Life lessons from a bumpy flight

We receive the lessons of life in the most unexpected moments
We receive the lessons of life in the most unexpected moments
Everything happens so fast! I close my eyes and try to connect with my thoughts and keep calm. If I die in this flight, will I die happy? I kept on asking myself while everyone around seems to lose it. As in a dream, I hear the yelling from the passengers around and I can clearly feel through my skin the fear in the air. We literally jump from our chairs and my thoughts start turning faster and faster, like time is compressing…. and few lessons start emerging.

Everything happens so fast! I close my eyes and try to connect with my thoughts and keep calm. If I die in this flight, will I die happy? I kept on asking myself while everyone around seems to lose it. As in a dream, I hear the yelling from the passengers around and I can clearly feel through my skin the fear in the air. We literally jump from our chairs and my thoughts start turning faster and faster, like time is compressing…. and few lessons start emerging.

Sometimes life shakes us; literally!

It was one of those moments when you are pushed to face your life in a split-second and be real with yourself. In my own skin, in this chair, in this airplane, somewhere on the route between Cyprus and UK, I felt powerless. My life was not depending on me anymore, so the only thing I could do is ask myself.

“If I die today, now, here….would I be happy? Did I do my best? Did I fulfill my mission on this planet? Did I offer enough love, did I feel love, do I understand love?

Was I kind enough? Did I follow my bliss? Did I experience life at the highest level possible? Do I have any regrets?“

My thoughts started blending with tears and an overwhelming feeling took over, a sort of higher self that I never felt before. The woman sitting in front of me loses consciousness. When you are bare-naked in front of universal laws, when you cannot hide your feelings anywhere, you come face to face with some truths you didn’t realise before. Seatbelts on, cause that’s quite a ride, my friends!

I am still holding tight in my chair while the airplane goes through heavy turbulences; I am blocking the noise and angst. My life starts running in front of my eyes as a movie and answers to deep questions I had for quite a while start bubbling up with a certainty I never felt before.

Lesson 1: Watch things from higher perspective

We always hear we should look at things from a higher perspective. But I sometimes get caught in the details of my life; and the Universe has its own way to remind me about the big picture. So, what is actually the story of our lives, if it was to be seen from a higher perspective?

Change perspective and the reality changes too....
Change perspective and the reality changes too….

The reality is that we never know when life will end. We postpone doing things, we forget to show to people how much they mean to us, because we always think there will come the right timing. There will always be tomorrow…. But what if tomorrow never comes?

After this experience, I really started to ask myself: if today was the last day, how would I live it? This question definitely puts things into perspective.

Lesson 2: Stop sweating the small stuff

You can never do BIG things if you are distracted by the small things
You can never do BIG things if you are distracted by the small things

I also noticed that, despite the changes that took place inside me, I still sweat the small stuff.

For example, same morning with the flight, I got caught up in a tense conversation with my friend on what time to leave the hotel. I wanted to stay longer; she wanted to go and stay on the beach. We both lost time and energy, we left on my terms and got to the airport. However, our flight was delayed with 1,5 hours, so we also went to the beach. God has a funny way of arranging stuff for us.

And I thought: funny, we might not even make it to our destination, who cares about departure time? Who cares about being right in a fight? Would you care about your ego and pride if today was the last day? or would you pick up the phone and talk to each other? Would you care what other people say? Or would you simply follow your bliss?

Lesson 3: Use the power of the present

"Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present"
“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present”

In the airport, before the flight, I found a book called “The power of now”. In the past months, I heard about it from many different people and, when I saw it on the shelve, it was a clear sign that I should buy it. One hour later, during the weird situation in the airplane, I started to understand more…

There are so many small things that overtake our mind and leave no space for the “real stuff”.

These small things don’t let us dream, don’t leave us the space to see the positive aspects, they don’t allow us to focus and stay on the line.

The “now” is such a powerful moment! How can we so often forget the now? Did you ever notice your mind rarely stays in the present moment?

We generally think about the past, especially past mistakes and regrets, or future, especially fearing the uncertainty and thinking about bad turnouts.

Lesson 4: Acting like you got no fear of being judged

no fear of judgment

When you feel there is nothing to loose, you get the power to do the crazy things you are afraid of when you are caught in daily routine.

It is common knowledge that the fear to be judged often keeps us far away from action, therefore far away from our dreams.

So, again, I asked myself: if tomorrow I die, who cares what x and y said about me? Who cares about the status, position and job title?

My life, my emotions and my experiences are way more important than listening to the subjective opinions that people might have.

Lesson 5: Find the courage to take off the mask

be yourself

We like it or not, we all wear masks. Frighten not to have our hearts broken, we hide deep our feelings and emotions. We want to look invincible, and in this desire, we put a thick wall between us and loved ones.

