Fear… Stupid four letter word. Makes we want to vomit when i think about the power it has over so many of us. Myself included.. (until now). Being a Coach, a Medium and a Practitioner of Natural medicine and Metaphysics you would think that with ALL this knowledge and understanding and healing work that I would be Fear Free! I mean come on. I am the one who is sharing with everyone all of my energy techniques, all of the message from guides and even the herbal remedies and to help ameliorate the symptoms. I am full of all that knowledge, all that understanding, all that guidance and still… i can’t get my self on to an airplane? 20 years i have been circumnavigating the globe to get from point A to point B via ship. A trip that takes the average person 12 hours takes me 6 days. I would solace myself in the enjoyment of the romance and the beauty of the trip. I am not going to lie, traveling my ship is one of my favorite things to do and will continue to be. However there is a big difference between doing something out of the sheer love of it and out of necessity. Taking the ship everywhere went from being shameful and embarrassing to becoming my emblematic badge i wore. People were fascinated by my ingenuity and ability to not let a little thing like claustrophobia keep me from seeing the world.
This last trip though… this was the one to change it all. I was making my usual journey two days of driving from Florida to NY, a couple days in NY to see clients, then a ship for 6 days from NY to the UK, then a few days in the UK to see clients, then a train ride to the Ferry from England to Holland, a 17 hour train ride (with one switch) to get to Austria, a few days in Austria to see friends, then a 20 hour train ride from Austria to Romania. There we had a brilliant 7 day retreat where people came from around the world (none by ship) to take part. We had folks from the US, the UK, Jordan, Australia, etc etc. There i was helping to grow and expand their minds, bringing them to a place of removing their blocks and allowing in their light. I could feel myself shifting. It is the gift of being a coach as that every time we coach others we are always coaching ourselves simultaneously.
I saw an amazing woman who did a Shamanic treatment on me too (write me if you would like her info) and i could feel as if a layer of skin that had been on me my whole life was gently being pulled away and i became lighter.. I even wept as if this layer which was so obviously hindering me felt as well as if it was protecting me.. The duality of fear – that which stops us, but we also believe keeps us safe. Is that not why we hold on to the fear.. because letting go might in some way make us vulnerable or harmed in some way?
After our wonderful retreat came to a close i found myself harrying to the train station to once again make the journey back to Austria. Only this time there was a four hour delay in a tiny city which had just a small room with no doors and temperatures in the 50’s. I sat there with my laptop and my winter coat, gloves, hat and scarf on, watching movies on my laptop and praying for the train to come. Once it arrived it was once again a day’s journey until i reached Vienna. There i had 2 days until another 20 hour train ride to Rome. Finally i made it to the return ship. Now it would be only another 14 days until i was back in Florida. Sadly, this was the only ship that fit my timing. By day 2 i already wanted to be back home. Staring up at the vast sky i reminded myself that were i in a plane i would have been home 2 days ago. The travel of beauty and opulence became my gilded cage for the fortnight.
Once upon land i promised myself i would enter the 21st century (hell, the 20th century) and one again get on that plane. Let me explain it not a fear of flying, i think flying is WAY safer than driving any day of the week (especially in Florida). It is the claustrophobia. That intense pressure in your chest when you feel your own personal fear taking grip of your body and mind. I had racked my brain for decades asking how to rid myself of this fear, how do i let it go, i used to fly (i was always fearful), but i did it. How, how, how?? Shifting my mindset, visualization, breathing, reading, studying, coaching, being coached, etc….
Then in one moment of meditation and release the answer stood before me. You are focusing on the wrong expectation. What if you don’t try to rid yourself of the fear. What if you just let it be and focus instead on you going through the motions of everything with no expectation around the fear, just the expectation of taking the trip.
An hour later i booked my flight. I gave myself 2 weeks in advance.
I made sure i told everyone i knew so that there would be no backing down. Accountability is the backbone of the success in the work i do. Every time a worrisome thought entered my head i just came back to the now. Am i getting on the plane now? NO.. so what am i doing now? I am packing! Then focus on that. Am i getting on the plane now? NO.. so what am i doing? I am having dinner.. so focus on that now..
This went on every day for two weeks. I went to a friend of mine and i got a prescription for valium. Just in case. Believe me as a practitioner of holistic medicine, i had it all, st johns wort, baldrian, valerian, kava kava, rescue remedy, just to name a few. Lavender oil to inhale and every acupressure technique memorized.
I will be honest, because i want everyone else to know what i did and not be ashamed for feel that they cannot do this to. At the airport my fight or flight kicked in. Everything inside me said flight.. and i dont mean on the plane! I was ready to take off running. Although i had a cocktail of homeopathic relaxants that should have taken down an elephant, my heart was beating out of my chest, my hands were shaking, my chest was tight and i felt waves of nausea. I reached for a valium.. scared of its affects for a girl who has only taken a tylenol with codine once in her life and that made her ill. So i took the little tiny pill, hard to imagine such a little spec of nothing could do anything. Cut the pill in half and swallowed it down with water and awaited my next move.
