Why you deserve to be on ‘flight mode’ even when you’re not on a plane

Airplanes have a great way of making you sit down and be alone with your thoughts.

Sure you always have a host of distractions available to you but there's something about the disconnection from land that excites me about traveling on an airplane.

An endless expanse of blue/white/grey is all that there is. If you're traveling by yourself, you could be surrounded by people sitting in close proximity to you though you really have no idea who they are. There is an emotional distance that very few care to shorten.

It's oddly delightful -being forced to not be 'ON'.

No urgent emails to respond to.

No barrage of messages to sift through.

No obligation to be overly civil to the people around you.

And certainly no knowledge of what could be happening outside.

Flight mode.

Disconnected.

Detached.

Suspended and sublime.

Even a few hours could stretch on endlessly if you don't load up on distractions before getting on the plane.

I bring books usually. And sometimes I listen to music

I did the same thing on the most recent flight too but 30 mins in, I didn't want to be distracted anymore.

I wanted to just be.

I wanted to do nothing.

Not ruminate about the state of the world, the state of my life or even the state of the aircraft seat.

In the quiet, some thoughts surfaced. I could confront some worries and really just have a 'conversation' with myself which wasn't about putting out fires or about getting things right. I realised that I simply needed the space to think.

Think freely and honestly so I could 'check-in' with myself and give myself whatever it was that I needed.

More sleep.

More time to do random things.

More time to be on flight mode without actually having to be on a fricking plane!

These needs usually demand to be met when I fall sick (physical illness) or when I get sick of things (emotional lows).

It always seems like I put off 'checking-in' with myself and giving myself some legroom to be a little easygoing. It feels like a bad thing to do as though 'being still' is a crime.

This attitude of always having to do something with the endgame firmly in mind is rather strenuous.

Silence has become such a taboo word.

I've discovered that maybe it's time to change that for myself.

Maybe it's okay to stop colouring the world with the labels of 'positivity' or 'negativity' and just be neutral and take it all in.

Being quiet is the first step to being open.

Open to feelings that are locked away.

Open to memories that I haven't fully learned from.

Open to being honest with oneself.

Not much can be done unless one is open like this

Without this honesty with oneself, all that remains is a shell of a person who simply goes about his or her days being 'productive' and 'proactive'. These things mean nothing when done just to prove things to oneself. Being open demands that one accepts the good and the bad things - the shortcomings, the fears and the failings alongside the desire to be strong, and self-actualised.

Practising honesty with oneself is where the self actualisation journey really starts. Don't get swept up in chasing after newer goals without forgetting to check in with yourself.

Remember to put the 'self' back in self-actualisation.

Author of 'How to be a Lighthouse'. I write for those pursuing excellence and meaning.

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