Updated: Feb 8
My family and I are avid travelers, and on Christmas afternoon we jet set off to New York, the city that never sleeps, or is that Seattle? Anyway, New York the big apple.
It's not until we are all strapped in and I have remembered the kids snacks, the kids, ear plugs, books and charged technology (most important for a 5 hour flight), that I remember my fear of turbulence.
Thoughts of 'We will Crash', 'We are going to die', and the token gesture thought of 'At least we are all going to die together' slips in too. The first few bumps start to raise the alarm and the loop of thoughts start to occur. My body feels sweaty and I am on high alert. Panic set in.
But resisting the feeling of fear heightens the panic. So I decided to allow the feeling to be there and not avoid or resist fear. As soon as I decided to let the feeling in, it gave me a little relief. A bit like when you open a fizzy bottle and some of the gas is released. I decided to become the watcher of my mind and became curious as to where I was feeling this feeling of fear in my body. This is known as a meta skill. My muscles were tense, the feeling was fast, there was what felt like a contraction at the top of my stomach and a tightening around my chest and shoulders.
I let it in and breathed it in and out with big deep breaths that filled my stomach. This feeling of fear was created by the thought in my mind. So I checked it out. It was illogical. Statistics show that travelling by plane are overwhelming safer than travelling by car. I am more likely to die of a snake bite (and being in a plane greatly decreases my chance of that happening)!
So I learned to let my fear in, welcome it (which made me giggle a bit), become the watcher of my mind and body to locate where I felt the vibration that made up this feeling of fear. I breathed it in and out, and lastly, recognised that my illogical thought of 'death by plane crash' was all drama I had created.
Instead, I practiced a new thought 'planes are a safe way to travel' (but not great for global warming, another story!). When I stepped off the plane, I felt empowered with the fact I got some authority over the emotion. I am not saying I got rid of the fear, only that I am becoming a person who believes that 'planes are a safe way to travel'. My willingness to be uncomfortable and my love of travel means I am sure I will have plenty more opportunities to welcome fear and to decrease or eliminate the feeling. Meantime, watch out for snakes.. those things are dangerous!