Wake Up Call! – Difficult Situations


Unexpected situations invite choices about how to be.

Flight delays had me join other passengers trying to sleep in the baggage claim area of a New York airport. I was captivated by a family who turned a space into a camping site laying out clothing and airline blankets to create sleeping bags. Tom, the dad said to me, “Our frustration level was so high but instead of venting we knew we had a choice to make.”

Tom could have chosen to be justifiably frustrated and despairing but instead chose to turn a difficult situation into something else.

He was not shy about sharing his emotional reaction to what had happened and having to spend a night sleeping in the airport. But Tom said it was their actions in response to the situation that mattered, “I hope we’re all learning that they shape our experience of life.”

The result is that a difficult situation for Tom and his family was seen through the lens of a shared experience of making the best of it. As we stood bleary-eyed waiting for the security line to open at 4AM two of his children said “Mommy and Daddy showed us how to go camping in the airport!” Tom said, “My children give me a filter about choosing life-draining negative responses to the unexpected or responses that are life-giving and about positive energy.”


In the face of unexpected situations:

  • Be aware of your breath and take time to be present to it

  • Remind yourself that you have choices about how to respond

  • How will your choices feed your experience of life?

Notice how your responses to the unexpected or difficult situations shape the way you to choose to be human.

Share your experiences of being present to feasting with friends here.

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©2012 Robert V. Taylor

Written by Robert Taylor