living in Canada while I was still living in the US, we would make trips back and forth at least twice a year. Since I've moved to where he lives, I've traveled home twice in the past year and a half to visit with family.
That is a lot of travel. A lot of planes. And the more time I travel on the planes, the more I see this fear slowly creeping in of planes/traveling on planes.
The habit I've created the past three years has been to go to sleep as soon as I get on the plane - like immediately. No messing around, no wasting time, go to sleep as soon as I'm situated in the seat. And then 'hopefully' sleep through the entire plane ride. Often I would tell myself it's because it makes the trip go faster, or I've stayed up late the night before due to excitement for the travels, so I am sleepy on the plane. A few reasons that seemed completely reasonable to me.
Though, this time around I can see a more self-honest reason I like to sleep on planes... the deeper reason hiding behind all the other reasons I give myself to not have to face the actual reason. THE FEAR... fear of planes, fear of crashing in a burning blaze from thousands of feet above ground.
I have traveled on planes a lot throughout my life, never having a care in the world about it. I would actually enjoy the plane rides, and glue my face to the window taking in the spectacular view of the land below. You could say I love it.
Though over the years I notice a growing fear every time I get onto a plane... I think, "this time is it..." I think my luck has run out, and something could go terribly wrong. I even have images within my mind of an accident, an explosion, a crash... lots of images I've seen throughout the years in movies and TV series.
So while I was prepared to face the real reason I like to sleep on planes, I was also prepared to face the fear, in that I would not suppress myself into sleep, but I would rather walk through the fear and face it head on. That was my plan.
And that is what I did. I got on the plane, situated my bag below the seat in front of me, opened up my book, popped in a piece of bubble gum, and embraced the journey ahead. And then there was an announcement about mechanical issues with a part of the plane that prevented us from taking off right away... !!!
I kept my cool though, breathed through it, knowing they are common, and I've had similar experiences before. They wont let the plane go if there are any issues.
And so we took off and soared into the sky. I was quite fine, and enjoyed looking out the window. It's funny because even though I have this fear of the plane crashing... it doesn't stop me from staring straight out that window to the distant land below.
So it was a cool point for me to firstly, be self-honest about the fear I was having in relation to flying, and then to also correct the fear in real time as not allowing it to direct me to sleep, but to rather stay awake, be aware... face the experience of flying, and in real time - stop any thoughts/images, or emotions of fear in relation to flying that came up during those moment. And I'm happy to report, in case you were wondering... all went well. (me typing this was your hint).
Something to consider... how much do TV shows and movies, the images they broadcast, do we receive and hold onto to? How many times can you see the same image of a plane crashing, with the emotions attached it to, before you start broadcasting the same thing within your own mind? If we are not aware, and in directive principle of/as our minds - we absorb information, and make it our own, and then create fears and future projections out of them that we then trust and assume could be valid.
Don't let fears influence you... rather be self-honest about your fears, and face them!
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