we were created to do. The loss, or the absence, of a family that we so desperately want to be there for us no matter what only makes life seem more challenging.

The farther we move away from what we were put on this earth to do, the more energy it takes to find our true passion in life. Doing what we love is not meant to be financed by doing what we hate.

It takes courage and trust to follow the path of your heart. Even if you have not yet discovered your reason for being, there is still time. When you follow your heart, everything is possible.

It’s Never Too Late to Be Great! ®

Image courtesy of Joel Harts, Pilot