A Woman with Wings - an ultra-short story by Dr Elisa Robyn

I was born one magical evening at sunset. The sky was crimson and turquoise, and so were my wings. All babies were born with wings, but mine were kissed by the sunset and especially beautiful. As I grew I would flex my wings, delighting in the sensuous power and exhilaration that came with dreaming about flying. My wings had the colors of a sunset reflected in the ocean and grew stronger as I pushed them against the wind.

Time passed, however, as it always does, and I grew older. I was told that the time for play was ending and that I must learn to be a young lady. Proper young ladies do not fly, rather they hold their wings still, secured with ribbons and bows to show off their shape and color, but never their magnificence or power. Proper women could not fly because their wings were atrophied and frozen in place. Pretending to fly was fine for little girls, but now I had to grow up and leave dreams of flying behind as I was molded into the lady.
 

My grandmother told me repeatedly that nice young ladies do not fly. She had never even considered trying, and look how nice and atrophied her wings were. She told me I would embarrass the family if I did not stop spreading my wings. I must tie them back like a good girl and do what my family and friends approved of. Their happiness was more important than my silly dream of flying. 
 

My mother told me that flying was not safe for girls, only for boys. Besides, it was hard and I should not try things that were difficult. I would look up at the sky and point where sometimes, high and far away I could see a woman flying. "What about her?"  I would ask. My mother would shake head and tell me that good girls did not fly. Being safe on the ground was always a better choice than being free in the air.

My schoolmates told me that if I wanted boys to like me I would have to learn how to hold my wings still and quiet, so they would grow thinner and weaker. No boy would like a girl with strong wings who chose to fly.

I listened when they talked...I really did. I tried to hold my wings still. I tied them with ribbons every day at school, even though I was crying inside. I tried to forget the feeling of the wind caressing my wings, the feeling of strength and grace that came when my wings were spread, but I could not. My family and friends lectured me, but I wanted to fly more than I wanted their approval. I wanted the boys to like me, but not at the expense of abandoning who I wanted to be.

One night I told my father, who was a poet, about my dreams of flying amid the stars through clouds of silver mist and webs of moonlight. He hugged me tight and whispered that sometimes following one’s dreams and being different was the only way to be truly safe.

Finally one evening at sunset when the sky was crimson and turquoise, I walked into the surf and spread my wings. I turned into the wind and felt myself lifted from the waves into the sky. 

At first I just traversed the beach, riding the wind with joy in my heart. The world rushed by under me as I flew higher and faster. At last I left the beach behind and allowed the wind to guide me, following the thermals and shifting breezes. I looked back and saw the narrowness of my town, something that I could not see from the ground. I had left a narrow place for the wide adventurous wildness of the skies and my dreams. 

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Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and InDr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her most current writings can be found atnovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her most current writings can be found atDr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her most current writings can be found at

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Elisa Robyn

Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Don't go SPLAT taking a leap of faith!

Encouraging words abound regarding manifesting our dreams: Advice on creating and using affirmations. Quotes such as Joseph Campbell's, "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” Memes on Facebook extoll us to "take a leap of faith and grow wings on the way down." Experts teach us through books, workshops and classes how to use the Law of Attraction to manifest our dream. 

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But there is one thing that is almost always left out:  PREPARATION!

It is unrealistic to decide one day to be a concert pianist, then book a date at Carnegie Hall the next!  Or decide to be an entrepreneur with no training or help on how to run a business.  Or to quit a job or move across the country based solely on a leap of faith with no preparation. Too many leave out the step of preparation, then wonder why they are floundering in their dream. Yes, we need to believe in our dreams, but we also need to prepare!  To paraphrase Joseph Campbell, the doors opened in walls are created from preparation! 

Nik Wallenda achieved his dream of walking a tightrope across Grand Canyon without a safety harness or net. What differentiated his successful dream from our unsuccessful ones?  PREPARATION!  He didn't decide one day to walk across the Grand Canyon, throw out a wire, hop up and start walking. If he had, he would have wished for wings on the way down! Nik had been preparing from early childhood by practicing and performing every day. Preparation for this specific walk took over a year including specially made shoes, a certain type of wire, a certain type of balance pole, even training with 100 mph wind in a torrential downpour. He was as prepared as possible when he made his "leap of faith" and stepped forward on that wire toward his dream.  

