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TRAVELING at the Speed of LOVE
By Sonia Choquette
HAY HOUSE, INC.Copyright © 2010 Sonia Choquette
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFlying First Class
When on life's journey, you have a choice in the manner in which you choose to fly. You can travel on standby, waiting for others to give you permission to get onboard; economy class, which allows you to get where you want to go without any frills, comforts, or ease of flow; or first class, which makes the trip a real pleasure.
No matter what class you choose, the flight pattern is the same: you are born, you live your life, and then you die. How you travel, however, is up to you. Standby is a gamble. Economy is a struggle. First class is a joy. Although going first class provides a more beautiful and comfortable journey, it also asks more of us, the travelers, to have this experience. Economy class, on the other hand, is a far less consciously demanding way to travel. It gets us where we want to go, but often involves-even encourages-a lot of drama, discomfort, and indifference with respect to the joyful spirit of life. Standby, the least creative way to live, is life lived completely unconsciously. It is the default option for those who are unreflective, irresponsible, and ill prepared; and is the choice of those suffering from addictions or other self-destructive behaviors.
What is importantto remember is that it's not the destination, but the journey itself, that our conscious awareness affects. As the saying goes, "You get what you give." While economy class might seem more accessible, the experience along the way will most likely be far more energetically costly to you, fraught with far more irritations, aggravations, disappointments, missed opportunities, and psychic insults to the spirit than a first-class trip would embody.
The good news is that when it comes to the journey of life, anyone can travel first class. Although it may feel as if you have no choice in how you journey, that standby or economy is all you can look forward to or all you can afford, that's not really true. It is really all you are affording yourself.
Let me be clear-I'm not suggesting you must physically travel on the earth plane in first class, because that's not the point. What I am suggesting is that the quality of your spiritual journey, your experience of life, can be first class if you want it to be.
And that offer is not one you can buy. Traveling first class in life is a privilege you must earn, and you do this by choosing love over fear. It doesn't always come easily (although it gets easier and easier), but it does allow you the finest quality of experience on your journey. To travel first class in life is to travel at the speed of love. It requires that you travel much more consciously, making a far greater effort to be in charge of your experience, yet it is open and available to anyone willing to make the necessary effort to upgrade.
To travel at the speed of love is to decide that the upgrade is worth it. To travel at the speed of love is to confront your fears, including defensiveness, anger, judgment, abandonment, and insecurity; and consciously reject those patterns in preference of a better, more loving attitude.
How to Upgrade
Can you upgrade your journey? Yes! Anyone who is willing to ask for more from life and make the effort to get it, who wants to enjoy his or her life experience rather than suffer and be a victim of it, can travel at the speed of love. The only requirement is that you be open to loving life-your life-fully, and view everyone and everything as a learning opportunity for your soul. Yes, everyone and everything!
To love something doesn't mean you have to like it, approve of it, or even desire it. It simply means to accept that this is what is happening, and if it's not happening in a way that uplifts you, know that you have a choice in how to respond. You can be a victim of it or send it and yourself more love so that your response to it will transform into one that is proactive, creative, and ultimately right for you.
It is challenging to travel first class in life, as I'm sure you can think of many people and things you do not love. I'm not suggesting that you love being in pain, or love the awful and even evil things that can be a part of life, but rather that you love that you are alive, and that you respond to all your life experiences with love. Once you decide to love your life and accept it all with the choice to respond with love, you will never turn back and ride the coach class of fear again. Once you've experienced this more liberated and peaceful way of living you'll want it, crave it, and insist that it's the only way to fly.
Yes, I know loving it all seems like an impossible order, and it is certainly a challenging one. I can think of quite a few things in front of me right now, both on the personal and political horizon that, from an ego viewpoint, frustrate and even enrage my sense of righteousness, and I don't love them all. And yet, the energy of anger and resentment only throws my personal flight into a tailspin.
For example, you may hate your body. To project this energy onto your body, however, causes depression, anxiety, embarrassment, and low self-esteem, all of which we know will not create a peaceful, loving flow. Because of these negative frequencies traveling through your body, you may be attracted to negative choices, such as eating a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream while watching reality shows on weight loss, staying up and playing computer games into the wee hours of the morning instead of getting a good night's rest, or sneaking cigarettes while walking the dog-choices that only cause your body to feel worse than before, creating a vicious downward spiral.
