And Now... for Something Completely Different

by Lauri Gwilt
January 6, 2018
And Now... for Something Completely Different
And Now... for Something Completely Different

Dutifully, I buckled myself into my seat feeling rather petulant that I had to spend the day doing something I really didn’t want to do.

I had just boarded the first of my three flights for that day, and was well aware of the grey cloud hovering over my head. Having spent a good part of my career on planes, travel for work had long since lost its glamour. There were times when I just didn’t feel like boarding another flight that would take me away from the comfort and rhythm of home.

Nothing in particular was happening on this day that made it important for me to stay home. If there had been, the choice would have been an easy one. All the same, I had grumbled my way through packing my suitcase, and was anything but eager for another twelve hours of navigating airports, cramped spaces, and stressed-out travelers.

As we sat on the runway ready for takeoff, my attention was pulled away from my grown-up grumblings to a young girl sitting across the aisle from me. It was quickly evident to those of us seated near her that flying was a new experience. Far from able to contain her excitement, she scooted her butt as far back on the seat as she could to buckle in, her feet barely dangling over the edge of the chair. Her little hands were tightly wrapped around each armrest, and her eyes widened with delight as the plane picked up speed down the runway. Her preflight enthusiasm was captivating to watch, however it paled in comparison to the expression on her face when we became airborne. I’m not sure which was flying higher; the girl or the plane.

Every cell of her being was immersed in this wonder-filled experience, and she was completely oblivious to the rest of us who were enjoying our front row seat to witness in her excitement.  As I watched her, I thought to myself, “I’d much rather be feeling like her. Why on earth was I choosing to feel grey and miserable when I could just as easily choose to feel even a portion of the delight she was feeling?”

In that moment, I was compelled to change the way I was choosing to look at my day.  Deep in thought I shifted from looking at her, to looking out the window next to me. The grey cloud above my head began to lift, taking with it the “have-to’s” of the day that were weighing down my mood. Suddenly, the wonders of the west coast emerged right before my eyes. My new found enthusiasm propelled me to reach under the seat in front of me to grab my camera so I could capture the beauty below. “My goodness!” I thought to myself, “How did I get so lucky to be up here to witness this incredible scene?”

Same trip. Same plane. Same seat. Same person. Completely different perspective. Completely different feeling. Completely different kind of day.

It's reported that each of us has, on average, 30,000 days in a lifetime (82 years if you do the math). Assuming for a moment this is true, this means my life's currency, measured in days, has my account sitting at just over 10,000 days to spend as I choose.  It doesn’t take an accountant to figure out that seeing the world through the eyes of a delighted, six-year-old is a joyful, celebratory way to invest the 10,000 plus days I hope I’m given.

To celebrate. My choice. Every day. 

Back to the blog

"Feeding" our inner child from time to time to keep it alive and thriving is so important. It is that child in us that really connects with the fascinating, innocent, carefree moments that surround us each day and offers us the vast opportunities to choose a less stressful, more fulfilling view of life. Your blog is a perfect example of how that little girl connected with your inner child, who you keep near and dear to you. The older I get the closer I connect with my inner "Barb", who eagerly awaits to come out and play. Many thanks, Lauri. I look forward to your book, so I can really connect on many levels!!

I admit, I live for those fascinating, innocent, carefree moments, Barb! I want a life of wonder and fascination - if for no other reason, because it feels so good! While I may always need reminders, the more I practice this way of seeing, the more usual it becomes. I sense this is true for you too!

Once again your insights and ability to share them hit the mark! I needed to be reminded that even things that we consider as mundane and common place can be experienced as fresh if our perspective is off of self and open to see with the eyes of a child.

Very well-said Diana! It's so easy to go on 'auto-pilot' with respect to things we seen again and again. Fresh eyes are a choice...I think we all need reminders now and then. I know I do! It's part of the human condition. Thanks so much for taking a moment to connect and to offer your thoughts!

Ah, to have beginner's mind again....

It changes everything, doesn't it Annette? So worth the effort to see old things in a new way!

Lauri:
I like your style of writing.

Bob

Lauri:
I like your style of writing.

Bob

Thanks Bob!

Lauri:
I like your style of writing.

Bob

Thanks Bob!! :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to offer such an encouraging comment Bob!

Lauri, this reminded me of the Investment in Excellence workshop you facilitated back in 2007. There was an exercise we had to do where we wore an elastic band on our wrists, and any time we had a negative thought, we were to snap that elastic to remind ourselves to stop thinking negatively. I was amazed how powerful that exercise was. Within 24 hours, I had learned to shut down negative self talk, and even the negative thoughts I had about others. Looking at the world through bright eyes is such an awesome way to live. Thanks for reminding me.

It is indeed a powerful exercise...even if we don't snap, but simply wear the band around our wrist as a reminder to be in charge of our self-talk. Developing this skill is a life-long process - it's just so darn easy to fall back to old patterns with respect to our internal conversation! Reminders have been really important for me too! So glad this exercise had a lasting impact for you Lynne, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! Wishing you a wonderful 2018!

Great read. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you so much for taking a moment to offer your encouraging comment John!

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