On a windy day at Whiteman Airport in the LA basin I had the pleasure of spending some time with Robert DeLaurentis, the “Zen Pilot” and met the Spirit of San Diego [Piper Malibu Mirage] in person. Often in the air more than on the ground, Robert lives and breathes the adventure of flying while spreading the message of abundance, connection, and safety.
He is a noted speaker and author with a successful real estate business and over 1250 flight hours as a private pilot. Robert has his private, instrument and multi-engine ratings and holds a commercial pilot certificate and an advanced graduate degree in Spiritual Psychology.
His recently completed circumnavigation of the globe in his Piper Malibu was part spiritual journey, part fundraiser for programs at Lindbergh-Schweitzer Elementary School and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association [AOPA] Spirit of San Diego scholarship fund. He attributes the ability to pursue this lifelong dream of flying around the world to his use of applied spirituality principles.
His first book, Flying Thru Life focuses on helping businesses and individuals go far beyond what they ever believed was possible financially and personally. Robert believes applying the principles outlined in Flying Thru Life allows the manifestation of time and money for people to pursue their sometimes impossibly big dreams.
Robert puts forth that we should honor our desires from childhood and our passion. Allowing those desires to unfold helps to manifest them. “If you ask Spirit to become a painter, you are given a canvas and paint. This is about manifesting. The first step is to ask” Robert says. He suggests that we be open to what we receive and that it perhaps is a different path than we imagined. We could be following a path that our parents want us to follow instead of what we are passionate about. “When I honored passion, purpose and Spirit, my life accelerated” he says.
The book outlines 19 strategies to avoid negative self-talk and to re-frame fear and doubt into passion and purpose in life. He believes that when we are in alignment with our deepest dreams, desires and hopes, that we will receive gifts of time, money, and peace of mind. The gift of time manifests into more hours to fly and train. Financial gifts might be the source of money for an airplane, equipment or new rating.
Fear is oftentimes what holds us back from living our authentic life in a peaceful way. Robert also believes that what shows up in your plane is also reflected in your life, as the cockpit is a schoolroom. Fear manifests itself in so many ways. These fears hold us back in the life and in flying. Technology makes flying safer and less expensive. Preparation is the key to reduce fear. Practice makes practice, competency comes with practice.
Flying through Life has some great examples for “Type A” personalities. One example was when an expensive and critical piece of management software not working for his company. The initial discussion with the president of the software company was met with “You didn’t follow the instructions!” Robert then paused and communicated with the president in a thoughtful way where he told her his fears and then asked for help. The president then became very helpful and together they co-created a solution.
Last weekend I flew into San Carlos Airport in the San Francisco Bay area. My arrival was easy enough even though there was a TFR over San Jose Airport for the democratic convention, and San Carlos lies under San Francisco’s airspace and is very near Oakland and San Jose. I told ATC that I was unfamiliar with San Carlos and they were very helpful. The tower guys were super nice when I landed. On the way home I thought I would just fly reverse my steps for arrival. As I was taxing out the tower asked me if I wanted the Bay Meadows departure or the Belmont Slough departure quickly giving me details of each. The Bay Meadows departure sounded closest to what I wanted so I said I would choose it. As I got to the run-up area, I felt a little insecure about the instructions. I didn’t have a copy of the noise abatement procedure in my stack of paperwork I had for the trip. So I did what a lot of pilots maybe don’t do, I asked for clarification and help. “San Carlos Ground, 6619U would like to get clarification on the departure as I am unfamiliar and want to get it right.” “N6619U, San Carlos Ground, we love it when pilots ask questions. Thank you. Fly runway heading to 1200 feet, we will call your left turn to the 101 freeway.” I was so proud of myself for not faking it and asking for needed help.
What’s next for Robert? In addition to being a featured speaker for AOPA at Sun n Fun and their regional fly-ins, Robert is releasing his second book, Zen Pilot in the Summer of 2016. Robert muses on he latest book which details his trip around the world, “I think to some people it might sound strange, but I believe that flying can be the most spiritual thing that you do. Passion and purpose in alignment with Spirit. For me the spiritual component is enormous. The plane takes you from point A to point B, that is a destination, but flying through life is a journey. When people asked what I learned about flying around the world, I talk about the dream state. When I was flying there was a point in which I didn’t know if I was flying or dreaming [over North Africa]. It is the place I feel most connected. Planes are magical places.” A true ambassador of general aviation, Robert’s enthusiasm and goodwill is contagious. I believe what he wants most is for us all to know that if we can dream it, we also possess the ability to make those dreams come true.
To watch the video for Flying Thru Life click here
To purchase the book click here
The opinions expressed by the bloggers do not reflect AOPA’s position on any topic.