Above The Clouds

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Above The Clouds

The finest and noblest ground
on which people can live is truth;
the real with the real;
a ground on which nothing is assumed.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the time you read this, I will no longer be “above the clouds.” I will be descending from the peak of Mt. Jaljale, 14,700 feet up in the Himalayas, my eyes resting on some of the highest mountain peaks in the world—Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu.

As I write, I am still in a state of preparation for this incredible journey, and surprise of surprises, the preparation is a vast learning experience! The insights I have had while preparing to leave my husband, children, family, work, staff, all of you, and our culture for a whole month have come softly and profoundly, sneaking up “on little cat feet” (as Carl Sandburg described the fog rolling into Chicago).

Three years ago, the opportunity to go trekking in Nepal for thirty days presented itself, and I wanted to go. I evaluated my life and told myself, “I don’t have the time, and I don’t have the money” (the great American excuses for not having the life you want). I supported those going on the trip and went to the airport to see them off on their journey. As I watched them board the plane, my heart was breaking. I wanted so very much to be on that plane with them! When I saw the tires leave the runway, a little voice in my head said, “I belong on that plane. Next time, I am going!”

Three years passed, and the opportunity presented itself again. I still didn’t have the time and the money when I evaluated my life, and yet I wanted to go. My first insight came when I realized how I made the journey become a reality this time, instead of a dream that I have had since I was a child. I said yes to my dream instead of no! I said, “Yes, I am going!” every time I faced an obstacle, a fear, or a doubt. I said it out loud, I said it to other people, and most importantly, I said it to me.

And all of a sudden, amazing things began to happen. So many people supported me to go. They wanted me to have my dream come true. Family, friends, co-workers, participants in seminars, even my dry cleaner!

Everything fell into place. My business partner, James Newton, helped me in many ways: time away from work, finances, and encouragement. My husband, Kyle, knowing how important this trip was to me, told me he would handle home and taking care of our sons. Surprise, a dear friend, Meredith Bliss, who was going on the trip, had thousands of free miles and gave me a ticket. My intention was so clear, I could feel it. Sounds amazingly easy, right? Why, of course! That’s plain to see, and yet that’s not what I do consistently. Very often I have mixed intentions, part of me wanting to go forward and part of me pulling back. No wonder I was creating mixed results. I saw very clearly how I stop myself from creating what I want and how easy it is to turn around. Clear intention!

I found myself out in the future a great deal, anticipating, eager for new experiences and learning, and getting ready. My second insight came with a sudden shift of focus. As departure time came closer, instead of looking forward, I started looking back. The importance of leaving with my life in order became paramount—touching people, making phone calls, writing notes, paying bills, bringing incompletes to completion. And as each action was finished, something very deep began to emerge: how much I care about each part of my life, each person, each action. Sometimes I get going so fast that I forget to look back and savor the delights. Looking forward beckoned me to look back and notice all that is precious.

In asking myself the question, “Why Nepal?” another lesson came. The common greeting in Nepal is “Namasté” which translates to…

I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of love, of truth,
of light and of peace.
When you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
We are one.

Namasté is another way of saying what Wings stands for, a reverence for each individual and for the greater community. I want to spend time with people who live their appreciation for one another so simply and honestly. Perhaps that is why saying yes was and always will be worth the effort.

1. What are some of the things you have dreamed of doing that you have told yourself you couldn’t do?

2. What reasons did you use to convince yourself you couldn’t do them? Impractical, time, money, what will others think, etc.?

3. When you dream dreams and don’t do them, what is the impact on you and your life?

4. What is one thing you want to experience that you will take the risk to put yourself into 100 percent? When?

I encourage you to share your responses to the reflection questions in the comments section.

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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4 Responses to “Above The Clouds”

  1. Lorrie Jones says:

    Dear Kris,
    You have been a dear friend, a mentor and a teacher in my life since I attended PES back in the early 90’s: a long time ago. Not a day goes by in my life that I don’t call upon, implement, remember, depend on…rejoice in …what I learned about being responsible and accountable for my life: about being the author of my life, of my choices, of my perspective and, thus, of my gratitude and joy. Thank you thank you.

    I found this interview beautiful: honest, sincere, spontaneous and from the heart. And I am moved to action. As I mentioned, I am a Wings grad (of many varying seminars and opportunities at Wings) and my thinking is: we simply cannot let this happen. “This” meaning Wings possibly closing its doors..in this economy and at this time in history.

    I was close to death just over a year ago from an SUV accident and I survived…and am healing with the help of all I learned at Wings: I am responsible for how I live each moment of my life. Of course there are times of adjustment, acceptance, wishing I could do more, etc., but these times are simply invitations to remember what I know: I have my life and I can still make a difference in the world. I may have pain or discomfort but it is how I relate to a discomfort that counts…and that creates my world in that moment.

    In light of Wings being in financial trouble, I am asking myself: how do I choose to relate to this challenge? And my choice is advocacy. To anyone who has taken the time to read this “comment”, please do what you can to spread the word about Wings and all it offers to the world! I plan to advocate like never before and, being a Wings grad, I am looking at this challenge being an opportunity to spread MY wings by arranging free speaking engagements in the cities and countries where I will be in the next 6 months.

    As I count the cities(in the U.S.), they add up to 8. The countries, outside of the United States, add up to 5 – maybe more, depending. I commit to spreading the word of Wings in each city and country I visit. In addition, I will compose a message for folks I know and send it out electronically. Now: what else can I do? And what else can “we” do as Wings’ advocates? What if we, each of us, welcomed this challenge as an opportunity to overcome any obstacles in the way of speaking in front of others, telling our truth to those we know (and maybe don’t know..yet), creating occasions to share about Wings and our own personal experience of freedom…of owning our lives and living in gratitude, in service and with love for one another? What if we let nothing stop us..?

    As the poet David Whyte says: “Your life is at stake!”. Just think of the joy around the world with Wings in every major city and every (or almost every) country. Just think of thousands and thousands of people experiencing the moment you speak of, Kris, of realizing the beauty and freedom of reclaiming who they are and living the life of their dreams. Let’s not waste a moment!

  2. dale says:

    So far, this chappter rings hime. For it is I who makes the comittment for me.

    Thank you Kris.


  3. John Brennan says:

    Thanks Kris for the simple reminder in the context of your life. I’ve experienced much of what this podcast is about…in some parts of my life. The success and ease in achieving goals that are clear and focused has been amazing.
    I’m re-reminded to look at the doubts and unclarity around my unrealized wishes, dreams and desires, knowing that a change in my thinking will make all the difference.
    Now I’m curious to know which doubts will surface as red flags; where I will next be putting my attention and intention to make more dreams come true.