While on vacation I finished an autobiographical accounting of Amelia's historical flight in the Friendship called, 20 hrs., 40 min. I took note of many parts of the book-- and many of her funny remarks and down to earth humble stories.

One story that amused me was when she gave an accounting of the time she experienced real fog for the first time. She explained that it was very "disquieting." She explained that in fog with that density, it is virtually impossible to know what the plane is doing and noted it could be going in circles or even upside down and the pilot would not know his/her position in space. The absence of outside landmarks leaves the pilot to count on physical feedback--such as noting if your seat-belt seems to have tightened or if your feet have dropped back from the rudder.

When experiencing this for the first time Amelia decided to kick the plane into a tailspin, on purpose and plummeted from 12,000 ft down to 3,000 feet at which time she emerged from the fog and landed safely. What is amusing is that after she was back on the ground she explained that one of the old-timers commented as he looked at the plane's "barograph" record which showed the huge & rapid drop in elevation. He asked, "What does that mean? Did you go to sleep along in there?" She relayed he was not "impressed favorably."

She explained to him how she got out of the fog "by way of the tailspin."

To that, he replied, "Suppose the fog had lasted all the way to the ground?"

Well I think we all know the answer to that one...

Amelia told this story because she wanted to emphasize how a pilot, at that time in aviation's history, must have experience flying with instruments and not only "by horizon." It is through your instruments that you will maintain your "course, equilibrium and altitude," she explained.

So today, I thank Amelia for her reminder that we often count on "the horizon" for feedback in life. We look to what we see out in front of us as we look at our lives. But the world is infinitely more complex than our bank accounts, real estate values, roles, degrees and shoe collection. Our inner instruments give a completed picture-- that all of those things hint at-- or point to where we invest ourselves.

Check your dashboard.

(C) 2010 Rena M. Reese All Rights Reserved

Author's Bio: 

Rena Reese, M.S. is an author, founder of Soul Salon International and instructor at The Mindfulness Center in Bethesda, Md. In her latest book, The Soul Salon, readers enjoy what would equate to a year of personal life coaching as they learn about the path to awakening & bliss, living in alignment and enjoying a life of purpose. For more information about her books or speaking, please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com.