To love your body, on the other hand, and accept what is with your body at the moment will start to free the blocked and stagnant energy that keeps your body from being the vehicle you prefer. When you treat your body in a loving way-nurturing it with healthful foods, giving it the exercise and sleep it needs-it will respond by becoming a body that you do love. The key is to shift the focus of your attention to ways to love your body by treating it in a way that it serves its needs best.
Another way to love your body is to appreciate how hearty it is, even if it isn't exactly behaving or looking the way you'd like it to. For example, if you're chubby around the middle, acknowledge that you can still be mobile and get around. Then, in appreciation of this fact, go for a short walk every day. If your teeth are crooked and a little stained, be grateful that you have teeth at all, then take a little more time brushing and flossing in appreciation of that fact. If you have digestive problems that cause you to be bloated and gassy, be glad that your body lets you know what isn't good for it, therefore probably saving you from much more serious gastric conditions later. In appreciation of that fact, be a little more mindful of what foods cause your body to react so negatively. The point is, whatever your dislike or frustration, it could be worse, so turn your attitude around and love the full human experience, including the challenges and frustrations you may be experiencing.
Flying First Class Is Natural
Choosing to travel through your journey in fear and negativity, as most people do, goes against the flow of nature, against the flow of life, and against the flow of Divine grace. It causes you to remain below the clouds of doom and gloom and prevents you from reaching the higher altitude where the sun really is always shining.
So in the long run, the seemingly easier and more seductive way of living in fear is actually very expensive. It costs you positive connection, synchronistic support, ease, flow, grace, and personal joy. It will cost you present relationships and prevent positive future ones. It costs you health, vitality, good humor, creativity, and intuition. It costs you your life.
I just spoke with a client recently, Linda, who was married to a highly negative and fearful man, although he had many positive things going for him in life, including a beautiful 100-acre farm, a family of six devoted and healthy children who helped him on the farm in their spare time even though they had families and children of their own, and his loving wife, who stuck by his side in every way. They had no money problems, no addictions or dramas among their children, and they had a lot to be thankful for. And yet, in spite of his blessings, he was the bearer of an endless litany of doom and gloom, singing what Linda called the "lions and tigers and bears ... oh my" blues. He was dreary, miserable, and ungrateful for everything in his life. He blasted the government, the economy, the neighbors, the weather, and anything else he could conjure up. All was fair game for his assaults and insults.
Linda lived with him as long as she could, but after she had a breast-cancer scare, she decided she'd had enough of his misery and moved into an apartment of her own just to get away from him. After she left, so did the kids, one at a time, because without her they found him even worse to bear. Eighteen months after she left, she received a call from the neighbors. Her husband had suffered a stroke and was on his way to the hospital. He was so debilitated that he was put in a nursing home. "Now he has created the misery he always feared," said Linda. "It's a shame it had to be this way."
Other Classy Travelers
One of the bonuses of choosing to travel first class is that you meet the best fellow travelers. Because like attracts like, people who choose to travel in first class meet kindred spirits, like-minded souls who share the same values and priorities. These are giving people who are generous of soul and full of heart and make your journey through life richer in every way. They make great traveling companions, and open doors to wondrous new opportunities.
Just last week I was given an example of the kind of open-hearted kinship traveling at the speed of love can attract. The publicist for Hay House South Africa, Michelle, one of the most loving souls I know, took a trip to the United States for the annual Hay House business conference. Upon returning, she and three other Hay House employees decided to stop over in Singapore for a short three-day visit just for fun. After having a tremendously good time, they showed up at the airport to check in for their flight home when, to Michelle's horror, she discovered that her passport was missing. She was not permitted to get on the plane. None of her Hay House colleagues had time to assist her, as their flight was boarding, so she was left at the ticket counter without any apparent way to get home.
