Ever since I started my Pixie Pilot blog six years ago, every New Years Eve I would post a list that consisted of my Favorite Flying Moments of the year. In each post I would describe at least ten favorite flying moments or adventures. This year, I am struggling to pull even half that for my New Years Eve blog.
I'm sure you can relate. We've all had a year or years that not everything we wanted to get done was completed and somehow life just felt less adventurous. Major life changes can often ground the hobbiest pilot: divorce, job loss, a new home, a death, or a new life. Whether the cause was a time to be celebrated or mourned, those who have a passion for flight running through their veins are often thinking that they somehow fell short by failing to keep aviation active in their lives. We must not let our sense of supposed failure cut deep and let self hate flow into the wounded ego. This is the exact moment that we must be kind to ourselves!
Author Kristin Neff explains in her book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, "Self-kindness, by definition, means that we stop the constant self-judgment and disparaging internal commentary that most of us have come to see as normal. It requires us to understand our foibles and failures instead of condemning them. It entails clearly seeing the extent to which we harm ourselves through relentless self-criticism, and ending our internal war."
Unfortunately our brains are wired to focus on the negative, it's the instinct that drives our fight or flight responses. Consoling yourself is not considered an option when your focus is on changing your circumstances. What are those circumstances? So, you've barely flown this year. You hoped to have a new aircraft endorsement in your logbook (ok yes, we are talking about me here!) How does this make you feel? Your chest may become tight, your heart beats faster, maybe you sweat. You feel anxious, disappointed. Now wipe the slate clean and instead of focusing on your nerves, send yourself compassion and understanding for the predicament you are in. Like a friend nodding their head saying "I know how that feels, I've been there!" Acknowledge your feelings. This feels a lot better, doesn't it?
My favorite affirmation from Louise Hay is, "I love and accept myself where I am right now." Have you taken the time to love yourself and give yourself the kindness you deserve in this moment? Let's move forward with our goals, but this time with self-kindness!