Being Mindful and waiting in an airport
Stress is everywhere when you travel. Anxiety elevates from the second the journey begins. Today I had to stop and put some fuel in the car. Parking nightmares..and the price! The rules at check-in can vary from airport to airport. Are they going to weigh my hand luggage? What if it's too heavy? Is my lipstick a liquid? I don't look like my passport, they don't believe it's me!
Seriously? I have to remove my flip-flops? That floor has been walked over by squillions of people. Has it been washed? What if they have icky feet? Oh here we go! My bra has set the alarm off but it didn't do that last time. Now I'm causing a backlog because I can't zip up my bag quick enough. It's hot in here. I look suspicious. And relax.... Nope the gate has been called and it's 18 minutes away...run..I will take a wee near the gate.
I am sitting, waiting and listening and watching the energy around me of the hectic and frenzied people. We are not in control. Today I sat on the flight and quickly closed my eyes. I doze. The Captains voice says he is very sorry but the plane is broken. We all disembark and now a new frenzy has begun of stroppy people feeling panicky. What now? So far we have heard the aircrew were sick, the radio is broken, a new part is being sent and now there are no slots in air traffic...
The staff don't have all the information, some young posh girls are kicking off, another cries because her Dad is sick and she needs to get to him. The knock on anxiety of the passengers is much more than a ripple. One is off to Gran Canaria, another Camaroon. Meetings are being cancelled, threats of suing the company and not an offer of a free cup of tea anywhere. Another drama queen has just arrived! I am starting to really feel for the staff here!
So why am I being mindful? I am sittng taking in all in. I can not change the situation. I just simply listen and flow with the day. I am most probably going to be late for a presentation I am delivering, so I will have to be even more fabulous to make up for my lateness.
I am in the moment. I am here. I felt those butterflies for a moment and then I simply let it go. My good deed was to help the Mum and her new born. Her planning was now up the spout. So a little kindness hopefully lifted the load for her.
I am taking notice of my surroundings and enjoying watching the show play out in front of me. This is quality time to reflect and time that I didn't have. Time that I have won as a consequence of the faulty aircraft. I am just aware. I am listening.
It doesn't cost to smile or connect with someone when travelling. We all have our stories and challenges. The atmosphere and sounds can actually be quite tranquil. Coffee machines, tills ringing, cans being opened, muffled conversations on phones, distant alarms sounding, air conditioning humming. I am listening and relaxing beyond each sound.
Next time you begin your journey, challenge yourself to your own mindful behaviour. By being in the moment you could actually experience a pleasurable delay!
My journey today is still delayed and I am looking forward to the story unfolding.