As I stood at the top of the stars waiting to board the plane a bitter cold wind whooshed around me.
After two wonderful days in the beautiful city of Edinburgh I was now on my way home. I had felt the beginnings of a cold and this icy wind was not helping my sore throat and fever. I thought I might treat myself to a little brandy and coke on the flight – for medicinal purposes only you understand- and to ward off the chills in my bones!
I was feeling a contented tiredness and wondered if the flight would be full and if I would be able to get a window seat – it would be nice to have a little snooze and completely relax for a while.
I found my window seat and started making myself comfortable, relaxing into my seat and adjusting the seat belt. I vowed that my healthy eating regime would start tomorrow ! Soon another lady made herself comfortable in the aisle seat, as she took out her ipad to catch up with some work she nodded curtly to me as she did so . I nodded back, matching her communication and gave her a a quick smile. Just before the doors closed another lady joined us in the middle seat of our row. She had a lovely friendly face and gave me a broad smile as she sat down and fastened her seat belt. She too took out her ipad and started replying to emails. I felt rather relieved that neither ladies wanted to open up a conversation at this time and intrude in my reflective “down time” .
The announcement came that we would be soon “pushing back” and advised us to listen to the safety instructions, all three of us relaxed back into our seats, our ipads/iPhones safely stashed away, and were now ready for a comfortable flight home at the end of our busy days. I smiled to myself as I heard the instruction “And remember put your own oxygen mask on first before you assist those around you”. A metaphor I always quote in my NLP training courses to great effect !
The cabin lights were dimmed, and lost in my own thoughts, I looked down on the twinkling lights and rolling mountains beneath me and I bid a fond farewell the city I love. The words I last saw written in large red italic text on the wall of the airport “Haste ye back” were a vivid picture in my mind… Yes I will be back soon I thought, either for work or play and felt a lovely warm glow thinking about this.
As the three of us in our line of seats were drifting off to sleep the moment was interrupted by the tinkling of the trolley in the aisle beside us. Shortly afterwards a friendly voice asked if we would like anything to drink. The lady in the aisle seat treated herself to a whiskey and lemonade. The lady in the middle seat still had her eyes closed and seemed to be enjoying some peaceful sleep.
“A brandy and diet coke please” I replied to the smiling steward. As I reached out to take my drink from the uniformed and perfectly groomed young man, the plastic cup touched the head of the sleeping lady next to me and her eyes opened. At the same time the young man at the trolley asked if I wanted ice. I felt awful that the young lady had been disturbed by the transactions of my guilty pleasure! With a broad smile she took the plastic cup from the steward and passed it to me – I thought he asked “do you want sex! ” she said laughing . We both then roared laughing and made some inappropriate comments about the lengths some airlines would go to keep their customers – that literally broke the ice between us!
Ester, that was her name I found out shortly afterwards, then started chatting away happily to me. asking me how long I’d been in Edinburgh and for what reason I had been there.
Very easily and comfortably we shared information about ourselves and our lives. The sleepiness I felt earlier had completely disappeared as it seemed to do so for Ester too , she was chatting away to me animatedly. I was genuinely interested in her story as she was mine. As well as sharing some of our personal lives we also chatted about our work. She too was involved in coaching and training of her teams – although that wasn’t her main role – and she always had an interest in NLP.
The time literally “flew by” and we were suprised how soon our plane had landed in Luton.
We became separated as our fellow passengers bustled to get off the plane , pushing in front of each other to continue their onward journeys as quickly as they could . Ester waited for me at the bottom of the stairs of the plane . We walked into the arrivals lounge together, still chatting and laughing away, and when we said good bye we parted with a massive hug that had the genuine warmth that good friends share when they part company.
I felt really happy that I had met such a lovely lady, and thought about how easily it could have been for that meeting not to have happened at all.
How many times, through tiredness or maybe us not feeling resourceful in some way, do we we choose to close ourselves off to the people and things that are around us right in that moment because of how we are feeling?
We can miss so many opportunities of meeting really great people, of getting to know and understand people and situations better and/or just appreciate the beauty and fun in our lives.
If I had remained closed off in my own world, as I know I can at times , I would not have got to know this lovely lady, and this was a great reminder to me of the benefits of really living in the moment and being curious about the world around us. In NLP terms – using our sensory accuity.
Ester and I have exchanged business cards, and I look forward to seeing her again on my next NLP open course. Also I know that we will be in contact with each other before then!