If you haven’t already, I suggest reading my first post about this and how my fear developed, which can be found here.

Bringing Me Closer to Flying:
Now, I just need to start off by saying how proud I am of myself. If anyone who has a fear of flying and still gets on a plane and is reading this, you should be proud of yourself.  And for those that are not yet ready, but want to one day be ready, you are also included in this ‘proud’ category.

When I suddenly became afraid of flying, I didn’t know what to think. But what I did know was that one day I would go back to soaring in the air.

As I mentioned in my prior post about this, my grandfather passed away and I missed his funeral because it involved me traveling down to the Caribbean and I just couldn’t bring myself to fly. Ever since that day, I became pretty sad and beat myself up.  However, I knew that my family would all go down there after one year and have a special memorial ceremony for him and visit his tomb.  And for this, I knew I just had to go.

So within the year leading up, I did my homework and I learned that my personal fear of flying could be overcome with just two things: listening to yourself and confidence.

Listening to Yourself:
I knew I was afraid to fly, but I didn’t exactly know of what.  And that’s when I had to really have a one-on-one with myself and ponder about it for a while.  I imagined myself going through the process of purchasing a ticket, getting to the airport, boarding the plane, being in the air, landing, being at my destination, and then doing it all over again for a return back home. And with all of these steps in mind, I took a piece of paper and wrote down my thoughts and fears.  My list included “anxious waiting for flight to board, no doctors on plane, no oxygen, being stuck in the air with the plane not being able to come down to ‘safe’ land quickly or pause for a second for me to recollect myself, turbulence, and being stuck abroad knowing that I needed to do it again.”

So I took this list and stared it down.  There it was.  All of my fears about this whole flying process on a sheet of paper.  I reread it and added things here and there in a different color. I elaborated more as to what I was afraid of, but it was all secondary.  And fine, I let it all out.  And it felt great.  But what I was really focused on was what I wrote initially and the keywords that stood out: “waiting,” “no oxygen,” “safe on land,” “turbulence,” and “do it again.”  And that’s what I was afraid of.  in a nutshell, but clear as day.

Confidence:
My doctor mentioned that I could be given an anxiety pill, perhaps take a sleeping pill, or drink a glass of wine to calm down my nerves.  But I didn’t want to take that route. Personally, I just wanted to get to the root of how I was so capable of flying with no problems before and why my flying habits took a sudden turn.

So I took my list and, within the year, decided to educate myself.  I decided to build my confidence.  Because we fear things when we don’t feel capable of succeeding, correct?  We may have a fear or anxiety because we don’t know what’s going on and we are fearing for the worst, right?  Well, that’s what I think, at least.  And so, I took this notion and embarked on my own journey of becoming confident and learning more about myself in the process.

At my own pace and with a calm, cool and collected mind, I took each keyword and focused on educating myself.

Waiting
Sure, this could give nerves to anyone!  But I just needed to learn that I had to remain present and breathe through any sort of anxiousness that would arrive.  Waiting made me feel nervous because I didn’t know what was going to happen to me in the near future.  And that was the problem.  I was so focused on the future that I was forgetting about the present.  Attending yoga classes regularly (at least two times a week) gave me the confidence to take what was happening now and just ride through it, like a wave.  Breathing exercises became my best friend and this was all useful to me all throughout my flying experience.

In the meantime before the flight, I browsed around the shops and had a nice breakfast with other travelers around me.  My flight was called to board and off I went into the plane 🙂

food ii loren
food

No Oxygen
I legit thought that I would run out of oxygen on the plane.  How could so many people breathe in air, release carbon dioxide, and just be stuck in this thing we call a ‘plane’ that uses recycled air anyway?  For sure I thought it was going to run out of it.  And that scared me.  When I had my panic attack, I kept screaming ‘oxygen’! But, that was all because my breaths were so short that obviously I wasn’t getting enough into my body unless I calmed down and started taking some nice, long deep breaths.

So, instead of knowing that the answer it out there and choosing to not seek it out (the Internet is chock full of studies and information, people!), I went the other route and decided to read up on it.  And, interestingly enough, I read up on it a lot.  And as it turns out, the way that the air is regulated and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide available, are actually healthy and falls within standards.  If for some reason the pressure of the plane drops, you are given oxygen masks to off-set the deliverance of oxygen floating around the plane and, instead, delivered to you directly.

For more information on the subject, I would suggest taking a peek at this document on the quality of air in the cabin.

Safe on Land
For some reason, I thought that being in the air was where I would be most at risk of an accident happening.  Sure there may be things that go wrong, but if the engine goes off, just know that pilots are trained to land safely when this happens during their training.  And sure, there are many things we see in the news.  But just know that there are millions of flights that happen yearly. And you’re not the only on in the air.  Click here to see what is currently flying above your head and in your country right now!  See all those white planes?  Yup, happening now.  LIVE. You’re not the only one.  Now imagine how many cars there are… at least double that on the roads!  Such a busy, busy world we live in :).

