Your time on this planet is limited.
The clock started ticking the moment your plane landed, when you arrived on terra firma through your mother’s landing strip. It was a bumpy landing. But you made it.
As soon as the seat belt sign went off you were informed of three things: (1) you already have a ticket for your next flight out of here, (2) your ticket is non-refundable and non-transferable, and (3) there’s no date or time printed on your ticket, and nobody (at least nobody on the ground) knows yet when your next flight is departing.
Our time walking on this earth is spent between arrival and departure.
The air traffic control tower is the most sophisticated one in the universe, and it never loses track of a passenger. It keeps a close watch on every plane landing and departing. And it doesn’t give free miles to anyone.
Reflecting on this makes us appreciate the time we spend between arrival and departure, in the waiting area of our lives. We can be more relaxed when we are heading to pick up our luggage on the carousel. We don’t have to cut in front of people to get to the taxi line. We can enjoy every moment, even the stressful ones.
For some, talking about our human arrivals and departures might sound morose, and if it strikes you that way I would invite you to ask yourself why. It’s just the reality of our lives.
Everything in the world ebbs and flows, including us. Everyone is either arriving or taking off again, or hanging around somewhere in-between. So why don’t we make the best out of it before taking our departing flight?
How can we live our lives in a meaningful way during our layover time?
Instead of rushing through staircases, escalators, elevators, immigration lines, customs lines, we can do all of that with a sense of patience and appreciation for everyone who is struggling to get to wherever they are going.
During my layover time, knowing that sooner or later my departing flight will take me away from here, I want to live with a sense of urgency, reminding myself that every day is a gift. The ticket is non-refundable, and once my departing flight is announced there is no way to extend my stay. So anything good I want to make happen has to happen in every moment, starting now. Every self-created drama has to end with the snap of a finger because I want to use this time wisely.
Knowing how stressful this airport can be makes me more compassionate towards other travelers. I am here to help others. I’ll carry their suitcase for a while if they need help with it. I’ll give them directions from one terminal to the other if they get lost. I’ll talk to them about the weather while we wait for our gates to be assigned.
I am here in the moment because this moment is all we have.
There was a time in my childhood when the whole family would go on Sundays to the park adjacent to the airport in Buenos Aires. We would park the car very close to the fence and spend hours watching the incoming and outgoing flights. I remember as if it were today watching with a child's sense of wonder each of those huge planes landing and taking off, seemingly defying the very laws of nature. Little did I suspect at the time that those planes were teaching me something profound.
Adrian Molina has been teaching yoga continuously since 2004. He is a well-known and respected instructor in Miami and New York, with an extensive worldwide following through his platform and school of yoga, Warrior Flow. Adrian and his husband Dennis reside in Miami and frequently lead workshops and international retreats in NYC and around the world. Adrian is also a writer, massage therapist, Reiki healer, meditation teacher, sound therapist, and a Kriya yoga practitioner in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda. Adrian is recognized for the community-building work he does in Miami and beyond.