In early September as I drove across a small portion of the Mojave Desert—the dashboard indicating 106-degrees outside—I spotted a hot air balloon dancing gracefully across the cloud-dotted sky. Finding a safe spot, I stopped the truck and hopped out, camera in hand.

After being body-slammed by the heat—the breath sucked out of my lungs—my first thought was, “Heat rises, the people in that balloon must be miserable,” (unless those were grimaces on their faces instead of smiles, and they were waving for help instead of a friendly hello. Oh geez, you don’t suppose?!)…

My second thought was “Untethered! Those people aren’t “tied down” to anything.” There’s “no strings attached,” so to speak.

When was the last time you didn’t have any “strings attached?”

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

28 thoughts on “Untethered!

  1. I feel very untethered right now as I am making the final preparations to AT LAST open my own business. Many thanks to you Laurie for the inspiration, support and encouragement.
    I truly have never felt so free.

  2. So Laurie is it the “hot air” that makes us rise above everything thing or the energy of our desire to move us beyond who we are to who we wish to become?

    I thought I was untethered but I realize now that we are all connected and being untethered causes selfishness to rule the day, with a lot of Hot air!

    • Jeff – You ask good questions, and just like in the weekly Internal Interview questions in the Life Harmony program, the question is each person’s to interpret. I lespecially ike your, “…or the energy of our desire to move us beyond who we are to who we wish to become?” I think of the “Collective Conscious/ness” as a group of extremely positive, untethered energy — not filled with “hot air” or ego in any way.

  3. Laurie by personality I think, I rarely really feel untethered without taking some specific and purposeful actions. From the time I was very young I was responsible for others and for animals. Being an oldest child and having my own children young I just took it for granted that this is the way life was. Of course you listened, heard and got up with babies and young children at night! I was always a light sleeper so it seemed second nature. However, I do remember one time that I was surprised by an untethered experience….

    I was on my first road trip to a conference when my youngest child was about a year and half old. I went into my hotel that night, locked the door and slept. I could not ever remember sleeping like that before. There was no one to listen for. Everyone was being cared for by someone else. I woke up refreshed in a way that felt odd.

    I lay there thinking…. I had been waking up during the night for as long as I could remember. I used to wake up with my youngest brother who was six years younger than I was. I always woke up with my younger sister who was 12 years younger until I left home. Then I had my own first child when I was 19 years old. In between I had shared housing and naturally listened for everyone else during the night.

    What an exhilarating experience to stay in a hotel room and ONLY need to take care of me until morning. This feeling has never left me. I get my best sleeps when I stay alone in a hotel room. Odd I know because many people hardly sleep at all in a strange place. But for me it is a huge gift, even to this day to have a night to myself.

    • Terrill – I enjoyed the broad sweep you painted with your memory brush, including childhood and motherhood, both. Your siblings, children, and now grandchildren were/are fortunate to have your heart-based attention. Like you, I adore sleeping in a hotel — it means I’m traveling. In other words, enjoying some type of adventure whether it’s for business or pleaure 🙂

  4. I just had 6 weeks of an untethered experience with my partner being on his bicycle tour from border to border through the mountain passes. I was still rather tethered to the house and those chores – not to mention the foot problems which are still plaguing me.

    I just slept and slept having that whole bed to myself. A couple of times I got up and took care of the dog and then went back to bed. In one 24 hour period; slept 21 of them!

    I know exactly what Terrill is describing. After taking care of my mum 24/7 for 3 years, I find myself just fully reclining into those free moments that present themselves.

    • Patricia – Even though your partner was the one who was away, didn’t it feel just like a glorious vacation? In addition to our “together vacation,” every year Len and I each take at least one week-long solo vacation. He usually goes to a flying type event, I usually do something with writing. It’s a phenomenal way to recharge our personal batteries. And by the way, your mother was extremely fortunate to have you has her care giver in her last years. Blessings to you!

