My experience with horns and hang gliding is figurative, not literal. And even though these figurative activities are not physical, I’m exhausted.

It’s maddening how exhausting the space between flow and control is. In the same books and journals that advise “Let go!” or “Step back and let things unfold,” I find paragraphs and essays that encourage me to “Fight!” and “Go for it!”

I’m making peace with these conflicting lines of counsel and beginning to understand that “Which is it?” is not the appropriate question, because it’s both.

A better question might be “When is it?” That is, when to grab it by the horns and when to let go; when to control and when to let it flow.

Sometimes the answer is easy because the beast is too massive for one person to break, tame, or control.

Let go of those horns!

The conundrums are the smaller beasts, the ones you can topple and pin to the ground with a twist of your arms. But should you?


Lately, I feel stuck. My hands grip the horns as the beast spins. I fly through the air in circles, the soles of my feet to the sun, unable to take a step forward or back. More unsettling than not having my feet on solid ground is wrestling several sets of horns at once.

  • Pushing my novels to publication
  • Balancing work and passion
  • Launching Inner Gardens
  • Saving the family farm
  • Healing a friendship

And as I spin, I ask myself where to dedicate my energy: the friendship, the farm, the novels, the business?

Or is it time to let go and see how it all unfolds, to find out what the beasts do if I let go? Will they disappear? Lose interest and resume grazing? Or will they charge me with a fury and power that remind me I need to grab those horns?

Control and Flow

I’m dizzy exhausted. I’m not a hang glider, yet I feel like I’m hang gliding, in a delicate balance between control and flow, between holding the control bar of the glider that helps me navigate and finding the flow of air to stay airborne.

I wish someone would tell me what to do. Or better, I wish someone would wrestle these beasts for me. But in the end, it’s just me and my beasts. Or me and my hang glider. It’s my mind that has to dip into the integrity of my heart, not so much to find the “truth,” but rather to find a true path, an authentic step forward as my feet find the ground. And they will find the ground.

I honestly don’t know what will happen with my novels, work, the farm, the retreats, or the friendship. But I’ll be out here testing the horns, leaning against the control bar, and sorting out when to ease up and let go.

When my feet do hit the ground, will they hit the ground running toward and with? Or will they hit it running away? I don’t know. Like you, I’ll have to wait and see.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2024