The following article was published in the Kaweah Commonwealth on June 26 2009.

Guide for Positive Change: How crashworthy are you?
By Kay Packard

On June 1 2009, an Air France Airbus A330-200 en route froAirfrancem Rio de Janiero to Paris crashed, killing all 228 people aboard. After hearing about this devastating plane crash, I immediately made an analogy to our lives.

Facts are still being studied and indicate a possible malfunction in the plane’s electrical system, however, in the beginning, the story indicated a possible weather pattern, something outside the plane, causing the crash. Airline sustainability relies on the dependability of repeated and predictable operations. In this case something unexpected happened.

This story is impressive because it correlates directly to our lives. Each one of us is like a plane, traversing our life-path, going from point A to point B. We also have an internal wiring system that activates our guidance system. Meridians run through our body modeling that of a house-wiring diagram. The EKG machine measures the heart’s electrical activity. When the electrical system within our body gets zapped we can go off course.

We also get physical signals. Our throat, chest, stomach, and back offer superior guidance to deeper issues calling for our attention. For example, saying “yes” when we mean “no” may send an immediate signal to our chest creating anxiety and tension.

The captain of the Airbus A330-200 was experienced and had impressive air time documented. We, too, are practiced at this thing called life. During Airbus Flight 447, at least 12 other airplanes shared the same trans-Atlantic sky, but none reported any problems. “Although none of the other flights are known to have reported weather problems en route, aviation experts said weather can change suddenly and vary over short distances, so one plane might experience conditions far worse than another,” said a news report.

We too, experience “weather” in our lives. Our individual choices and decisions are a large factor in how that weather affects us. What route did we choose when we experienced or caused a particular outcome? Experienced pilots deviate around storm cells. How have you trained yourself to swerve around the storms?

Outdated thought patterns, guilt, anger, and judgment actually prevent us from circumventing undesirable weather and can actually contribute to the danger of storm systems.

Life out-of-the-ordinary happens. Are you in tune with your internal guidance system? Are you tracking your safety records and flight logs? Are you paying attention to your flight patterns? Are you monitoring your computer systems? What benefits would there be if we observed and responded to our internal operating systems on a more regular basis?

We humans may rely and operate on autopilot more often than planes. In fact, there are studies that indicate we can be on autopilot 80 to 90 percent of the time. Think of the last time you drove from point A to point B but don’t remember details of the landscape, other cars, or your speed.

It is helpful for each of us to analyze our own flight pattern history and determine how we are moving closer to our desired destination or not. We are fortunate to have personal indicators within to keep us on target. It’s important to set our flight plan and to be aware along the way. “Autopilot” may not help us when the unpredicted happens.

The unexpected can and will happen, so consider: how crashworthy are you? Will you be able to avoid one? What can you do now to set up for a safer landing?

Guidance for positive change includes observation, understanding, and realization that bad and good happens. Explore the opposites and paradoxes here at “Life University.” When we can look at the difficult lesson and get in the sandbox with it, or witness it from the teacher-tower, we advance on our master path. Take hold of the controls in your “plane” and be conscious of your flight plan, your maneuvers, and the weather.

Remember system failures can make us stronger from experience.

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