Pamela Hale is the founder of Through a Different Lens, a practice dedicated to creating powerful, practical tools and experiences that bring vision, creativity and wisdom into focus to help people thrive – physically, professionally and spiritually. Educated at Stanford and Columbia Universities, Pamela has created a unique body of work woven together from her varied experiences as a teacher, life coach, spiritual director, photographer, fundraiser, consultant to non-profits, and shamanic practitioner. Creator of the Sand Spirit Insight Cards, workbook and certification trainings, Pam is a pioneer in the therapeutic photography movement. www.throughadifferentlens.com
Be the Pilot of Your Own Life: Pamela Hale’s beautiful multi-layered memoir, Flying Lessons~ How To Be The Pilot of Your Own Life, was published in 2012. She uses the story of her pursuit of a private pilot’s license after age 50 as a metaphor for life, to help anyone – in the air or on the ground – to break free of “gravity” and realize one’s potential to soar. Pamela intersperses aerial photographs she took over several years within the text to add richness to the reading experience.
Flying Lesson #1: Know Where You are Going to Land: Overcoming fear is a challenge in every journey of change. Having a safe place to land at any point can enable us to accept the not-knowing state of being a learner. Identifying our worst fear and facing it requires us to expand our skills – resilience, flexibility, self-observance, shedding of restrictive, negative energy, and quieting. These skills allow us to not only get out of situations related to a fear, but also avoid getting there in the first place.
Flying Lesson #2: Bring Enough Fuel for the Journey: For pilots, pre-flight checks include taking responsibility for verifying the fuel level and refueling as necessary to prevent fuel-driven accidents. Pilot error is avoidable also in life, calling for us to do our homework about what we might need on our flights in the world. This routine action calls for a commitment of awareness, time, effort, and resources to assess our inner fuel, to avoid solely depending upon external fuel (from others) to sustain us. Consciously take responsibility to identify and live to a personal fuel minimum to operate safely!
Flying Lesson #3: Take the Pilot’s Seat: We are all student pilots in life, and the sooner we learn to leave our mistakes behind us like the landscape, the more likely we will wake up from a trance of waiting. Any challenge in our lives provides an opportunity to be in the left seat and assume power and independence to make decisions. No decision is a decision. Look for the usefulness in making mistakes, core to learning and advancing, and just keep flying the plane. Aviate, navigate and communicate!
Flying Lesson #4: Remember Why You Long to Fly: Only our heart is able to hold paradox, something the mind cannot do. When we lose love for ourselves or our life, perhaps as a result of becoming afraid of failure or even success, living with an open heart enables us to pivot and again refocus on where we would like to go. Pamela’s flight instructor advised a) first go home and read your log book (resume, calendar, day-planner) to realize how far you have come, b) let your next flight be one for fun and inspiration, and c) have a compassionate talk with yourself and look through the lens in a fair and objective way.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008