Sunday, May 13, 2007

nobody's business Airports are not my favorite places. If it weren’t for the fact that they harbor transportation conveyances that get me somewhere that I want to be quicker than, say, anything else, I would not darken their doorsteps. This past weekend was one of those unavoidable times, and I found myself doing that waiting game thing at the gate. At a certain point, an airline representative grabbed the intercom device and announced that a traveling companion on today’s manifest should come up to the podium for a quick second. Then another, and another, and another, until I wondered why aren’t they calling me up there too? What special discussion is going on in which I am just not invited to participate? My curiosity was piqued almost to the point of actually asking the woman next to me exactly that, when she returned from speaking with said airline representative. I observed her demeanor as closely as I could with my killer peripheral vision skills, but yet not appear stalkish. No clues were to be found. It was then that "pre"-boarding began (what, passengers who sit in certain elite sections of the plane getting on before other, more thrifty passengers doesn’t count as "real" boarding?) and the mystery remained. Until I finally got down the aisle of the plane myself far enough to see that those people who were called up to the podium for that special discussion were all the lucky individuals who sat in the exit rows, and needed to be asked if they really, really, really wanted to sit there. Duh. If I flew more often than twice a year, I might remember that kind of thing, was the first thought that went through my mind. And immediately after that was, I don’t need to care anymore about "special" discussions,...
the way we know ourselves “It’s impossible to be bitter and happy; bitterness is about taking a perverse delight in stroking our wounds, becoming so wrapped up in them that they become the way we know ourselves.” -M.J. Ryan, The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Every Day “The way we know ourselves.” That phrase jumped out at me from the page while I was reading this book. How is it that I know myself? What habits of thought have I spun in my brain so often that that’s “just how I am”? Do I want to know myself on those terms? If I could choose, would I keep them or trade them in? During the time of my divorce and for several years afterward, there were reflexes so ingrained in my thinking on the subject of my ex that it was nearly impossible for me to respond to interactions with him in any other way than – well, let’s just say not very constructively. There was a point at which it became obvious to me that the energy and time I was spending reacting was not only wasted – this emotional roller coaster ride amounted to large negative balances in my ledger of life. I just didn’t want to feel this way anymore. With the help of a supportive coach, I was slowly able to train myself to step back from the oh-so-inviting thought-ruts in my brain and choose differently, one neuro pathway and one interaction at a time. Periodically I wish I could pin down where that line is that I crossed in my head and dissect how I got there. All the books I’ve read and the tapes I’ve listened to and the thinking I’ve done over a lifetime prior to that moment contribute to the breadcrumb...

Deb Schanilec

Connected and Committed relationship transformation strategist.

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