The ticket agent, clearly traveling at the speed of love, noticed Michelle's predicament and immediately stepped in to help her get an emergency passport and to change her flight for the following day. But his kindness didn't stop there. He insisted that once Michelle collected her new passport, she should spend the night with him and his family. Due to his gracious assistance, what could have been a disaster tuned out to be the best part of her entire journey abroad. Her loving heart attracted another loving heart to her. That is how it works when traveling at the speed of love. You will always be helped, and often in surprisingly wonderful ways, even when things appear to go wrong.
Seats Are Available
It's easier than you think to reevaluate the level of awareness of heart in which you choose to travel day to day. There is plenty of room in the first-class cabin of life. It offers more friends, more room to be yourself, more ways to relax, and better nourishment. An upgrade is always available. To apply for such an upgrade, you must shift your perception from head to heart, from fear to love, from withholding to giving, from "no" to "yes," from negative to positive, and from "me" to "us." The benefits of your upgrade will be immediately felt.
This is your life, and the manner in which you travel through it is up to you. You can have a terrible experience or a phenomenal one, depending on how you choose to fly: open, accepting and loving; or closed, suspicious, and withholding. The external world will bring what it brings, both good and bad, to all. That is the terrain of the human experience. Just as there are valleys and mountains, deserts and oceans, so too are there peaks and valleys in the terrain of human life. That is just the way it is. How you navigate that topography determines the quality of your trip. Fly under the cloud of fear and drama and you will most likely slip into a negative tailspin, causing the journey to be a first-class drag. Fly above life's struggles with an open and loving heart-and a commitment to love life, come what may-and the entire journey becomes an enlightening adventure for the soul, a heavenly trip.
I just read an article in the Chicago Tribune this morning about a doctor whose attitude dramatically changed once he nearly faced the end of his journey in a terrible and unexpected way. A self-acknowledged cynic who was known as the hospital curmudgeon where he worked, he was dropped off at the elevated train station to catch a train to o'Hare airport last winter at six in the morning. Crossing four lanes of traffic in a dark underpass leading to the train-station entrance, rolling his suitcase behind him, he was suddenly hit by a speeding SUV, which sped away and left for him dead.
Thanks to the expert response of the paramedics who arrived at the scene, within minutes he was properly transported by ambulance on his back, with his neck and head protected, to the hospital-which, coincidentally, was the same one where he worked, Illinois Masonic.
Once he arrived, he was met in the emergency room by a team of his own colleagues, who painstakingly devoted themselves to saving his life. Miraculously, only six short weeks later he was walking again, and six months later was fully recovered. Not only was his life spared, but it was also transformed.
Knowing that he came very close to losing his life on that dark and dreary morning, he now celebrates every moment on Earth as the best one ever. His peers at work cannot believe he's the same man who was once so negative that people went out of their way to avoid him. Today, he is so bright and loving that he is the star of the hospital. Grateful for his life, he encourages those he encounters day after day in the hospital to be the same. He nearly died in his own misery, but was given a second chance to journey in a different way. Filled with love for himself and all of life, he's now dedicated to awakening that love in everyone he touches.
Take a few moments and quiet your mind. Breathe in deeply, and relax. Get out your notebook, and write down your answers to the following questions:
Looking over your life so far, would you say you generally travel first class, at the speed of love, or would you say it's time for an upgrade?
Maybe you travel first class in some areas of your life but could use an upgrade in others. To discover the answer, consider the following questions:
Do you love and respect your body?
Are you traveling in a solid vessel that gets you through each day's journey effortlessly, or could you use an upgrade in your body and health?
Do you love your personal life?
Are you surrounded by joyful friends and family members whom you love; or are you surrounded by people traveling standby through life-waiting to take your seat, your energy, your resources, and your time to use for their own benefit?
Do you love your job?
Are you engaged in your work and treated respectfully by your peers; or are you suffering at the back of the plane, near the lavatories and the galley, feeling cramped, unloved, and overwhelmed?
Do you love yourself? Do you feel competent, confident, and in control; or are you wishing you were someone else living some other life than your own?
Excerpted from TRAVELING at the Speed of LOVE by Sonia Choquette Copyright © 2010 by Sonia Choquette. Excerpted by permission.
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