Just A Little Turbulence.
I’d just leaned my head against the window and closed my eyes when it happened. The sheer terror of it all lasted a mere 30 seconds or so (maybe longer…?). However, time passed so slowly it felt like minutes.
As the plane shook, a woman two rows back began screaming hysterically when the overhead bin above her opened. The plane dropped rapidly. I felt my stomach turn. The plane shook more. Another scream.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please return to your seat and fasten your seatbelt,” the flight attendant announced. The hiccup in her voice as she announced we’re experiencing “minor turbulence” made my heart pound.
In those moments, my life didn’t flash before my eyes. But two incredible things happened almost simultaneously:
- I pictured my dad upset, crying and wondering why I didn’t just take the plane ticket home for Christmas. “I told her not to go to Bali,” he said in my vision. I thought, for a split second, that if the plane crashed my dad’s heart would be broken.
- As soon as my dad disappeared from my mind and I heard the collective gasp of the guests on board the plane, I knew someone needed to remain calm. God, let a peace beyond all understanding radiate from me at this moment, I prayed. Help my energy calm those around me. I began to focus on my breath, the very thing that calms me. As I breathed in and out, I envisioned on a gigantic bubble, like the ones you’d blow at the park as a kid on a hot summer day. The plane was inside a giant bubble slowly floating to the ground. No wind. No turbulence. No popping. Just gliding effortlessly and safely to the ground.
I continued this meditation for the next 15 minutes, long after the turbulence was gone. The plane touched down in what was the most gentle landing I’ve ever experienced in all my flights.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
-Charles R. Swindoll
That bumpy (putting it lightly) plane ride reminded me of life. Many of us go through life coasting along. Not necessarily paying attention. Nothing special happening. And then we experience a profound moment of turbulence that shakes us to our core and throws us off course.
Loss of a job. An affair. Cancer. Divorce. Death of a Loved one. War.
In those moments that feel like they’ll break you, you have two choices: fall down or rise strong. Let fear win or have the courage to stand back up, react differently than expected. Changing your perspective to focus on the positive over the negative can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. Me, I choose to live – fully. To see the positive. To look for the lesson. To feel everything. To take chances. To make the most of every moment.
When life happens and you feel moments of turbulence, how do you react?