Learning to Fly

I disrobe, lay face down, and breathe deeply.

She comes first to my feet, and when she touches them, there is a spark of energy. She responds by saying, “Wow, you really do fly.” She has no idea how meaningful this statement is to me.

I identify as a flyer.

On my adventures to Antarctica, this last January, I took along with me one small library book that had been stowed in my carry-on by my husband, Adam. It was a short story collection from Urusla K. Le Guin, called Changing Planes. My favorite entry was a story called, “The Flyers of Gy”.

This story is about a species of humanoids, some of whom develop wings during adolescents. The essence of the parable is that there are those who were born to fly, those who desire to fly but don’t, and those who would never desire to fly. The essence is that there are those who are born with wings, and those who aren’t; among those who aren’t, there may be those who are jealous of the flyers, but this isn’t really covered as much as those who used to fly, but have lost the ability to. The sudden death on the wing by wing failure is a major point: everyone who flies knows that at any point, their lives will likely come to a sudden end because of their need to fly…but they continue to fly. There is no predicting wing failure. The constant fear is overruled by the sensation of flying, the need to fly, the imperative of it.

I’ve been a flyer my whole adult life. I can’t stop myself, even when I have tried. It is inauthentic to who I am and what makes me whole.

Flyers are a lot of things. They can inspire others to want to fly. They can intimidate those who can’t imagine flying like that. They can be judged for not having their feet on the ground. They can wear themselves out with the constant flapping of wings. The destination not yet reached. They take lovers on the fly. They have trust to leave their babes in the safety of others. Flight comes with great rewards, & also great risks, but the risks for a flyer not flying are far worse than those of flying.

Flyers are free in a way that can’t be found when grounded.

She works her way through my body, one quadrant at a time.

Each section of my body feels like it corresponds to an aspect of my life that needs to be worked through. To release the tension and energy that no longer serve me, making space for new energy to abound.

My children come up first. My desire to spend quality time with them. I release any remaining fragments of a desire for another child. I realize that I don’t need to have maternity leave to give myself permission to take time with our boys. If I desire more connection with other children, I have the ability to do this in forms other than having another child myself.

This leads to my sexual awakening. Feeling that now is the time for me to explore my desires and seek pleasure in ways I haven’t even yet considered. There is a desire to set myself free in ways I have yet to know. To form meaningful connections and explore what does it for me, inspiring others to fulfill themselves on a deeper level.

She moves down to my hip, and senses my identical twin sister attached there. I feel her physically being released as she pulls my hip up to the side. I reflect that it is no surprise that this is my favorite sleeping and cuddle position.

As if for the first time, I recognize and accept my unique balance of feminine and masculine energies. The drive in me that has always been determined to work hard and be the provider. The sensual and stylish side of myself, that rejected being a tom boy. I couldn’t be a tom boy if I also liked wearing dresses. Reflecting on the reaction when the softness of me comes as surprise, as if my softness is hidden in plain sight. We discuss the fluidity of gender in my family, and I express my gratitude at the acceptance there is of a wide variety of sexual and gender dimensions that exist among us.

Pride to Fly

For myself, this is a self-acceptance of myself being both polyamorous and bi-sexual. It has been a journey of self-discovery, shame, holding back, and now releasing of myself in a new form. Last year when I saw a friend post something about being bi-sexual, I reached out to share my admiration of her as a role model, since this wasn’t something I had earlier in my life. I wondered then how long it would take me to come out in pride myself. It feels both scary as fuck, and liberating to be open about who I truly am.

As we work through our session, I move into work mode. Dumping out everything that has been on my mind over the last period. Recalling past realizations that haven’t yet been acted on fully. Knowing that my path is to transition to the role of Owner and to expand our team to grow and sustain itself to meet the long term goals and purpose that I had when I founded Sweet Haven just over four years ago.

Then came my offering to go to a Prayer Dance, a ceremony that Cindy will be a leader of, and will be held later this week in Wisconsin at Potter’s Farm. They are cow bones, given to me by my lover, as a symbol of love for my boys. They are passed on with the intention of serving as an inspiration and role model to my boys and the children in my life.

As she comes to a close, and returns to my feet, she closes by saying, “& now you can go back to flying”. There are no mistakes. She knows what she is doing. I never mention to her the meaning of identifying as a flyer, but I don’t have to, she already clearly sees me for who I am.

I am free to fly.

Cindy Carlton is a licensed massage therapist and energy worker. She facilitates healing people’s bodies with lightness and joy, so they can feel grounded, energetic, and strong. The experience I have shared here was a combined session of energy and body work. You can book a session at her healing space, located in downtown Vancouver, WA. Cindy can also be followed on social media @facilitatedhealth.

“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”

― Shannon L. Alder


  1. Ravi on June 16, 2022 at 1:07 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience and your pride, for learning to be true to you. To fly as you do.

    It also makes my heart happy that spending more time with your boys is such a present and deep desire. I remember feeling that when Wally passed away, and I desired to have Teagan. She and they are such precious people in our lives.

    As you know, reading the first draft brought me quickly to tears, and now I beam with admiration. As a more grounded being, I’ve been nervous to watch you fly at times, but I trust that listening to your is the only viable option. I am excited to see how and where you will fly next. 🕊

Leave a Comment