Flying by the Seat of My Soul was written by Tess Marshall. I knew Tess as a blogger, and my admiration for who she is and the life she has lived grew by leaps and bounds with every chapter I read in her book.
For starters, so many people dream of writing a book. Tess actually took action and not only wrote a book, she also published it herself. How’s that for taking life by the horns and living boldly?
Hitch your dream to a star
Here’s an example of how Tess challenges us to live fully:
The risk involves learning how to love on a deeper level. The risk is allowing others to see who you really are and to be open to receiving love and support. If you have been able to accept this in the past, it can be difficult.
Intimacy is often defined as IN-TO-ME-SEE. When we don’t think well of ourselves, we usually want to hide. The risk is to become emotionally naked. If we don’t take the risk, we keep ourselves from reaching deep into our hearts and discovering who we are and what gifts we are meant to share.
While urging us to soar, Tess offers nuggets of wisdom throughout the book that help us keep sight of land. Here’s a gem I love:
Strive for healed relationships instead of perfect relationships.
She explains that we carry a ‘bag’ over our shoulder into which we put the aspects of ourselves that we don’t like, so that we don’t have to look at it and own it. We deny, resist, and forget that it is even there, until we see it in another person.
Anytime you are upset, irritated, or at wit’s end with someone else, it is really about you. It is about what you carry in your bag.
Tess learnt about parenting the hard way,. She had her first child at the young age of 17. She shares her lessons freely and openly, admitting her mistakes and showing us how we can heal ourselves and our children.
If you have regrets, apologize to your children, even if they are adults. An apology validates their feelings. Allow your children their point of view. Your children, no matter what their age, want to be validated. If your children are grown, it is never too late to apologise and tell them if you knew better you would have done better.
She also makes no bones about the job of a parent, recognising how hard it can be to love a child.
Love your children enough to allow them to hate you. It feels as if they hate you when you tell them ‘no’. They might be mad for a few minutes, hours, and if they’re teenagers even days. But they will get over it. They need parents not friends.
The music of your soul
I’ll leave you with my favourite story in Tess’ book:
Paganini was an emerging violinist and composer in the 1800s. He dreamed of an audience in a packed opera house that would jump to their feet with an ovation. The evening came. It was his turn for a solo. He felt terror and sickness in his stomach as he began to draw his bow – he had grabbed the wrong violin.
He heard a deep voice within that said, “Play with what you’ve got.” So he did. As Paganini gave all he had within himself, the audience rose to ovation.
He said: “Before tonight, I always thought the music came from my violin. Tonight I realised the music comes from within me.”
Are you flying by the seat of your soul?
This is the question Tess asks us. If you’d like more inspiring stories and ‘soul stretching’ exercises to help you fly, grab a copy of Tess’ book!