“I bet when you get on the plane you’ll feel so free and excited!” This is what people have repeatedly said to me over the past few weeks in regards to my preparations to leave for Mexico. I almost started to believe them.

This morning I finally boarded the plane and you know what?! I had a ton of feelings but “free” and “excited” weren’t in the mix. It was so strange, honestly. I had to take a moment to analyze how I was feeling and why.

“The difference between fear and excitement is the lack of breath.”

Initially, I was fine. I did my normal “take off routine”. I don’t really like take offs, they kind of freak me out so I close the window shade (because I’m a window seat kinda lady), chew gum, breath deeply and pray until it feels like the plane levels out. All was good. The plane leveled out and I attempted to sleep because I had already been up a full half day by the time the plane took off.

But then…I started to feel some deep anxiety in my mid-chest area. Tightness, shallow breath, and just an “off” feeling. Whoooooosah. Breath, I told myself. It didn’t stop, though. I swear at a point I felt like I could have thrown up. There it was; it finally caught up with me! I’m not a hero or an incredibly brave person. I’m just passionately committed to chasing my dreams but my fears finally ran me down 20,000 feet in the air with no where to go.

I’m reading a book, The Big Leap and heard the author, Gay Hendricks, on a podcast where he said “the difference between fear and excitement is the lack of breath”. What excitement I did have was quickly diminishing into fear or was fear simply there, laying in waiting, and I was figuring out how to manage my breath in order to move to excitement. I’m still not sure which it was. Regardless, I didn’t want fear in the picture so I asked myself some questions.

Just so we’re all clear, I didn’t make these questions up from my inner most being. I took them from The Big Leap.

  1. What is keeping me from feeling complete and whole?
  2. What important feelings am I not letting into my awareness?
  3. Where do I feel out of integrity with myself?

Once I answered these questions everything gradually subsided. I took my fears and transferred them to gratitude. I didn’t push them down and force them away but let them teach me and make me aware of feelings I, most likely, had been feeling for a while but hadn’t acknowledged them. And you know what, I needed that and I needed it at that exact moment.

As I returned to peace inside myself I lifted the window shade to catch the end of the sunrise. The sunrise marks the beginning of a new day and I had just entered my cycle of a “new day’ after working through the fears of this new travel journey.

On the subsequent flight I felt at peace and you know what? I even got to that “excited” and “freeing” feeling people said I would get to. I am open to every experience on this journey I am departing on and gladly look forward to where it leads. Until it was time to find a taxi out of the airport…

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