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Letting go of the Wheel


I’m in Chandler, AZ for a continuing education class this weekend. It lasts all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so I flew out yesterday (Thursday).


I was really anxious to leave Crested Butte this time. A friend from Santa Fe came to take care of my son (Evan) and will take him back to Santa Fe on Sunday for a week as part of Evan’s summer break. So, I won’t see Evan until next Sunday and I won’t be there to help him pack for his week away. Also, the last time I flew in/out of Gunnison, my flight back got cancelled and I ended up staying in Denver overnight – it turned out just fine, but of course, it was a major change of plans for me as the morning we flew in was Mother’s Day. My mom was taking care of my son that weekend, and we planned on having a special Mother’s Day ALL day. At any rate, these thoughts were going through my mind creating anxiety for me.


A little check-in reminder came my way on the connecting flight between Gunnison and Phoenix in Denver. I had about a 30 min time gap between flights from the original itinerary. The flight out of Gunnison was 15 minutes late. The time to get our bags (we had to check all carry-ons) took at least 10 minutes. A woman around me was really upset as she cried out that she was going to miss her flight and that the airlines needed to do something about it. She was quite vocal. I was getting a little concerned that I might miss my flight, but after seeing the woman’s self-created chaos and tailspin, I knew that was not the direction I was going to go.


I decided in that moment that I needed to do a self-check and figure out how I was going to manage my emotional state and behavior. It really sunk in for me that again I wanted control. Again, I wanted to know the outcome of my situation. Again, I didn’t trust that everything would work out as it needed to. I wanted to take control of the wheel for my son’s packing, the timing/arrival of the flight and everything else that was going on for me during my travels to Chandler for the weekend. I was getting anxious because I really had no control yet wanted everything to go the way I intended it to.


I am still truly amazed at how much control I want over my life. If I’m not conscious, that need takes over the wheel and runs the show. And, being even more unconscious, I get upset when the outcome doesn’t match my expectations. Knowing that, I chose a different tactic after seeing the woman fall apart at the airport. I decided to let go of the wheel. I decided to go for the ride. I decided that I wanted to disconnect from the outcomes I expected to happen.


The joy in letting go of the wheel, is that really anything goes. Not knowing the outcome allows for other things to come in. Having no attachment to expectations allows space for what needs to happen, happen. As it turned out, I made it to my flight just as it was boarding and the flight to Phoenix was uneventful accept that the staff seemed more professional and pulled together than I’ve experienced in the past. I’m not sure that is a necessary point to make, but I noted it none-the-less as it was very pleasant.


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