This word, landing, has incredible impact in our lives. Think about what it means to you when you feel you have landed somewhere, or something. Maybe it is landing to a place that you describe as home, maybe it is landing a position or job you wanted, maybe it is landing safely as you fly to a destination.
It is filled with meaning for us.
When a word carries meaning, it also carries impact implicitly.
What does it feel like when you have landed in something desired? What does it feel like when you have not landed in something desired?
Ahhhhh…there we have it.
Landing is one of many words and ideas that can create meaning and context in our life. This meaning and context can lead us into a full range of responses and reactions.
We can have exhilaration when we have landed what we hope for or have defined as important. Likewise, we can have pain resulting in suffering when we do not have what we hope for or think we must have.
Let’s look a little more deeply at the responses that can arise such as exhilaration or pain in relation to three points of focus.
When it comes to landing there are socially defined goods such as having a home. Then there are personal desires we could have like landing in a relationship. Then there are aspirations such as landing a project that results in new creative expression. There are so many ways we can look at it. What are ways you esteem landing? Can you name socially defined goods that you have accepted as vital or important? What about personal desires? Or unique aspirations?
Each of these have quite a catch to them. They can have a certain moral implication attached. For instance, what if you lost your home, or do not have a home you own. Would you have more stress? Would that stress come from the idea that you need it to relax or feel safe? Or perhaps not having a home leaves you feeling like you are a failure incurring self-judgment based on external standards you have accepted as your own. Or maybe you even have the physiological effect of finding it difficult to concentrate on other areas of your life until you have this worked out.
I am not diminishing the stress that can be inherent when our survival needs are challenged, but I do see the questions as an opportunity to unpack our relationship to these basic needs.
What if the community where you live creates an ethos around ideas of success and one of them includes this socially defined good? That adds an extra layer on top of our personal beliefs.
The second point of focus, the idea of landing in something you long for personally can be equally challenging. For instance, you may long for a relationship that is dynamic and inspiring so you can land there. It is a natural joy to desire this for ourselves, yet, how many in our world have it? Personal angst can cast a shadow on your life; and just like socially defined goods, you could feel even worse when you see all the programs and books and ideologies that say, ‘You can manifest the relationship of your dreams!’ It could lead down a rabbit hole, leaving you asking, ‘What is wrong with me?’
Let’s stir the pot some more.
The third point of focus is personal aspiration with your life expression. What if you long to make a living as a singer but it just doesn’t work out. Unrealized aspirations could lead to a sense of subtle discouragement or even more dramatically, despair. What then? And how do you speak about yourself in social environments when asked if you are happy, or doing what you love?
All three of these points of focus that involve ‘landing,’ come from within but also have to do with living in this world. Where then can we find enduring peace? Can we apply the Confucian adage, ‘The only unchanging is change itself?’ Or one of the tenants of most spiritually oriented lineages, ‘We must be detached from all of this world in order to find peace?’
I am playing with the notion that I am called to one form of landing, that is, to land fully in myself. And in that all the other desires find orientation. In my play they do not need to be disregarded as vital or important or worthy of my attention, but rather they are held as I remain landed in myself. They find a focus from this point.
This is not always easy. It can be so much more comfortable to fall into the big, ‘BU-U-U-T…..’
But it is normal to desire to have a home and normal to have overwhelming stress if my home is not how I see it should be.
But it is normal to want a dynamic relationship and normal to be obsessed around manifesting it.
But it is normal to become all I am meant to be (the idea of it,) and normal to have suffering if this is not happening for me.
Is this true?
Do you want this to be your truth?
I was hiking last week reflecting on this topic, just having come back to Colorado after months away. While hiking the beauty was inspiring me, and one of the insights was not that I had landed back in Colorado, but that I had landed in myself and happened to be in Colorado. In that all other ideas of what I may want to land can be held, seen, and honored from a place that is not grasping.
The ensuing peace was undeniable.
How can you play with this notion today?