I sit here, 24 hours after returning home — from a trip to the 2011 International UFO Congress that was supposed to take three hours (a direct flight from Phoenix to Indianapolis), and instead took all Sunday night and part of Monday morning — and marvel at how I do seem to be learning how to pivot in place almost instantly, no matter what the shock.
Of course, there were many shocks to my system at the Congress itself. Every piece of new information — or was it disinformation? or someone’s imaginings (always the question at such an event) from or about ETs, or ET experiencers, or retired military men, or intrepid (especially female) warriors for truth — felt like a burst of light in the brain.
This was my third UFO Congress in as many years. So I’m much more familiar with the types of material covered, and not nearly as susceptible to shock. However, given the mind-bending implications of much of the material presented, I often found myself on overwhelm. And yet, because I expected overwhelm, I was probably much more capable of working with the information than newbies. About a thousand people were there for the entire five days, coming from from all parts of the US, Canada, Europe and South America. Adding to the mix were daytrippers from the Phoenix area, many of them getting their first taste of the UFO/ET and UFO/ET/U.S. black budget worlds, those who research and experience these related subjects, and 60 years of government propaganda that has rendered all of it both secret and taboo.
I am happy to report that my own physical/mental/spiritual system felt balanced throughout the conference, and that even that extended and unexpected trip home didn’t upset the balance. I’ll be posting about the conference itself in the coming days an weeks. Here’s what happened to the trip home:
It was supposed to be easy: a three hour direct flight from Phoenix to Indianapolis, leaving at 7:40 p.m. MST, arriving at 12:57 a.m. EST. My son would sit in the cell phone parking lot — essentially a flat windy place near the airport — until I called upon landing.
Leaving Phoenix, we were told that with a 150 mph tail wind we would arrive in Indy 30 minutes early. Great! Only 2.5 hours in the middle seat I had been assigned.
At around 12:15 am, not only were not we beginning our descent, but the plane had been in turbulent conditions for quite a while. Flashes of light lit up the interior of the cabin, and they were not just the regular pulse of landing lights. I noticed that the motor was whining in a strange way, banking the plane to one side then another.
At this point, the captain’s voice booms in: “We are sorry to disappoint you that we cannot land in Indianapolis. There are tornado warnings, and the airport has been hit by lightning and is shut down. We are continuing to Columbus, Ohio (about 4 hours from Indy), and will land in about 20-25 minutes.”
The first shock.
What? The sleepy atmosphere in the cabin suddenly electrified, expressed in body shifts, moans and groans. I was as stunned as everyone else, and noticed my mind quickly addressing future time-lines. What if this happened? That? Worse, I imagined my son out there in a tiny Prius, the only car on that flat windy plane, at the mercy of tornadoes. (Turns out I was right. He was the only car in the cell phone lot.)
The turbulence continued. About 15 minutes later, the captain again came on the air and announced that it would be about 20 minutes until we’d be on the ground in Columbus. Again an apology for the weather, but no explanation as to the time discrepancy. More groans.
Another 15 minutes, all turbulent. Again, the captain. “We should be on the ground in about 15 minutes.” What? By this time, a lot of us, certainly myself, were processing the situation internally, no longer responding vocally, but gritting our teeth and enduring it — so far. But what was to come? I had noticed the storm over the midwest earlier that day, so was not entirely unprepared. But this?
Finally, we landed in Columbus at 1:00 AM. A hundred and fifty cell phones activated at once (the plane was totally full). “Colin?” “Ma!” He sounded relieved. I had made it.
“We’ve landed, on time, but not in Indianapolis.”
“We’re in Columbus, Ohio.”
I told him the situation and that they would be letting us know soon what was next. The plane sat there at the gate. Again, more apologies from the captain. We were waiting for “the supervisor” to arrive. Some of us got up to go to the bathroom. (Who knows when we’d have another chance?) I asked one of the stewardesses how often this happened. “In my 22 years of flying, twice.”
Lots of uncomfortable shifting in seats, talking sotto voce. No babies cried. Some passengers tried to go back to sleep. At some point the co-captain said the captain had run to the control tower to decide whether we would try again for Indy, what were exactly the conditions there now. He also said that we were waiting to refuel; lightning had been spotted in Columbus, and they couldn’t refuel with lightning strikes nearby.
Finally, as we taxied west at 2:30 am, the pilot said that planes were again landing in Indy, that the trip would take 20 to 30 minutes, and then he warned: I don’t know if we’re going to be able to land this time either. The storm system is very volatile, and please expect turbulence the entire time. I felt like I we were all passengers in a ship of fools. (Should I have gotten off like the two people who did, both looking terrified? It was a choice that the rest of us didn’t take.) Who knows what would happen next?
Yet, strangely enough, I felt basically okay with the situation. It was a mental and physical ordeal yes, possibly a tragedy in the making. And, it was an adventure. Most of my conscious self stayed in the adventure mode, but a tiny, potent part of it worried about Colin’s safety, still waiting there for me to arrive in pounding rain and buffeting wind. He told me later that he had the radio tuned to the weather the whole time, and at one point a tornado northwest of Indy was announced, heading directly for the airport. . . .
Up in the sky, nobody was complaining. Looking around, I could see that most people were either dozing or trying to, again, in turbulence, with lightning flashing all around. Colin tells me that 2/3 of the way through the storm there had been 3000 flashes of lightning around Indy, and that one rotating storm cell had been moving forward at the rate of 70 mph. He confessed that he was extremely worried about me on this leg of the trip, and couldn’t imagine we’d be able to land, given the conditions. Our communications with each other on the ground had been short and to the point. No panic. Just the facts, arriving in little bursts.
