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Blog Post - Enjoy your flight

Regardless of our existential beliefs I think it is widely acceptable to propose that we are all on some form of journey. This could be simply to end up in a wooden box, or it could be to become an eagle to soar Mt Everest., or perhaps to come back as Brad and Angelina’s love child.  Whatever floats our boat…it is fair to say we are all shaped by our own trajectories and have no proof of where we will end up.
Because we are all so different, we have different vices and pleasures or responsibilities. It is therefore plausible to propose that the journey itself is the thing we should pay attention to, the thing that we all hold dear that at some point we can look back and say, I did ok and achieved all I had hoped.
Therefore for the purpose of this short blog, I propose that we are all aeroplanes. Some of us Ethiad airways, champagne and all…some of us, like myself, a Budget airline, desperately trying to live off peanuts and reach sunnier, calmer shores at a minimum cost!
I propose that regardless of our desired destination, regardless of our aeroplane’s design, that our colourful wings, patterns and adornments are not the most significant part of us. I propose that as the crucial part of any vehicle is the engine room itself, in our case as we are not actually hypothetical aeroplanes…but human beings….the MIND.
The Mind is the thing that makes us move and takes us from A to B. Our body is merely our vehicle, our metal, our flesh. Depending on various ailments that we have collected through our time on and off the runway it seems fairly plausible to suggest that our mind is the engine.
For the rest of this blog, take yourself to your own engine room, VROOM VROOM! I am now going to propose that like most actual aeroplanes, that we as human beings live the majority of the time on autopilot. That in our own individual cases, our habitual autopilot flight, navigates amongst our own past memories and future fantasies at an almighty speed of knots. Let’s call these memories and fantasies clouds for now.
Dipping and soaring through, above or beneath an amalgamation of clouds, our pilot does little to sooth the turbulence. Instead they seem to direct you into them when you’re least expecting it. Have you ever asked the question, who is that pilot? …why are we revisiting the same old clouds, or fixating on ones yet to be discovered? 
What I am suggesting is that our clouds are merely thoughts, but these thoughts contain feelings and that these feelings then alter our behaviour. Our flight path can become slow, scary, nasty, full of rain, pain or turbulence and at the same time, it can also be sunny, calm and fast…but that the key point here is – it is wholly unpredictable. And that this unpredictability controls us. We are therefore, controlled by our own thoughts and emotions and our flight is dictated by our own trajectory – whatever we think this may be. God given, conditioned by childhood, based on habitual past life patterns or…again whatever floats our boat...or should I say lifts us up!
Ok so fly with me a minute…….Does it ever feel like suddenly you’re in the middle of a pristine blue sky (clarity of mind) and BAM….a thick black cloud shakes you up… and sometimes these clouds are thick, heavy grey ones that at any minute could spit out a deluge. They leave your flight route severely altered and a nasty tremor in the cabin….the peanuts are on the floor.
Yet some could be modest and neutral …you pull up the wind screen shutter for these ones and gently observe…you wonder why you’re flying through these ones….yet often never quite figure out their significance.
However, some still are small white fluffy ones, releasing the kind of turbulence that makes you feel alive and full of excitement….needless to say you keep trying to fly back into these ones and slow down when you’re in them and order a gin and tonic to go with it.
These are all actually thought clouds! The key thing above is recognising that these clouds are not just clouds of memory or fantasy, they are clouds that carry feelings too. Did you notice how each of the types of clouds leads to an emotional reaction of either Yayyyy, euuurggghhhh or hmmmm ok. And none of them last. You can’t go back into them because they’ve changed… or just gone. 
The point is the clouds really paralyse us into automated ways of living. We are so used to them, so familiar with them, it is so habitual that we take this automated way of being violated by our own thoughts as the only way to be… Mindfulness whispers to us…NO !!!  
Is the combination of positive, neutral or negative memories or fantasies that your autopilot flight navigates you through every single day a good thing? Ask yourself is this OK? Don’t these clouds slow you down? Aren’t they invasive? Excuse the pun, don’t they cloud the experience, the journey, the purpose of your destination and your end goal? Don’t they make you feel helpless, lost, confused and generally mentally exhausted?
Further added to the mix is the fact that rarely do we even experience these clouds as an isolated event. They often appear randomly, blended with each other and fizz off into each other formulating new clouds so that before you set off each day, your flight is well and truly overcast.
So Mindfulness here could really be likened to that of the co-pilot that takes control, who releases the autopilot button, pushes the vacant pilot out of the seat and grips onto that steering wheel. It becomes the driver that successfully navigates you through your own internal world. Rather than letting your own memories or fantasises alter your trajectory it allows you to fully see these clouds head on – decides when or whether to fly into them and if so how much time you want this to take.
Mindfulness is the control mechanism of your own world’s journey. If you don’t practice it, auto pilot is controlling the flight; it’s not enabling you to go where you want to go, so really you are on a helpless budget airline bumping into various clouds that severely hamper your journey. I’m not saying Mindfulness vaporises the clouds, that would be too cute, but it is the genuine captain, the gentle and experienced hand that takes control, tells you to fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
By controlling, managing and disciplining your own clouds, your aeroplane will become more and more streamlined. It is now up to us. It is up to us to choose what type of plane we are, what engine we want to have on board and where we want to end up. Everything is in our mind, we can control it rather than letting its grumpy old habits control us. This will then lead to more effective professional work and greater wellbeing.
Enjoy your flight

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