Even A Flightless Bird Can Fly

William - Belvedere, California
Entered on January 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe I can fly. For me, R. Kelly’s song about flying is not about the physical act of flying, but rather, a more spiritual belief that allows me to free my soul R. Kelly has taught me to spread my wings and ascend.

With a freedom of belief that anything is possible, I have achieved remarkable things. One example is to know that despite my physical limitations, I can do whatever I want. I have taught myself to ski, to wakeboard and to run. I use meditation as a key tool to guide and motivate me and allow me not to place limitations on my actions. I use these tools when I feel stressed; my essential tools lead me back to my safe place, where I am comfortable and free–where I can achieve the impossible.

Buddhist principles have helped me overcome my physical limitations and open my eyes to the true possibilities. I view Buddhism as a philosophy rather than a religion; I take what Prince Siddhartha learned from his life and apply it to my own. I had to have a knee surgery when I was seven, and this is where my fear of needles began. From that point, this fear was stuck in my head. I will have surgeries for as long as I am growing. This made me even more frightened; I was scared until I started meditating. When I meditate, I focus on a point in the room or on my navel, I follow my breath and then I focus on the positives of my life and the world – on what makes me happy. Using this ancient technique I have overcome my terrible fear of needles. I used to think of a needle as a sharp, cold, menacing object that either injects stuff into my arm or takes blood out. Meditation offered me a tool, that when practiced regularly, allowed me to transcend to a peaceful, calm environment.

After my experience with meditation, I decided to take a guided meditation class in Arizona. Through this guided class I came upon two animals that share my qualities: the monkey and the pigeon. The monkey is my playful side; the pigeon’s feces is more of a healing potion for my leg. Viewing animals as representatives for who I am really helps me to better understand myself. The monkey and pigeon help me realize that anything is possible. Now when I tell people, “You should try to fly,” his or her answer is usually, “but I don’t have wings.” So I simply tell them, “ Even a flightless bird can learn to fly.”