I’m sitting in Dublin airport, about to board a flight to Scotland where I will be teaching for the weekend. I’m sipping a coconut café mocha, feeling relaxed and enjoying the pleasant feeling of being here on time, space to do some work, but also to simply rest in the knowledge that someone else is flying the plane. I can simply be the passenger.
I travel a lot and I like travelling. Awhile ago, a friend of mine and I were talking about how much I like airports. When I am in an airport, there’s nothing else I can do but be in the airport. There’s no toilet to clean, meals to cook or any other domestic responsibility screaming out for me to attend to. The stress of getting here is over and I can now hand over any sense of urgency to ‘the airport’. I must add here that I usually give myself a lot of time in airports- rarely arriving at the last minute.
Sometimes I even give myself enough time to get some MA work done- like I am doing now. In fact, I’ve put in whole days of work at airports. Sitting in a restaurant, ordering food when I need it and enjoying the fact that the only place I have to be is at the airport. I am anonymous- no one will ask me for anything, (well, this depends on my inbox!), and this whole airport will function sufficiently without my having to do anything. I can simply move through it.
If I am honest, I haven’t given this ‘I like airports’ too much thought or analysis, until a friend and fellow member of the Mindfulness Association sent me a beautiful excerpt from ‘Taking Exquisite Care of Ourselves’. I have no idea who wrote it as there is no name and any google search has come up blank.
However, the excerpt is on Deep Resting and it explains that “[r]esting is not just about sleeping sufficiently, though that is important in any sound strategy for health. And it has nothing to do with procrastination, evasion of hard challenges or indolence…It is about being able to pass the torch for a little while and trust others to stand guard, keep watch and see that all that is essential is done”. And this is what I do in airports! I don’t evade work- actually, I can be very productive in airports- but what I do ‘do’ is “pass the torch for a little while and trust that others stand guard, keep watch and see that all that is essential is done”.
Interestingly, months after my conversation with my friend, he rang me from an airport and told me that he was actually enjoying his space there. He was having a coffee and simply watching people move through as he took the time to just ‘be’.
So, this week’s challenge is to see if can we find a safe place to ‘pass the torch for a little while’. Can we let someone else stand on guard and can we rest deep? This might be asking your partner to set the alarm for an early rise and surrendering to the trust that they will wake you, or delegating a job to a colleague and trusting that they will get the job done (without your help!), or maybe it’s finding yourself in an airport or a train station with enough time to surrender all concern to the functioning of its very planned out system.
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