Upping My Air Traffic Controller Game

On Working to Clear the Conversational Runway

The familiar British voice of the meditation app I use reminds me:

Meditation works best when we focus on others, not ourselves.

I’ve experienced it. Focusing on the emotional needs of my husband, daughter, friends, family, or coworkers helps me escape my own head and ultimately creates a positive feedback loop.

But, but, but…

“Everyone I know has a big but. C’mon Simone, let’s talk about your big but.”

It’s a hell of a lot easier to focus on the needs of others from the comfortable perch of my meditation pillow than in the middle of the chaos of daily life. When the airplanes of my own thoughts are taking off alongside everyone else’s, air traffic control can become an issue.

Who’s in charge here?

How I deal with it.

Because I have a tendency to get scattered when I’m in the air traffic control hot seat, I’ve learned that I need to clear the runway by slowing down my thoughts. I use tools like phone dictation or notepad in order to hold them for a more appropriate, clear-runway time.

I don’t force out this newsletter in the middle of an air traffic jam. It needs to wait for a clear runway, too.

Like butter.

It’s worth it, though.

It takes effort. But the effort pays off when I see my thought airplanes take off successfully and peacefully. More importantly, I see my conversations with others glide along in better, more helpful ways to happy destinations.

Clearing the conversational runway helps you be a better friend, parent, and colleague. Who doesn’t want to be a hero?

I know I do,

love, Meredith

Originally published in the Beautiful Voyager newsletter on April 3, 2017. Subscribe here.