    • Readers – For those of you who listen to Pandora Internet Radio, type in the name — Gary Stadler — and you’ll be enchanted by the soothing music that will wash over you; that will go a long way toward untying any knots and untethering you…

  5. I too feel untethered when traveling for business or pleasure, when staying in a hotel.

    Tonight, it is 6:30 and I am so tired from traveling this week that it feels awesome to go to bed early…

  6. Yes, those poor people are probably still up there wondering “where did that nice lady with the camera go? do you think she told anyone we were up here?”

    I have strings attached to everything. January has my heart strings. I have some God strings out there, too, tied to my eternal presence. What I am trying to let go of are the strings I have tied to my expectations and attachments.

  7. Untethered. What a nice word. What a nice concept. Most of us have tethers that we have volunteered for, I mean, you have your utilities for example. We have our relationships that tether us to one another. We have our jobs and financial tethers to maintain. Since my children are grown I have the Chicken Ladies as a tether to my house, no more throwing a change of clothes in a bag and taking off for a day or so, without making chicken-sitting arrangements. So, some of our tethers are the ones that keep us down to Earth, some just keep us tied down. I just imagine the exhilaration of flying up, up, up to the sky, as long as I was assured a safe landing!

    • Sandi – I really enjoyed the distinction you make here: “So, some of our tethers are the ones that keep us down to Earth, some just keep us tied down.” Knowing the difference is vital.

  8. Laurie: The exilarating photo of the hot air balloon is a great lead-in for the age-old ‘strings attached” question that is broached in many aspects of life. I can recall numerous instances where we bought something or agree to something with the advance stipulation that no strings were attched, meaning of course there would be no further responsiblity beyond the initial commitment. It’s a phrase that goes in a number of directions as these fascinating responses suggest.

    • Sam – “It’s a phrase that goes in a number of directions as these fascinating responses suggest.” And that’s what makes likfe so doggone interesting – the multitude of directions, layers, and possibilities 🙂 I hope you have a great cinematic weekend — I always look forward to reading your Monday Morning Diary over at Wonders in the Dark.

  9. Hi, Laurie. Interesting post! Even though I didn’t know you had written it (hadn’t read it until now) I was humming “Up up and away, my beautiful balloon” during one of our trips to Marquette this week. Last time I felt untethered? Can’t tell you the exact moment, but sometimes it feels like too much identification with a self falls away and there is only the freedom of life arising in its simple exquisite beauty. That feels totally untethered.

  10. Hi Laurie

    Lots of interesting stuff in that post.
    Yes heating air makes it less dense, so it rises, but in rising it expands, and thus cools.
    So what we find as we go up in the air is that it gets cooler (hence snow stays on the mountain tops longer than on the lower slopes, as it is cooler up there). This is known as the adiabatic lapse rate, and is about 2 deg C (3 deg F) for every 1,000 ft of altitude. So if it was 106 F at your ground level, then hopping in the balloon, and going up 5,000 ft, would make it a much cooler 91 (still very comfortable), going up a further 10,000ft would drop it to a cool 61, and a further 10,000ft would put you in the freezing zone.

    In terms of being untethered, that is an interesting concept.
    A tether to me is a rope that binds us to a stick in the ground.
    We cannot escape the laws of physics, and sometimes we can organise within them to gain freedoms that are not normally available (like flying suspended beneath a balloon).

    I do not see myself as tethered by anything, and I do acknowledge all of the many layers of laws and relationships and connections that exist, and within which I am able to exercise my freedom. I do not see those things as tethers, as in any sense restricting my freedom, quite the contrary, for without those laws and connections, my existence itself would not be possible.
    It seems to me that our existence as aware entities capable of choice comes from the very small gap that seems to exist in the laws of nature, the small space in the probability curves that seem to define the laws that make matter and life possible. Within the boundaries of those probability curves we can exercise our freedom. When you multiply out that effect through enough levels, the freedom delivered is almost infinite.

    So in that sense, my entire existence is untethered, but not unconnected.

    • Ted – Your mind, the way you think, never (ever!) ceases to amaze me! I try to learn something new every day, but I think you’ve got me covered for about a week 🙂 I love the way you wrapped with, “…my entire existence is untethered, but not unconnected.”

  11. Pingback: Untethered | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

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