Last Friday I boarded a Ryanair flight to Pisa and when I was half way there I had a realisation that flying with this company can in fact make you happy. Yes, I know, this may sound like a very strange thing to write about but rest assured I am not paid by Ryanair to write this and besides flying with them allot I have no other association with the company. I certainly have given them a great deal of my hard earned money though over the years as I fly to Italy every month to work at the community San Patrignano. So what has prompted me to write this blog? My answer is happiness and how we spend our time trying to find it.
So back to the airport........ my flying schedule is well planned and there are many hints and tips that I have picked up to make the journey as pleasant as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport in case of delays, don't rush to stand in the line for long periods of time because everyone now has an assigned seat anyway, take a carry on bag that fits under the seat in front of you and be patient when the plane lands.
Last Friday I had followed my own advice and everything was going smoothly but then for some reason I started feeling agitated at everything that was happening around me. Why was the bloke next to me hogging both armrests? Why was the flight attendant so angry and snappy with the customers? Why don't they have some healthy and nutritious food choices on the menu that I like? Why did the chap across from me not put his long legs under the seat in front of him only to complain loudly when the attendant bashed the trolley into his knee? Internal complaints, complaints, complaints and a bus load of negativity inside of me.
At the very point where I was choosing another negative aspect of the flight to highlight I stopped myself and remembered that everything that I was choosing to focus on was my choice. No one was standing above me projecting all the negative aspects of the flight rather it was my own projector and I was running the show. At that point I started to do some of the exercises that my friend Andy Puddicombe taught me when he was teaching me how to be mindful. I closed my eyes and pictured myself watching my negative thoughts, don't fight them, don't react against them, simply let the thoughts be.....
Upon opening my eyes the first thing that I saw was the so called grumpy flight attendant smiling whilst he helped one of the passengers take care of her young baby. The guy next to me miraculously kept to one armrest and the long legged chap was containing himself to his seat. I also did not seem to be as hungry as I was before and looking back in that instant I can safely say that I was happy and I was enjoying the flight. I am reminded from this whole experience of one of the most important life lessons that I have learnt and that is that happiness is a choice and no matter what is occurring on the outside if I really want to I can choose to be happy. Most days I remind myself of this before I start my day then no matter what happens I can refer back to this foundation. So I am sending everyone on that Ryanair flight (passengers and attendants) a big high five for playing your part in this episode to remind me that every moment of every day I am choosing my emotions and in fact as I write this I choose to be happy ☺