I garnered my strength got up and went to the security line. Everyone had told me so many stories about removing shoes and going through radiation causing devices and being pat down, etc etc.. The universe was kind to me this day. Didnt have to even remove my laptop out of my bag. Didnt take off a shoe. Didnt get pat down. Didnt go into a device. Just walked through the x-ray and was handed back all my items.
I felt the medication kick in as my arms and legs grew heavy and i felt as if i had run a mile. My breathing slowed down, the pain in my chest loosened and i realized that i was just an observer watching this woman go on a plane ride. There she was, just sitting there calmly, looking around, taking it all in, almost excited about the adventure ahead.
Boarding was called and this woman got up and got in line. Walking around and just seeing the world with wonder and awe of all the new technologies and sleek designs she had not seen 20 years prior. A friendly flight attendant welcomed her on board and told her where to go. An equally friendly woman in the window seat welcomed her to their row. They would have an empty seat between them for the whole journey allowing them both a little extra space to stretch out as well. She put her carry on in the overhead bin and her laptop bag by her feet below. She was amazed at the enormous amount of space she felt she had. If this was economy, she would be swimming in business! There was so much to see, touchscreens on every seat with all sorts of amusing things. You could see where the flight was and all pertinent information about the journey, there was a button to call the attendant, turn on the light, adjust the air con, there were movies and shows and games and even an onboard electronic magazine for buying things!! It was miraculous. There was so much to see and do there was an excitement all around. The plane began to taxi and she even forgot to think about the door that was sealing her in that had caused her so much fear and anxiety before. She pulled out her mp3 player and carefully selected the song she had chosen for her inaugural flight. As the music started to play in her ears she could feel the plane start to pick up speed.. there was a feeling of exhilaration and anticipation as they began to go faster and faster. Prior to the trip she had believed that to look out the window would cause her panic and distress, but in this moment she was filled with wonder and awe… The plane started to take off and the feeling of leaving the ground was exhilarating. In all the fear about being in an enclosed space, she had forgotten how much she loved the feeling of going fast and soaring into the sky. By half of the cruising altitude there was a view outside the window of the clouds below and the setting sun. She snapped a photo quickly to remember this beautiful moment. Then there was no longer the necessity to be an outside observer..
I sat there again. Looking around at everyone and feeling so joyful at my decision. Could you believe it? In only 10 hours i would be in Vienna. Not in a day or two or 4 or 6. In just ten hours. I felt like H G Wells’ Time Traveler. Wow.. we had accomplished this. A journey of days in mere hours.
I partook in everything i could. Drank lovely water, ate lovely food, watched lovely movies. I listened to music, i tried to rest, i watched the plane’s journey from the magical screen before me and could still not believe that the hours were ticking away so quickly till i would be in Vienna. Amazing!!! I would leave in the night and arrive in the morning. All was so smooth and beautiful. The terrifying sounds of the rushing of air outside the planes of the past which echoed in the memory of fear were no longer there, the smell of jet fuel that had meant for me the entry into an un-openable cage were not detectable, the imagery of being crushed up against people with no room to breathe was non existent. It was pleasant, it was amazing, it was fun.
We already began our descent. I could hear the landing gear coming down and i felt giddy with delight to see us come back to Earth again. I saw us passing back through the clouds and soon the city of Vienna before me, my city, my heart’s home, the place i love to be more than anywhere.. just moments in front of me.. We gently kissed the ground and i wanted to get up and applaud the Pilot for his brilliance in landing this amazing machine. Never once did i worry about my ability to breathe, the desire to open a window or door to escape or even count the hours until i could get out.
I left the plane leisurely and without haste. Bidding my row mate a good day and excited to get back into the city. I got off the plane and entered the airport. Only hours ago i was in Florida. Now i was here. Amazing. I traveled through time. I had done what i believed to be impossible for 2 decades.
If i can do it. So can you.
Don’t try and rid yourself of your fear. Let it be. Be witness to it and when you can take the opportunity to show your fear that you can have way more fun with adventure by your side as your new best friend.
In four days i am taking another flight from Vienna to Romania. I have already booked it with no fear or hesitation. I dont plan on taking any pills this time. Who needs to numb the feeling of excitement and anticipation?
May this story inspire you to push through your fear, whatever they may be. Do not pressure yourself to stop feeling the fear. Just let yourself experience that which you have been lacking for so long. My life will change now. The whole world has opened up to me in ways i could not imagine only weeks ago.
And to be honest still, I am now considering taking on a 35 hour a month flight attendant position, just to get the benefits of free travel world wide. No joke!!!!
So be scared, be frightened, be anxious, be terrified… but do it anyway..
May love and light bless you wherever (and however) you may journey