We have all been there, right? The dreaded text message from the airlines letting you know that your flight has been canceled. Not delayed, but canceled …as in erased, removed, ceased to exist, no longer available. I don’t know about you, but for me, it sets off an immediate panic that makes my heart beat faster and my stomach feels wonky.
This happened to me as I was winding down my day and getting ready to leave for my 10-day cruise to the Southern Caribbean. This was all due to an ice storm that hit Milwaukee. As I had visions of my cruise ship and my family sailing away without me, I called the airline and waited on hold…for forever.
As I was on hold, and my mind was racing, I began to think about the reality of my situation and how I would react. In my quest to be the best transformational coach I can, I am always looking for ways to transform myself. So, thinking about how I would react to this situation was a way for me to step outside of myself and look at the bigger picture of how I show up in the world. Or how I want to show up in the world.
The reality was that there was a very good chance that I would miss the cruise ship and have to spend 10 days in my living room pretending to bask in the sun while drinking fruity cocktails with umbrellas from my couch. I had been looking forward to this trip for months. And the thought of not going on this vacation made me want to cry. Then I thought about all of the other people on the flight that had their plans altered, and I felt wanted to cry for them too. Then I thought about all of the people at Southwest airlines that were fielding all of the calls from folks like me who were desperate to salvage their vacations, and I felt even worse for them. I realized that I am a small cog in a much larger world and the way I choose to handle this situation affects more than just me.
There were a couple of ways this could all go down. I could sit tight and let Southwest book me on the next available flight out and resign myself to the fact that the probability of getting to that ship was slim since there was another storm heading our way. Or, I could head to the airport in the morning, talk to a gate agent and see what they could do to get me on a flight that was due to leave at 12:30 in the afternoon. What did I have to lose? I could play big and go to the airport and see what happened or I could play it safe and possibly let my ship sail without me. In my heart I knew that if I exhausted all of my options and still didn’t make it, sipping cocktails from my couch in my living room wouldn’t feel as bad as it would have had I not tried my hardest.
So, that night, I made up my mind that I would go to the airport the next morning and I would get on that flight even though the Southwest agent told me the flight was sold out. I went to bed and imagined myself waking up, taking my bags to the airport and getting on a plane. I used my meditation time the next morning to set my intention and get my energy aligned to receive whatever the universe was going to throw my way. I even told my friend not to wait for me when he dropped me off at the airport.
My intention was to get on that 12:30 flight. What I was not expecting was the possibility that I would get booked on a 10:40 am flight! By getting my intention set, getting my energy aligned and putting myself into action, I was able to make good things happen in my world. As I sat in my seat, I found myself to be truly thankful and very grateful that my situation turned out in my favor. And I decided right then and there that I will be intentional on how I show up in the world and do whatever it takes to create the awesome experiences I want in my life happen. And when challenges arise, I will evaluate and learn from them so I can do even better next time. How about you? How will you show up in the world? What will you create in your life?
PS—the Southern Caribbean is a beautiful place. I highly recommend you go for a visit.