Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity: The minimum speed that an object at a given distance from a gravitational body must have so that it will continue to move away from the body instead of orbiting around it.

Last month, coach Patt Osborne and I hosted what we hope is the first of many retreats at Maho Bay Camps on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. The topic was “What Are You Doing With the Rest of Your Life?!”

It was my first trip to the Caribbean and I was definitely on unfamiliar ground. In 11 hours, I was transported to air that was warm and moist, not dry and cold, ground that was not snow covered, and the joy of immersing myself in 80-degree water. Whether it was snorkeling with fish and turtles or just lying on the beach, new sounds, new sights and the freedom to enjoy it all in little clothing eased me into the pace of island life where schedules are loose to nonexistent. But I wasn't slowing down. I was fast approaching escape velocity.

The unfamiliar was creating new questions in me. I had new questions for myself and for others. And new questions led to new insights. Those insights are still vague yet, but they're coming.

Coach Julio Olalla says we can approach everything we're transitioning through using three domains; our language, our body and our emotions. We only get stuck in a transition when we favor one arena and let it dominate the others. Now imagine such unfamiliar ground that your language, your body and your emotions are all engaged at the same time. No, don't imagine it. Decide right now to put yourself in an environment where the vibrations will wobble your orbit. Make it fun. Immerse yourself in the joy of wandering.

Did I get answers. Not really. You see for me, answers would be all about staying in the orbit. I got something better. I got hints about what is to come for me. And I love the “hints” more than the answers. A lot of my hints were about being in the wilds and freedom. No surprises there. But the fact that they came up for me is exciting. I now suspect that I'm on the verge of taking Freedom and The Wilds to the next level. And there were a couple of “surprise” hints too. Just what does “Cheap Thrills” and “Shooting from the Hip” mean? I’ll just surrender and find out! See ya in the ether!

“We shall not cease from exploring
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place from the first time.”
~T.S. Eliot

“It's not possible to blaze new trails and forge your own path while remaining on familiar ground.” ~Suzanne Falter-Barnes

"No sensible man watches his feet hit the ground. He looks ahead to see what kind of ground they'll hit next." ~Ernest Haycox

"Aim for the sky, so that you can at least reach the moon; Don't aim for the moon, you might not even attain the escape velocity." ~Unknown

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