And between my mask and your mask, my wall and your wall, it becomes close to impossible to express the real essence of things.

I only wish I always have the courage to express myself as in moments like this. And I often ask the power to overcome the fear (and we all have our own fears), because when you cross the bridge of fear, on the other side, I truly believe there is always so much love and appreciation.

Lesson 6: Look for clarity first

clarity

In that moment in the airplane, I felt a weird sense of relieve. Logic stopped working and instinct started taking over. What a weird concept: leaving your heart and inner wisdom to guide your thoughts!!!!

I was actually asking for clarity for a while now, clarity in actions, clarity in purpose, clarity in everything. While in Cyprus, my mind was quiet and for few days I stopped worrying about anything. And so I guess I got to clarity.

Pfff, so many of us don’t even know what they want. I also ask myself once in a while what do I actually want. And when I find myself caught in the wheel of thoughts, I stop asking that perfect relationship or anything specific/material. I simply ask for clarity.

In that moment in the airplane, I think I got it. Clarity is relief, peace of mind, focus and confidence.

Lesson 7: Treasure daily the things you take for grated

gratefulness

Wow, this is a no-brainer, and still…. I keep on forgetting how lucky I am and how many good things I have in my life. How many people surround me with their love and comfort, how much help I always get, how amazing it is to be healthy and full of energy. How many experiences I already had, how many places I visited…

I believe that, no matter where we are in our lives, how little or how much we have, we all got stuff to appreciate.

Lesson 8: Time is the most precious thing

time

Every second counts. There are two aspects on this: how you spend your time and how to compress timeframes.

I “eliminated” from my life in the past 2 years negative people and situations that don’t create added value. I learned through practice to turn my back to situations that don’t bring added value, yes, I simply ignore them.

I started occupying my time with books and stopped going out for drinks to bitch and complain. In few months, my circle of old friends disappeared.

A new life started emerging.

I am now trying to figure out how to compress timeframes. How to experience life faster, in a more amazing way, how to take everything to the next level, that’s the answer I am looking for right now. Achieving goals faster, working smarter, creating mental maps and striving for excellence. Finally, in that airplane, I understood how important it is to start compressing timeframes. Because I don’t know when the end will be.

Lesson 9: Everything reduces to love

love

And for me… in the end, yes, everything reduces to love. And not everyone has to agree with me, because I know for some this might sound too spiritual. And that’s OK too!

For me, love is everything: that pure state of connection and bliss, totally unconditional and uplifting.

We all came here to love, feel good and be happy. Why on Earth we so often spoil the game for ourselves and for others?

Unconditional love connects the dots and completes the circle. Those that felt it know exactly what I mean. For those that didn’t, the key word here might be the word “unconditional”.

We are sooo used to condition our feelings to others’ behaviour; we give something only if we receive. Even worse, sometimes we don’t even know how to receive love, because we think there is always a hidden interest behind.

Huh, putting down the walls makes you vulnerable, but in being vulnerable, you are the strongest of them all.

So I shall always seek for that feeling in whatever I do, wherever I will go.

With much love and wanderlust

Madalina

PS: While writing this, I was at about 1.800 feet flying from Cyprus towards West Europe. The airplane was still shaking, but finally I was able to take out my laptop to write down this blog post. We went through a heave-turbulence area, which made me think of so many things. I am telling you, in moment like this, when your life is not in your hands anymore, you start having some crazy realisations.

Funny enough, this event threw me back in time about 4 years ago, when in another airplane, I almost saw my death and revised my life in a millisecond.

Back then….It was beginning 2015, flying from South to North Thailand, with AirAsia. Two weeks back, one of their airplanes disappeared with over 150 passengers on board.

I was in the darkest period of my life. I was broken into pieces, mainly I was struggling to make a relationship work which obviously wasn’t. I was ashamed of myself, I hated myself and what I do to people. In short, it was horrible. That 3-hours flight changed me forever.

I honestly thought THAT WAS IT, we will not survive. I was crying like crazy, not out of desperation, but I was pissed off with myself. I asked myself the same question back then: if I die now, will I be happy? The answer shocked me: NOT AT ALL. At that point, I hurt so many people, I was full of anger, regrets and dark suicidal thoughts.

When I stepped out of that airplane, I was not the same person. The pieces of the puzzle started shifting and few months later, my life looked totally different.

This time around, 3 years later, another airplane and same situation, I was rather peaceful. For two days after this flight, I found myself in a deep emotional shift and I cried my eyes out.

Three days later, just as a miracle, I achieved a milestone I was working on for more than one year…. It was a breakthrough.

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