Every summer, the city of Gatineau in the province of Quebec, presents ‘Le Festival Montgolfières’ (The Hot-Air Balloon Festival). It’s a spectacular, breathtaking view as hundreds of balloons rise and fill up the skies with their unique shapes and colors.
At this year’s event, my friend Emily registered to climb on board a balloon and take flight.
Two things really caught my attention as she explained what happens on the ground before the balloon takes flight. Just like a hot-air balloon, when it comes to discovering and releasing our potential, it’s these same two things that will make it possible.
First: The most important thing is the source of energy (propane) which feeds the burner and heats the air trapped inside the balloon itself. This heating process allows it to lift off the ground and rise to the sky.
Second: The hot-air balloon has ropes attached to it so as to restrict it from any movement until the air reaches the required temperature. People hold on to the ropes, keeping it restrained on the ground until the pilot gives the word to let go of the ropes and the balloon lifts off in the sky.
Here’s How We Are Very Much Like a Hot-Air Balloon
We all have a POTENTIAL(air) trapped inside ourselves. It could be a hidden talent, unused strength or an untapped ability. For many, it remains dormant deep in our HEART (burner) waiting to be released out into the world. The most important source of energy to discover, release our potential and allow it to come to life, is right there, feeding our hearts: LOVE (propane).
We need not to cultivate love. We need not to go searching for it. It’s not a goal, an idea or a concept that can be achieved by following a certain pattern. It’s a deep feeling already in ourselves, trying to speak to us and guide us. Only when we listen, will we feel the immense power of our own being. It’s through this love that we will gain strength, courage and most important, faith in ourselves to actually exercise and put forth our potential. It is through this deep felt love, that we will experience a passion for the journey in facing struggles and overcoming obstacles.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Ok, well if this is already in me, why am I stuck?”
The hot-air balloon will never rise up, even if the air reaches the required temperature, unless everyone on board lets go of the ropes that’s keeping it on the ground.
Unless we don’t let go of the ropes holding us back, we will never lift off and release our potential to the world.
The ropes restraining us and limiting us from any movement are all from the same source that is wasting our inner energy and has built barriers around our heart; FEAR!
What exactly are these ropes?
Attachment to External Things
This was a huge a rope for me to let go of! I had become attached to my job, my belongings and my beliefs as the things that gave me value and identified me. My attachment was really my fear of losing everything that was familiar to me.
It led me to thinking, “It was to late for me” or “I was too old” or “This is my life now” and so on. At some point, I realized that saying these things meant I had become part of the furniture and this scared me more than never taking the journey to release my full potential. Read more here.
Pay close attention to your attachments. Ask yourself, “Is this really what identifies me?” Listen to your inner source. Don’t try to justify or rationalize with your thoughts. You will feel your inner worth and see that your attachments to these things are getting in the way of that.
Playing It Safe
Ah Yes!! I know this one too well! Playing it safe, meant I was responsible. I knew nothing about starting my own business. I’d be taking a huge risk and had become really good with my rationalizations.
You see, the truth is I had become comfortable and convinced myself that “My life isn’t that bad, I just better stay put and not take any risks.”
Well, let me tell you, the pain of spending one day behind a computer answering endless emails and attending meaningless meetings makes all the struggles, obstacles and mistakes WORTHWHILE!!
That pain was a lot worse than the pain of learning all I needed to learn to make my full potential and dream come to life.
You don’t have to have it all figured out to release your potential. Start from where you are and embrace every step in getting there. Accepting a mediocre life means you’ve accepted a life dictated to you by others. Yes, you may have to learn new things or practice certain skills. Yes, you may make mistakes along the way. It does require work otherwise a potential will remain a potential. It’s worth it to live the life you want.
Not Being Good Enough
One of the main reasons we feel we’re not good enough is because we compare our weaknesses to others’ strengths. This is what kept my full potential trapped inside for years. Read more here.
Please, pay close attention to this one. If there’s something you have a passion for, chances are it’s your potential begging to be released. If you feel you’re not good enough, who are you comparing yourself to? Let it go, NOW! You cannot move beyond this belief about yourself. If you stop comparing, then you allow yourself to start from where you are and from there you can move.
These are just a few ropes (fears) that keep us restrained on the ground. What’s important is that you recognize your fears. Bring your attention to them without judging or criticizing yourself and let them go. Doing this will allow your inner source of energy to burn in your heart and release your potential out into the world!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention. Guess what Emily said was the biggest joy of riding a hot-air balloon?
“The view was spectacular”, she said “But the most amazing thrill and joy is that you’re never quite sure where you’re going to go!”
Apparently, the only thing you can really control is going up and down. Opening the vent lets the hot air out and cool air in which allows the balloon to go down. But, steering it depends on the wind current. So, you can make it rise or fall so it catches air current in the direction you want to go. But, you don’t have any control on the wind current.
Again, like the balloon, once we embark on the journey and release our potential, we will face air currents (obstacles) which we have no control over.
We need to let go of trying to control everything
and allow the universe, the wind to take us along and discover new possibilities. When we release our potential, the universe has a way, not known to us, to guide us upon a path beyond anything we could imagine. That’s the beauty of letting go and accepting the unknown.
What ropes are you still holding to?
Can you let them go and start living a life true to yourself?