When In Turbulence

We were flying through the clear blue sky, and out of that, came the turbulence. The plane shimmied and bounced, drinks splashed, folks closed their computers, their eyes.

Usually when this happens, my jaw, shoulders, arms tense up. I don't say anything. Just grimace and bear it.

But on this flight, the pilot did something simple and helpful.

We're going through a rough patch, his voice over the loudspeaker was kind and warm. Stay in your seats, we'll get through it as soon as we can.

And what I found so helpful was just acknowledging that the situation we were in wasn't comfortable.

It didn't make the turbulence go away. But when we are going through a rough patch, I've found there is something quite compassionate about being told - or saying to ourselves with all the warmth and kindness we can muster, "Yes, this is hard. And you'll get through it."

I find that I'm gentler with myself, and less should-ing - especially of the "you shouldn't be so scared," "you should be calmer" variety.

Back up in the turbulent blue sky, my body uncoiled a bit. This wasn't exactly a blast and a half. But at least I could be a little sweeter to my frightened self. Which made that rough patch easier to get through.

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TransformationCaitie Whelan