Earlier this week I had a harrowing experience on an airplane. I mean, it was worse than my emergency diversion to Iceland when we lost 1 of our 2 engines over the ocean where it was supposed to be 30 minutes turned 2 hours because we lost speed. Where you don’t even wake up your partner because he is sleeping and you know it will freak him out so bad that he will break into the cockpit and try to take over the plane. The one where even the pilot gets on and says ‘I hope we make it’. Yeah, worse than that one.
This one was short, but way more harrowing.
So we go from LA to Reno, and I guess the weather is bad in Reno. I didn’t know all the other airlines cancelled the flights to Reno, though if I had known probably would have been proud of my airline for toughing it out. Yet I had never really felt turbulence like this.
So we circle over head for a big, and our captain announces we are in a holding pattern until we get a ‘break’. So after about 20 minutes, he goes down for a bit, he tells us to hold on, and we go back up. Not so bad I think, and really wanting us to get to Reno so if I’m honest slightly annoyed he didn’t go for it.
He says we don’t have much fuel, so we are going to hang around another 10 minutes and if we don’t get an opening we’re going to have to head back. Ugh, I think, and start going through all the things I’ll have to do to cancel / change my plans. Totally out of the present moment and not grateful to be alive.
We hang out another 35 minutes, and I start to get a little ancy as he said we were low on fuel a while ago. What is he thinking? He says another break is coming and we’re going to make another attempt, but it will get bumpy, so HOLD ON.
So another five minutes and down we go. It’s pretty bad when we get in the thick of the clouds, and I’ve been through a lot of storms in my life. A lot. Yet what I’m not prepared for is when we get out of the clouds, it feels like it gets even worse.
We are sliding all over the place, back and forth, side to side. There is no stabilization, and we are getting closer and closer to the ground. The plane feels totally out of control, and no way are we even aligned with the runway. It was freaky.
So all of a sudden he shoots us back upward, heading toward what now appear to be much darker more ominous clouds, and we are shaking everywhere. I’m in my head, full breathing mode turned on keeping me OK but not quite serene, and not exactly worried about dying but not wanting the experience of crashing in a plane. Totally out of the present, in my head, and not in the best of states.
It is at that moment I remember why I do what I do. While I have been working on my belly breathing, I’m in my head and not present. So I decide to take out a Serenity scent Mood-stick and help focus on the in and out, in and out. I do it at first to kind of be funny, but then I notice it actually working. As I am not only engaged in something in the present, I am getting an enjoyable sensation in the moment. And then to add a little humor, I decide to shoot a little spoofy video to make fun of my ridiculousness.
Granted, the turbulence at this point isn’t bad but you get the point. It was fun, brought me present, got me breathing deeply, and had me enjoying an experience that I wouldn’t have found quite as enjoyable otherwise. As what was really unenjoyable about it was not the bumpy ride (I LOVE rollercoasters!), it was the entire scenario going on in my brain. THAT bumpy ride, I didn’t need to be taking.
So next time you want to amplify a positive state in an experience, try using a scent. Use one of our Mood-sticks, or your own. And share how it took you out of your brain and into the moment, turning something potentially stressful into an experience where you find some kind of serenity.