By Susan Beal
A sense of urgency always overtakes me when I get to an airport, even when I am in plenty of time. It’s the overall vibe, I suppose, of a seeming non-place—everyone there is rushing off to somewhere else or working to get people from here to there. The muffled, sub-sonic vibration of jets overhead and the smell of diesel that permeates everything adds to the unsettled feeling.
The process of going through airport security adds to the stress. One day a few years ago, my husband David, and I, were flying home from Sea Tac. He had gotten TSA pre-check and I hadn’t. I waved goodbye to him as he sauntered off to his special check-in point—no line there—and I paused to fish my wallet and ID out of my backpack. Just then, a gaggle of Japanese school girls sashayed past, and all at once I was at least 20 people farther back in line than I would have been moments ago. It wasn’t a big deal, since we were in plenty of time and it hardly mattered if we waited here or at the gate. But I smoldered as the line barely inched forward. I saw David collect his bags from the conveyor belt, clear of security. It was so unfair!
I told myself I was being silly. Our flight didn’t leave for two hours. Everything was fine. Yet everything rankled and my nose was out of joint. What was wrong with me?
The morning had started off well. I had just finished the second of four weekends that were part of the Lorian ordination program. I had been in a fine, even inspired, mood. And although airport security is tiresome at the best of times, I’m generally laid back. Even if I get upset, I can usually summon a sense of gratitude to lighten up. It’s fun to get a hassled security officer to smile, or to share a sense of amusement with fellow passengers at the mild indignities we were all enduring. I also like to recognize and say hello to the life and sentience within the airport building, the monitors and machines, the subtle beings and energies at work alongside their physical counterparts, unseen and rarely acknowledged.
On this occasion, however, I couldn’t summon the least smile. To make matters worse, after I’d been in line for fifteen minutes or so, a TSA officer ushered everyone just behind me into a new, shorter line. I escalated from petty annoyance, to robust anger, to simmering rage.
As I looked around me at the mass of people being processed by armed, uniformed officials, my mood shifted into something darker and more troubling. Suddenly, we were not air passengers having our bags checked for bombs and knives, we were refugees being herded into camps, prisoners in a gulag, illegal aliens captured for incarceration and deportation. The scene around me was superimposed in my mind with images of Jews being unloaded from cattle cars and sorted on train platforms, of women in headscarves being harassed by military troops. On top of anger, I was flooded with grief about the cruelty humanity visits upon itself. Clearly these weren’t all my own thoughts and feelings, but why was I picking up on them so strongly?
I shook my head. I needed to get a hold of myself. I gazed around me and reoriented to the present. Amidst the hubbub, a woman in the cylindrical x-ray machine raised her arms. A guard ran a beeping scanning baton over a man’s pockets. A mother bent down to help her young daughter put a Dora the Explorer bag on the conveyor. Tall, potted ficus trees presided calmly over the crowd. Sunlight filtered down from skylights high up on the ceiling. I could see blue sky through the glass, and clouds drifting past. I breathed in, I breathed out. But I was still mired in anger and grief.
I collected my stuff and put everything back into place, then found David, who was smiling as I approached him. I thought, “Fine for him to smile! He didn’t have to wait in line!” We decided to grab lunch before heading to the gate. After we ordered food I ran through various techniques for grounding and calming myself, but I couldn’t regain my equilibrium. Things didn’t improve on the plane. We were in the last row, in seats that didn’t recline because they were up against the bathroom wall. The smell of bathroom disinfectant wafted over us and the man in the aisle seat crunched noisily through bag after bag of smelly bag of onion sour cream potato chips.
Finally, somewhere over the middle of the US, my mood began to lift. Hurtling through space in a winged aluminum cylinder, subjected to bad odors, limited personal space, minimal oxygen, and an accumulation of annoyances, I started to feel better. They say angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. Maybe it works the other way around, too—when you fly, you take yourself more lightly. My mood lightened—not entirely, but I no longer felt hijacked by rage and despair.
Flying always makes me aware of the angelic and elemental beings who assist the material world. It’s not just physics that keep planes aloft, but the assistance of angels and sylphs. And the view above the clouds reinforces a sense of celestial collaboration. Also, I find the enforced inactivity of being stuffed into a plane seat conducive to meditation and self-reflection. When I fly, I review my life. What effect it would have if I went down in a plane? How would my family fare? What messes and blessings would I leave behind? It puts things in perspective.
The plane landed, thanks to the human and subtle teamwork. Once home, the peace and familiarity of our land and house embraced me. I sat down to center myself and do some energy work to ground and transmute the psychic gunk that had thrown me off. Despite, or maybe because of my sensitivity, I often don’t make a distinction between energies that originate with me and energies that are no more mine than the rain falling from a cloud or the exhaust from a tail pipe.
I reviewed the morning’s events from a clairvoyant perspective. I saw the emotional residue of thousands of people’s irritation, fear and frustration accumulating in the check point area, like an ecosystem overburdened with toxic runoff. There were vague shapes moving among the heavy residues, perhaps a combination of projections and thought-forms left behind by travelers, and more autonomous beings who find nourishment in such an environment, like rats in a garbage-strewn lot.
I felt stupid and chagrined for having been thrown so far off center. What kind of a Lorian priest would I make? I asked my inner guides for their perspective and all at once I was flooded with a new understanding. I often take on difficult energies from other people and places. I used to feel vulnerable, even victimized by my sensitivity, but I’ve learned through the years how to cope more effectively and safely with discordant energies. In this case, the subtle cleaning crew at the airport had recognized I had those skills and had handed me a bag of psychic trash to recycle when I got home. Apparently I’d agreed to it on a subconscious level. Yes, I’d gotten whammied at first by “leakage” from the bag, but I’d contained it until it could be properly transmuted, and my subtle courier services were much appreciated. I smiled as I thought of the constant warnings played over airport PA systems about not accepting bags or packages from any unknown person. Little did the TSA know it was happening all the time in ways they hadn’t imagined!
Since then I’ve learned to be a more conscious partner in such work.
On September 28, join Lorian teacher Susan Sherman for a free webinar on Energy Tending. In this one hour interactive webinar on Zoom, you will learn a simple and effective practice that can shift your inner landscape towards a more welcoming, loving and connected way of meeting the world in your daily life. For more information and to register, click here.