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Flowing… February 7, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations, Uncategorized.
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Travel has all kinds of wonderful benefits. I find that changing my physical location gives me a chance to see my life and its various joys and irritations from a different perspective. I also enjoy having different experiences and observing how other people live their lives.

Travel also gives me a chance to be flexible. It’s seldom that everything goes according to plan when one is traveling. And if you get upset about your world being out of your control, well, then you’d be better off  staying at home where you can at least entertain the illusion that things are under your control.

There is a knack to traveling like a citizen of the world rather than a misplaced victim. The Course in Miracles says that there are only two emotions: love and fear. And when you’re not seeing love, then fear is in play. Some of the worst displays of fear I have encountered have been from people who want every single element of their environment under their control as they travel. Imagine… talk about setting oneself up for disappointment.

That said, I believe I too need to work on being flexible and going with the flow. And the universe and her ally Mother Nature have provided me with just such an opportunity.

In the wake of a ginormous (what a cool made-up word) snow storm that hit Baltimore and Washington, I am finding myself stuck in Paradise (better known as Florida)—along with a lot of other people. Yesterday’s airport closures caused everything to back up and the reservation phone lines are no exception. I’ve managed to change my flight to go back one day later, however, the airline charged me over $400 when it was supposed to be free. Ok, I’ll just call them back and get it straightened out. What’s that? The wait time for my call to be answered is 127 minutes? Hmmmm…. Opportunity is knocking.

So instead of hanging on the phone for a couple of hours, I am writing this blog post. Think of it as therapy for me and pithy, insightful advice for you.

So here are some of my thoughts about flexibility:

  • Would you rather be right or happy? Me, I’d rather be happy. I like being happy a bit more than I like being right—though I do like to be right too. In this case, rather than railing about the incompetent customer service rep who made the mistake, I can choose to expect that I will ultimately get through and the charge will be rectified.
  • Being flexible makes you more fun to be around.
  • We are here to learn lessons. And how do these lessons come to us? It’d be great if we learned our best lessons from all the wonderful experiences we have in life, however, my best learnings have come from the times when things went to hell in a handbag. So when I’m presented with a challenge, whether I like it or not, I always ask myself and the universe, “What lesson do I need to learn here?” (Ok, first I bitch and moan a bit and then I ask myself about the lesson.) Sometimes I get an answer and sometimes I don’t, but it moves me out of victimhood.
  • Letting go of the need to control everything opens up new possibilities. If you’ve got ‘the truth of it,’ then you shut out any other possibility that may be even more desirable.

In short, being flexible, or going with the flow is a good thing. I know there are some who would argue with that statement but I will not be dissuaded from my view. 😉

Well, I feel much better now. I’ve got my perspective back. Think I’ll go call the airline again.

—Amara

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