Another thing that made me think that I would be safer on land was the fact that I could go home.  But then it occurred to me: I could panic on the plane throughout a flight, get off of it, go back through security, through customs, into a taxi to my destination only to go back and through the same thing… or… I could try to be brave and just enjoy my flight.  And enjoy the growth that is happening within me.  I needed to not run away and be confident.. so that’s what I am going to do!

Turbulence
Ah, that fear that the plane is going to just spin out of control because it is shaking a bit (or a lot).  You know, to be honest, this really scared me, but when I got on the flight back in November, I was actually really looking forward to it!  And I actually quite enjoyed the turbulence! (Cue the people shaking their heads and calling me ‘crazy’.  It’s okay, my mom thought I was crazy, too).  But in all honesty, I was totally OK with it because I did my homework.  I read on what turbulence really is.  I YouTubed it to death.  And I learned.

flying

I always think of the skies as Jell-O now.  I cannot succeed in finding the clip, but when I do I will post it here!  But the general concept is to imagine a mold of Jello that contains a little plane you are pushing through.  Now, if you pat the top of the Jello mold, you are causing ‘turbulence’, but notice that the plane isn’t falling and crashing.  The plane decreases about 20-30ft to avoid the wind coming at it at the speed it is at, but the plane doesn’t fall.  It’s molded into the air so well, that it’s almost comforting.  This helped ease my tension on the subject.

But seriously, just go online and Google or YouTube the heck out it.  It is definitely scary at first to learn about these things, but it came more as a comfort to me the more I learned about it.  Check out this retired pilot here in the meantime :).

Do It Again
After doing my homework, it didn’t matter to me as much anymore of me fearing the fact that I had to do it again. Pushing something away and avoiding it sometimes makes things worse, as it is being suppressed and only being fed into what you are trying to forget about. So, on that note, I knew that in order for me to be more comfortable with it, I had to do it again.  So looked forward to doing it again.  You get better at doing things the more you practice, right?  A round-trip flight seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to get practice.

Conclusion:
After spending a year of researching/educating myself, doing yoga, and imagining myself getting on the plane, I am happy to say that I made it on my flight two months ago and had no panic attack.  Was I nervous? Yes, of course, a bit.  But was I going to back down and let this thing hold me down for the rest of my life?  No way.  To some people, flying and traveling is not their priority in life, and that’s OK!  It doesn’t have to be.  But for me, I felt that this was something that really meant a lot to me and I was going to put in the work so that I could become confident and capable of soaring through the skies.

I made it to my grandfather’s one-year memorial mass down in the Caribbean and I know deep in my heart that he is watching above proud of me.  Can I say that I have absolutely no fear anymore?  Maybe not.  Like I said, it’s all about practicing what you fear.  And, let’s be real, a plane ticket isn’t exactly a commodity, so it won’t happen very often.  However, when it does, I know that I am confident I can go through the flight.  I started small (a 3 1/2 hour flight) and, to be honest, I want to travel far, but those are 8+ hours of being up in the air.  Yet, I know that if I put my mind to it and not only listen to myself, but really give myself reasons to be confident, that I could totally do it.

I want to travel to Europe and South America very soon, but one step at a time, right? 🙂

Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to leave your comments below!

Wishing you an easier flight with the confidence you build within yourself and a bravery that may enlighten you to become more fearless that will allow you to do more beautiful things that matter to you.

Knowledge is power,
Loren.

lorenbch

Disclaimer: I am not a professional in any way on this subject and I shouldn’t be a substitute to any doctor, etc. etc., so please consult with your doctor if you are thinking of trying anything. But, for me, being knowledgeable in the areas that scared me the most was what gave me confidence and what brought me to being able to get on a flight. Disclosure

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  1. I was wondering about your yoga journey, is there going to be any new updates or future plans in pursuing yoga as a profession. Thanks for posting your life on here and good luck !

    1. Hi Andy! Thank you so much for leaving a comment :). I am not quite sure at this moment where my yoga practice will take me! But I find the journey of figuring that out to be a wonderful one! I will definitely, though, post something about it if it becomes my profession one day! For now, I will just practice and continue learning. Namaste & best of luck to you! 🙂 xx

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2.

2015 New Year On-Going Goal: Live, Be Happy & Accept

Happy New Year, Everyone!  I’m back in the blogosphere!

2014 came to a nice close filled with lots of family & events. I apologize for not posting about it, but no fear, I will in the upcoming weeks! For today, though, I just wanted to share my 2015 vision: continue to live by being happy and accepting what comes my way.

Learning to Live Today:
With every passing year, it’s becoming clearer to me that no two days will ever have the same environment nor experience. And, with each passing year, I see clearer that life around me (not only mine, but my family/friends’, too) is changing.  There are weddings, babies, losing loved ones, moving to a new neighborhood, sickness, etc. etc. Which is natural, because it’s all part of life, right? Right.

So with all of this change and the opportunity to live in the moment, why shouldn’t we just live in the moment? We all may have a vision of the perfect way things should go in our heads, but when they don’t go as we have planned them to, we get frustrated and it’s at that moment that we don’t truly live and enjoy ourselves; we aren’t allowing ourselves to be happy.

