Stranded on a Ski Chair Doing Our Work
It is 1C. The three of us, Diego (grandson), Erika(daughter) and myself are suspended above the snow sitting on the Raven’s Ridge chair. Instead of moving forward, as you would expect, the chair comes to a halt. Under normal circumstances it usually restarts after a short wait. Now 5 minutes go by and still we haven’t moved. Diego begins to shake the chair to get out some of his stored up impatience, while my mind begins to wonder about how I am going to descend if it doesn’t start again. Erika suggests that we continue the inner work we started the previous evening in our Transformation Training group (a group of 7 people who gather each Monday evening to learn and then do inner transformation work).
She wants to work on the blocks she has of doing more painting. Meanwhile, my mind keeps drifting in and out of the thought that I am going to drop out of the sky and die. Interestingly enough, it turns out that the virtue Erika needs in order to do her work closely resembles that of being uplifted. She needs the up virtues like enthusiasm and vibrancy and the ability to use color to uplift others.
About the time we start getting somewhere on the work, the chair begins to move. As we get off the lift, the chair operator instructs us to go to Guest Services at lunch where later Erika will get free lunches vouchers for the 3 of us worth about $60.
Instead of going on more runs connected with the Raven’s chair, we head over to some others. It is not too long before we are on the Sky chair. The metaphor is compelling. Erika needs upliftment and I am scared of falling out of the sky. We continue the work. This time we do it simultaneously because sitting on that chair suspended without moving brought up issues. We are both faced with the ego’s past, the fear of death. While hers surrounds painting, mine centers on writing. She is trying to get upward, but the virtues I am going for on are on the earth. I hear gentleness and softness calling to me.
I am reminded of being a young man of 18-19 at the Air Force Academy being trained in the numerous ways the Vietnamese have of killing me. It teaches my ego(not my true self) that I need to be tough if I am going to survive a war, but it is a strategy that is built on the fear of dying. I need a more advanced one for assisting others to transform their lives. So I begin to replace toughness to prevent death with softness and gentleness which is the quality most associated with helping another person to make changes. Meanwhile Erika’s fear of death is a dark wall which she changes into more vibrant colors and then begins to feel much lighter.
The change shows up immediately, which is always its nature. Erika starts flying by me on her skis as if the snow does not exist, while the virtue of softness allows me to relax and be gentle on the turns. We are transformed, doing the thing we love, and have been given a free lunch. How sweet is that .