I had managed to, if not doze, then at least drift off a bit, when again, amidst the turbulence, that familiar whine, the plane banking, and then the captain’s voice: “We are not going to land in Indianapolis. The conditions are just not safe and I don’t have enough fuel to take any chances. We’re heading back to Columbus. Another 25 minutes or so before we’re on the ground.” Well, this certainly woke everybody up. How often does a plane try, and fail, twice to land in the same spot? And, I asked myself, why didn’t they refuel the plane to its capacity? And would Columbus, by this time, be in the same storm system as Indy?
Our Ground Hog night finally came to a halt at 4:00 am, when we landed again in Columbus, again in stormy conditions. The captain announced that this plane wasn’t going anywhere near Indy for the next day, and that they’d ordered four buses to take us to Indy. They’d arrive at 5:30 am.
Were we all in shock? Or had we all adjusted to the situation? I heard no real complaining; our mental and psychological set had changed. We now expected to be faced with more delays, and another ordeal — this time by bus.
I called Colin and told him to go back to Bloomington (an hour away in good weather). That the shuttle starts at 6 AM so I could take that. To not expect me home until around 11 am.
Everybody was patient and kind as, one by one, we wearily gathered our belongings and trudged off the plane.
Sitting around on the floor singly or in little groups with our baggage in the baggage area waiting for the bus, I noticed myself quietly and spontaneously talking with people, saying how this would be a great story for later, and how it was really a grand adventure. They’d look at me wanly, obviously drugged with exhaustion. But I really felt that, despite the strain my body had been through in the tiny seat for so long, the stress of the turbulence, and the interruption of my normal sleep schedule. Somehow, my mind and spirit were flowing out into the room and embracing all of us, all of us on this ship of fools, each with our separate trajectories and common plight during this special time.
As it turned out, I arrived home about 10 am, thanks to the good graces of a man who decided to rent a car and invited me and another woman to join him. I was lucky, got the back seat, and could lie down and actually sleep.
Once home, I took a long bath and then crawled into bed like a zombie, sleeping another three hours. Then I got up, and, amazingly enough, was fine! As if it was just a normal day.
For many years, during the time when I was undergoing a personal evolutionary process that was so strong and continuous that I knew I had to stay centered to stay sane, I thought of it as being “on point,” like a dancer, balanced. That image was static; now the phrase that comes in is dynamic, “the pivot point.” By this I refer to being able to “pivot in place,” to absorb shock and integrate it, instantly. The process of pivoting is the integration, and doesn’t knock me off my center.
The phrase first came to me when I noticed my response to a situation where I had almost joined someone else on his website, as a writer. Both of us were excited about the opportunity the project presented. Then, after five hours of talking long distance by phone over a three day period, we discovered that our visions diverged in certain aspects essential to both of us. I started this website instead.
What impressed me about that five-day adventure was that I had managed to integrate it almost immediately. My excitement had allowed me to absorb both his worldview, and the opportunity our partnership presented — to the point where we could find that we were not aligned after all. Had I not allowed myself to become excited, I would not have fully opened to absorb it. Had we joined forces, I would have gone against my nature, and the longer I went before I admitted that it wasn’t right for me, the more difficult it would have been to end it with integrity.
Thus the pivot point: to eagerly and swiftly absorb the entirety of a situation, and move it through to completion. To pivot on point is to end the long-running or sporadic dramas that have dragged my emotional and mental bodies into the mud. Pivot in place. Absorb and integrate. NOW.
But how to do that? And why is it important?
It seems to me that the longer we take to let go of dramas, the harder time we will have in flowing with the fast track of events that accompany the acceleration of time that has been predicted by both Mayans and astrologers, and manifested through our symbiosis with swiftly emerging technologies.
For me, once I woke up to the fact that I had been engaging in patterned dramas since the time I was a child, I started to identify these dramas while they were happening, and to discover how to integrate them. At first, such processing took years, then months, weeks. . . I was learning to both extract myself from dramas and then allow and honor the emotional hurt feelings that accompanied them — until the feelings transformed. I was learning, in other words, to let go what had formerly held me fast, in suffering.
The point is, we can be excited without being attached. We can fully enter into a situation —body, mind and soul — without identifying with it. In fact that seems key. While our bodies undergo certain trials (like lack of sleep, cramped conditions, unexpected shocks one after another, the stress of airborne turbulence), our minds and spirits can remain detached. This takes practice. For me, I credit tai chi and chi kung, but there are many other meditative practices that also inculcate the gradual letting go of attachment to any situation in which we might find ourselves.
Where this becomes important is when we find ourselves both individually and collectively having to face situations that are unexpected, uncomfortable, even painful, and prolonged. I don’t know how I’ll do when and if, for example, our transportation system breaks down and food is no longer on the shelves of chain grocery stores. I don’t know how I’ll do when I am cold for weeks because electricity has been off again. I don’t know. But what I can do is practice detachment and compassion. I can pivot on point, integrate shocks one by one while remaining centered. Meanwhile I can serve to help create an atmosphere of love and calm in the midst of turbulent storms.
This kind of skill, for it is a skill and it can be learned, will become more and more valuable during the coming years as we transition from our insular world-view that sees humans all alone on a resource-depleted planet in a cold and scary universe into a vastly expanded world-view that recognizes all beings, whether on or off-world, as aspects of the divine in a universe of unlimited potential for abundance of every kind we can imagine — and then some!
We are in transforming into oneness. Let us make the most of it. Welcome to the adventure!