by Neil Zeltzer

Life has many opportunities to fall or fly. I believe that given the choice, flying is always the better alternative.

Most of my personal growth work has been about learning how to accept myself, no matter whom or what faced me. I love the opportunity to be “me” in every situation, and to love “me” with all my glorious golden parts. Loving my unknown and usually disliked hidden part is what 14 years of doing this work has afforded me. Stepping into my hidden parts has been a huge blessing, a blessing I did not truly realize until July 6 2007.

On this particular Friday, while working on a second floor’s outside porch, I fell!

The railing I was leaning against opened like a door that I stepped through. I fell 12 feet onto the ground in front of me. At least, I should have fallen, but instead I flew!

Looking back, I have no memory of the flight itself. I was only aware that the railing was out of my reach, and then I was on the ground.

I felt no pain, just an awareness that my wrists suddenly looked like snakes as I lay there. Within minutes the emergencymedical crew was lifting me into an ambulance and taking me to the hospital. Only then did my thought catch up with the pain. In a nutshell, I had broken both wrists, ten of my ribs, and fractured my collar bone.

The most profound part of this story happened when I awoke the next day. The nurse said, “Get up and walk.” My first walk was to the bathroom – to my amazement – where I came to the first of many realizations. I could not wipe my own butt!

Wow, what an epiphany. Letting go of control was my best option, and I took it. I started to ask for help, andI got it!

When I let go and asked for help is when I started to fly, really fly.

And I began to see, too, really see. The nurses, the doctors, my wonderful girlfriend, my family, my friends – I saw them all, and they were truly there for me.

I stepped away from “doing.” I simply “was.” And everything i needed came to me – care, love, money, rides, food, laughter, compassion, expertise, friendship. All I had to do was accept, which I did. I just accepted, and I flew. I have not stopped flying since.

My lesson was and is that everything in this world is mine. All I have to do is ask for it – and fly!


neilzeltzer Neil Zeltzer is been a house painter for 25 years. a garment worker for 15 years, and a liver of life for 57 years. He cut dresses in the NYC from 1969-1983. From 1985-2008, he worked as a house painter in Rockland County NY. He has one child, Matthew. With his  girlfriend, Honey. starting in October, he will be living full-time in an RV “flying” across the country.