released-balloons

I've always loved being in the air. I'm an Aquarius, after all! The air is my home.

Decades ago, I remember being so envious of the grad student who interned at the same Astrophysics Lab with me, when I was an undergrad. She'd go soaring in a glider on weekends. I knew I could never afford such "white people sports" like gliding, polo or sailing. So I never strived for any of it.


Breadcrumb Trail

Then on the topsy-turvy winding road of my own freedompreneurship journey, I ended up flying around the world to 131 countries and enjoying "Ellany sports" like microlighting, parasailing, paragliding, and the best was handgliding!!

When I was in Rio de Janeiro, I selected the top handgliding agency. We waited from 10:30am to 2:30pm for the wind conditions to be just right, to be safe to fly. 

I wish I wore a smartwatch so I could show you how fast my heart was leaping out of my chest for 4 straight hours.

By 3:00 pm, I landed gleefully on the soft sandy beach. I gulped a giant fresh coconut while waiting for the GoPro chip from my handgliding flight. A taxi scooped me up at 3:30 pm, passed by my hotel to scoop up my luggage, and dropped me off at the airport at 4:30 pm. I checked in for my 5:30 pm flight, and had 45min to spare, sitting at my gate. Yup, livin' on the edge. 😎 

I never once worried about missing my flight. It felt like there was an invisible force at play.


The Invisible Force at Play

All I could remember for weeks afterward was that infinite, soaring feeling of freedom, wild abandon, and aliveness, while still wondering what that invisible force was. I also noticed how conquering the fear of leaping off a mountain dissolved seemingly unconnected fears that I had in business. 

It was 10 months later, when I had my Fields of Gold healing session in Bali, that it retrospectively dawned on me, "Oh! That invisible force that I felt was joy!"

Joseph Campbell was spot on when he said, "Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." 🤯 

You could say, in the safety of my handgliding instructor and in the air above Copacabana beach, I began to heart-know joy.

 

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Surfing the Joy Wave

My 16-countries-in-16-weeks trip, that, I planned. My 52-countries-in-52-weeks trip, that, I did NOT plan.

You know how in spy movies, there's always a sidekick in a basement with a headset and 12 monitors, directing James Bond to veer through the 2nd door, run up staircase G, and leap off the building, so that he lands just right in the getaway speedboat?

I felt like joy was that sidekick with a headset. It just kept telling me, "Green lights ahead. Keep going."

Everywhere I went, I met up with my CTI , GGI, and AGY family and friends. One country I'd stay on my own (my introvert and HSP demanded it). One country I'd stay with a friend. And one country I'd stay on my own, but visit with friends. That triplet kept unfolding so elegantly... on its own.

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I never spent a Christmas alone thanks to my GGI-Bangkok gals. I never spent a cold snowy night alone thanks to my GGI-St-Petersburg gals. I never spent a New Year's Eve alone thanks to my GGI-Dubai gals. I never spent a breakup or tough transition alone thanks to my GGI-Vancouver and GGI-Palma gals.

With my Antigravity Yoga family, I got to fly high with Navi in Japan, Lucia in South Korea, Opal in Thailand, Verda in Turkey, Ringga in Bali, Vanessa in Switzerland, Viktoria in Hungary, Holmes in Portugal, and then some! (Thank you T-N for opening so many doors for me!!! ❤️)

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I never spent a New Year's Day alone thanks to CTI friends, Vipassana family in Guatemala and Ayahuasca family in Spain. I never spent a culture-shock first day alone thanks to Susie in Japan, Marie in Qatar and Hurricane Jane in South Korea. (Thank you T for initiating our CTI alumni group!!! ❤️)

And we're not even counting all the soulmates I met along my travels. This is just a short list of friends I already had and met again halfway around the world!

  • Meeting S in Victoria, Canada and crossing paths in Paris, France
  • Meeting P in NYC and crossing paths in Costa Rica
  • Meeting N in Rwanda and crossing paths in London, UK and Vienna, Austria
  • Meeting M in South Africa and crossing paths in Amsterdam
  • Meeting S in Santa Monica and crossing paths in New Delhi, India
  • Meeting K in NYC and crossing paths in Bogotá, Columbia
  • Meeting K in Kenya and crossing paths in Czechia 
  • Meeting S in NYC and crossing paths in Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, South Korean
  • ... the list goes on!

Every stop on my 52-in-52 journey, that I didn't plan and never even imagined possible, was effortless. Meant to be, even. Like a string of destiny pearls. This must be what a surfer who catches the greatest wave of her life must feel like! 🏄🏻‍♀️


It All Counts. It All Adds Up.

Unlike mind-knowing and body-knowing joy, which were "singular" events, reclaiming the heart-knowing of joy was a cumulative collection of people + events + destiny inflection pointsspread out over the 13 years prior. It all counts. It all adds up, doesn't it?

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Hmm... I think I get it now, the nature of reclamation. Just like Mario Bros. 3 collected mushrooms to grow, leaves to run and fly, and p-wings to sustain the flight, I've collected the mind-knowing, body-knowing, and heart-knowing of joy. I wonder what the 4th type of knowing, soul-knowing will be...

xo, Ella

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