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Phoenix Fly

The mythical phoenix has been my ‘totem’ for a long time. I’ve felt a strong connection to the beautiful fire bird who dies and rises again from the ashes of it’s former self. The events of my life continue to heighten my emotional sistership to this glorious creature. When we lived in Abbotsford Craig and the boys got me a gift certificate for a tattoo of a phoenix I designed for the back of my right hand. That was my first tattoo.

When Errol and I played VR Beat Saber together, he found a map for The League of Legends – Phoenix and downloaded it for me. It was not a song I was familiar with until then, but I was pleased that he had thought of me. My skill level was far from impressive, and this map’s easiest level started at Hard. I instantly fell in love with the song and the choreography of the map though I struggled and struggled before I was able to complete it on it’s first level of difficulty. I attempted it at least once every time I played and Errol encouraged me, even helping me by going into practice mode so we could slow it down and figure out which sequences I was missing. I eventually got it – I could play it through and attained a ‘full combo’ (played all the way through with no mistakes). By the time Errol went away to school in the fall of 2019 I had graduated to the 2nd level of difficulty – Expert. The swirling, dipping, diving, and dodging of the sequences captivated me as much as the music and lyrics of the song.

When Errol passed, I wasn’t able to even consider playing Beat Saber for over a year. When I finally picked up the wands and put on the headset again, I was devastated to find that the Phoenix map had become corrupt. I tried removing and re-downloading it to no avail. There was another map of the song that worked but it just wasn’t the same. The map didn’t soar and blaze the way it should. I continued to delete and re-download my favourite map periodically but never got it to work again.

As you know, this spring and early summer was rough for me. It did finally bring me to a time of real healing and growth over the past months. I had the opportunity to share my blog with my therapist and she has encouraged me to explore a deeper immersion into the various social media platforms. When Dylan was home last week, I asked him about it and invited him to help me figure out my options. I was thrilled to receive his very thoughtful comments and I am so excited to see possibilities ahead that will include expanding into other platforms with Dylan’s help and guidance.

Yesterday I had an amazing walk. Espresso and I were out in the gorgeous fall afternoon for over an hour. We walked through the regional park and when we came to the tobogganing mound that sits behind one of the ball diamonds I sank down onto the slope and looked up into the sky. When is the last time you have done this? I try to indulge in this activity at least once every fall (once the bugs have hidden for the winter). Just laying there with my gaze unfocused taking in the endless expanse of cloud-clustered blue, my mind expands, and I feel connected with the universe – the Earth below me and the endless openness overhead. It is a surreal experience. One that I highly recommend! As I lay there yesterday, with Espresso enjoying sniffing all the scents within range of her leash tether, I began thinking about writing. I began trying to pick apart the knots of reason behind what has kept me from spreading my gift for all these years. The tangles of emotion and thought seemed to spiral down into the mist of self-doubt and denial connected to the belief that I am not enough… not good enough, not skilled enough, not connected enough, not special enough. I shared my tapping challenge with you about a month ago on this very subject. The 8-day challenge brought considerable healing, but it is a subject I continue to work on. Lying there on that hillside I knew that I need to do some tapping specifically on my failure to do enough with the talent I’ve been blessed with. It was a powerful and emotional session. Again, I am so grateful for the healing EFT has brought into my life.

After my tapping session I got up and went to play Beat Saber for some aerobic exercise. I chose to begin at the bottom of my playlist to dip into songs that I don’t often get to. There, a few maps from the bottom were the 2 versions of League of Legends - Phoenix. I clicked one thinking it was the one I didn’t really like – but knew worked. Just a few beats into the song I realized I was immersed in a baby miracle – a very powerful sign. Out of nowhere, I was drawn into my favorite song – my favorite map! I hadn’t redownloaded it. There is no logical reason that it should have suddenly begun working again and that I would pick it by mistake. Tears sluiced down my cheeks to pool in the foam mask of the headset, but my limbs and heart were flying! I played through the song and sat down, tears flowing freely, the words, “thank you, thank you, thank you!” tumbling over and over from my lips. I want to share some of the song’s lyrics with you. I’m sure you will see why it resonates so powerfully with me:

“What are you willing to lose? You cover your wounds, but underneath them A million voices in your head that whisper, "Stop, now" Another twist of the knife, turn of the screws It's all in your mind and it's fighting you Arm yourself, a storm is coming Well, kid, what you gonna do now? It's your reflection looking back to pull you down

So, are you gonna die today or make it out alive? You gotta conquer the monster in your head and then you'll fly Fly, phoenix, fly It's time for a new empire Go bury your demons then tear down the ceiling Phoenix, fly.”

- By Cailin Russo, Chrissy Costanza and League of Legends

Here is a full combo link to the Expert+ map being played on Beat Saber. This is where I’m able to play it now – Errol would be so proud even though I’m far from a perfect play through! I’m just so thankful for this powerful sign – a reassurance that it’s ok, and it’s time to burst out of the ashes to fly as best as I can.

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This life of mine has  given me many rewarding and challenging experiences that have led me to discover many unique perspectives that I feel compelled to share. 

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