"In this beautifully illustrated memoir, life coach Hale uses her experience obtaining a private pilot’s license as a metaphor for life. She applies the language of flight as she instructs readers not only to break free of limits but also to soar beyond them, to know where they’re going to land, and to communicate with air-traffic control. She also connects each of her lessons to a chakra, yoga pose, or archetype, so all levels of mind, body, and spirit are covered. The messages of overcoming fear, taking responsibility, and nourishing oneself—to name a few—fit nicely into Hale’s scheme. Aerial photographs interspersed with the text add richness to the reading experience." - Review in Library Journal, Feb 15, 2012.




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A Valentine’s Day Special

Loving My Own Lessons

February is the month of love, and I think self-love is the key practice—especially if you’re a self-published author. The self-published authors I’ve met share most of my insecurities, since instead of being welcomed through the doors of a major publishing house, we’ve all had to build our own houses from scratch and hope people will visit them.

As proof of my progress, I thought I’d report to you on the resolution about self-love that I made for 2013.

OK, it’s not going perfectly. You see, challenges keep coming up in various areas—challenges that illustrate the ways in which I’m not taking the advice in my own book I’m having a deep and experiential realization: It's true that you teach (or write) what you need to learn.

A bit of context: Flying Lessons: How to Be the Pilot of Your Own Life chronicles my trail of fears as I was earning my private pilot’s license in my late 50’s. From the hundreds of lessons I learned from my flight instructor Clio, I chose seven that I believed would be lessons for your life as well as mine.

What I didn’t know was that these lessons would continue to teach me long after publication. And so, my resolution—my course correction—will be to apply the seven flying lessons to my own author’s journey, in the following ways:

1. Know Where You're Going to Land

If I'm going to dare to write another book, I'll know not to abandon steady income and to have an account set aside in case the engine fails. You always need to be able to put the plane (or the book project) down on solid ground.

2. Bring Enough Fuel for the Journey

Even though I plan to eat wonderful, healthy stuff forever and ever, if I'm speaking, teaching or writing, I might not give up either chocolate or hoping for prizes and good reviews. We do what we can to power up.

3. Take the Pilot's Seat

While it was crucial for me to hire marketing, PR and event help, I'm the one who has to pay the bills. Guess I'd better be ready to be a masterful CEO, albeit one with a beginner’s mind. No one else seems to be volunteering to be pilot-in-command.

4. Remember Why You Long to Fly

Never again will I get so far off my true course that I lose the forest of creativity for the trees of the marketplace and social media. (Nor will I mix horrible metaphors after this one last time.)

5. Communicate With the Controllers

They don't all have to love me. They don't all have to love the book. It's really OK that 50 Shades of Grey and all its sequels are hits. (You can see that it’s my own inner controllers whose good reviews I need the most.)

6. Broaden Your Scan

I will not fixate on the numbers. The bottom line is not everything. When I regain peripheral vision I will remember that writing bloomed out of my heart, my intuition and my creative powers. And, I’ll see the next horizon.

7. Give Way to the Winds

The publishing industry is The Great Mystery, and its turbulence is sometimes too intense for this little pilot, who occasionally lies down upon her yoga mat, relinquishes any pretense of expertise, and happily enters savasana.

My spotty progress living out these lessons makes it clear that my resolution has two parts. Not only do I need to work on self-love, I need to work on loving my own writing. Do you think I can do it?

When I wrote those lessons, I didn’t know that I was forming an intimate relationship with them. “For better or worse,” my words are saying to me as I navigate my life. They are nags, wanting me to actually live what I teach. We fight over whether or not I’m holding up my end of the bargain.

And yet, here’s the truth: almost a year out from publication, I believe my writing loves me. Sometimes it reminds me how to recover from life’s challenges, spread my wings, and believe in the wind beneath them. With surprising tenderness. Perhaps I am beginning to learn what I have been teaching.

And so, I guess it is my responsibility to return my own writing’s love. After all, if it weren’t for those lessons I wouldn’t be holding my own lovely book in my hands and remembering how long I dreamed of this.

* * * * *

Pamela Hale, M.A., offers ancient practices and contemporary creative tools for healing, transformation and restoring the sacred. Her life coaching, workshops and retreats help people shift the way they see themselves, their lives and their possibilities, so they can thrive physically, emotionally and spiritually and contribute to higher consciousness on the planet.

Flying Lessons: How to Be the Pilot of Your Own Life won a gold medal IPPY award in the self-help category in 2012. For more information about the book, the author and her teaching and speaking, visit www.ThroughADifferentLens.com and Facebook.com/FlyingLessons.