We shouldn’t try to just live when things are up to our ‘perfect’ standards.  Why should we wait for the stars to align to finally let go and be happy?  Will I really finally enjoy myself at the pool when I’m 15 lbs. lighter?  Will I really wait years to finally host a dinner because I can’t afford that big house I’ve been dreaming of right now? Or will I just take what I’m given, live in that moment and make amazing memories today that will last a lifetime?

Every year in January, I found myself making a list of what I wanted to do/accomplish for that year. And every year in December, I found myself wondering why I didn’t accomplish all that I set out to do. Womp, womp, womp. Enter Loren, the failure.

So, for 2014, I decided to try something different: have no true list of what I want to accomplish in the new year. And guess what?  My 2015 is going to sing a similar tune.

For 2015, I will not put pressures on myself; instead, I will just live and let go.

My continuing goal and outlook for this year is to enjoy every moment to the best of my ability and do things that make me happy. Let things come to you when they do, for everything has a time and place.  The universe presents us with opportunities and obstacles.  For growth and more growth.  And if you do choose to do something, be absolutely passionate about what you do then and there.

The Point Is:
Don’t overwhelm yourself with a list of things you must accomplish this year and then think you are a failure for not learning how to swim, becoming fluent in a new language, or going back to grad school.  Let it all come organically and let it guide you to who you, subconsciously, want to be.

The person you are in January 2015 is not the same person in September of 2015.  We are ever-changing and life continues to shape us, daily.  So don’t try to build Rome in one day by planning out your whole year in one month.

Give yourself a break, be free, be happy and just enjoy. Cherish your health, cherish your laughter, cherish your family & friends.  Cherish your home.  Cherish your ability to live.  Cherish yourself daily.

This 2015, I will set out to further better myself by accepting and being happy.  No matter what comes my way, I will approach it genuinely, organically and me.

Best Wishes,
Loren.

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R.

Rough Week, Staying Brave

*deep breath in*

This past week has been a major whirlwind, but a great teacher when it came down to learning more about myself.

Within the past couple of days, I have had many situations that really tested my bravery.  Interestingly enough, I managed to step up to the challenges.  To be blunt about one of my challenges, I had to have a serious conversation with someone about the way they were making me feel – something I wasn’t looking forward to.  When the first opportunity came to have the conversation, I actually surprised myself by not running away.  Meaning, I didn’t put it off for another hour, day, week, or month.  I didn’t give any excuses.  The situation presented itself when it did, and while I could have given an excuse to buy more time, I didn’t.  I knew that I had to ‘step up to the plate’.

I went into the conversation holding my head up high and just voiced my honest concerns.  Why must we hold things back from others and continue to carry the ‘pain’?  If you really want something to change, it’s important to be upfront about it, but always in a calm and non-accusatory fashion.  And that’s what I did.  In the end, I felt better that things were out in the open; we came to a mutual agreement and was happy we did.  But, if another conversation decides to come up, then I will welcome it with open arms, because it’s another chance to be even more confident and clear with how you want to live your life.

And that’s the thing about life, there are many obstacles; some are smaller than others, but they are of a kind that you can overcome.

One of the biggest obstacles? Overcoming onself.  Because think about it, when situations like the one above come up, we tend to freak out, not think clearly, and anticipate only non-pleasant things. We start to come up with a thousand and one different scenarios and start to scare ourselves; we start to build fear into our own minds.  In the end, we freak out and think we cannot handle what was just served to us.

I’m not a professional on ‘life’ by any means, but I have been learning a lot about bravery and building my confidence.  I want to share something I do that works for me when it comes to unforeseen circumstances and, who knows, it may help someone out there, too:

If you are faced with an unforeseen, perhaps uncomfortable, situation:
(1) stop, pause, or halt
(2) take a deep breath in (from the belly!)
(3) say “OKAY.” and keep your cool (maybe throw in the tiniest of smiles)
(4) know that things will be figured out, an outcome does exist and
(5) start to calmly take it step by step

Because truth of the matter is, we start to build fear within ourselves and we become our own worst enemy.  Thinking of how something will happen and the possible outcomes would drive anyone crazy.  And if you keep buying yourself time, putting it off again and again, chances are that it will start to consume your attention more and more.  By taking it easy, though, and taking the initial time to remain calm, we can overcome more situations with a bigger sense of confidence and clearer sense of direction.  Being brave again and again will, ultimately, make you stronger- again and again.

Personally, I am really starting to see how I am growing and I absolutely love it.  Life isn’t easy, and if it weren’t for these challenges, I wouldn’t really know what a struggle may be.  I wouldn’t have the opportunity to push myself and grow.  And that’s something we should accept when it arrives and see it as an opportunity to build upon.

So I invite you to be brave and build more confidence.  Continue to look at the world around you and focus on how you would like your future to be.  If it can come out of me, one of the most [back ‘then’] sensitive, afraid, and unconfident of people, and build myself up for a better today and tomorrow, I know for certain it can come out from anyone else!

Enjoy your life, be happy, and smile.  Remember, you define your life and letting those around you know where you see yourself and what you want to do is a-okay. 🙂

Loren.

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