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What is your dream?  What preparations have you made before blindly making that leap of faith?  For example, have you done research, taken classes on how to run a business or hired experts to help you, or found a mentor in your chosen field?  You can manifest the right class, the best expert or the perfect mentor as tools!  

For me, preparation allowed me to make a leap of faith, quit my full-time job and move easily into my dream of a successful healing practice featuring being a radio host, a spiritual advisor, toe reading, writing, classes and speaking.

Don't just manifest your dream, also manifest the tools, prepare, then take a running start for your leap of faith.  Your dream can be your reality with the right preparation. Don't go splat taking that leap of faith!

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NANCY A NEWMAN is a best-selling author, speaker, radio show host for 12Radio.com and an advisor for 12Listen.com. She is also a registered Master Toe Reader and on-line instructor for Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. Nancy has training in many modalities including being a licensed Louise Hay Heal Your Life® Coach, Trainer and Workshop Facilitator.  She brings her message of empowerment to people throughout the world by teaching the tools for healing, loving yourself and discovering the peace within.

Monster Is As Monster Does by Mo Abdelbaki

It's an interesting fact that fairytale monsters often prey upon children. Whether it be ogres, wicked witches, trolls, or a Big Bad Wolf, the most horrible creatures plot to separate, devour, enslave, or otherwise victimize children. One explanation may be that these stories were intended to keep young listeners in line, but it seems more probable that humanity has, for millennia, defined civility by how seriously any culture takes the protection of their most valuable members, namely their children.

A new monster has crawled out of the stinking, stagnant ooze. Out of the swamp has come a creature that has acted with such depraved indifference to children, that it boggles the civilized mind. This creature has many heads, some of them with their eyes squeezed tightly shut, some pretending not to look but seeing it all, and some heads watching, grinning with glee. Most have cruelty and hatred in their hearts. These monsters have torn children out of the arms of their parents, with no viable plan to reunite the grieving families once again.

This is the latest state-sanctioned terror tactic being inflicted on illegal immigrants attempting to enter this country. Many of these refugees are fleeing from other monsters, imagining that they will end up in a better place, only to find themselves still in peril. 

These parents face the probability of losing their children into the gnashing jaws of a detention system that is currently swallowing upwards of 70 children a day, many of them getting moved around like a pea in the old shell game. Whether this is an extortion tactic to get a wall built, or a warning to future immigrants is irrelevant. What matters is that this is not the ideal of a civilized nation.

I was brought to tears as I listened to a recording of a young child crying for her Papa. Her heart was broken and so was mine. Her cries touched me, but they also hardened my heart and my resolve as to the need to voice my outrage and do whatever I can to bring attention to this barbarism.

Monsters generally shun the light, skulking in the shadows created by lies and intimidation. Our fear gives these creatures the power they need to prey upon us, just as the vampires of Gothic novels fed upon those who feared them and their reign of terror, that is, until the vermin were exposed to light.

We are that light, the blinding, cleansing rays of justice and decency. Our outrage and indignation blaze like the sun, exposing the truth to all who dare look. What are we to do? After all, we're only one person.

Alone, moved to find a way to make a difference, we begin moving forward and in doing so, we inevitably meet other reformers upon the path. We have no choice but to push onward, for the past evokes images of children behind barbed wire in Auschwitz, in the Killing Fields of Cambodia, or of youngsters torn from their parents to become soldiers for a warlord. We see them used as drug mules, kidnapped from their villages and sold into slavery and sexual servitude. Are we to be added to that list of criminals? If not, we have no other choice but to act, or expect to be held as complicit to a contemptible crime, an offense against humanity itself.

I will not play Renfield to Dracula, nor Igor to Frankenstein. I refuse to bow and simper to tyranny. I won't stay quiet as long as the voice of that sobbing child rips at my conscience. I refuse to remain silent, lest I find myself shunning the light and crawling into the muck and darkness, for that is where the other monsters live.

I choose the light.