One of my favorite features on my iPhone is a little button on the drop-down menu for putting my phone in airplane mode. For those of you who haven’t discovered the joy of this little button, essentially it restricts your phone to very minimal functions and no cellular reception. I’ve used airplane mode extensively since becoming an entrepreneur. It’s not just a way to make sure that I get stuff done—it has become a necessity in my world to ensure that I keep a lot more Leah for Leah.
In the past, I’ve allowed clients to call me while I’m traveling, eating, churching, or walking. I even let a few clients wake me up in the morning. But I had to stop and realize that I’m not that kind of business owner that takes joy in conducting business while I’m people watching in the park. I don’t feel that I have to prove my worth by balancing an iced grande caramel macchiato in one hand while editing a document with the other. Even when I was an employee, I was not the triumphant 16-18 hour day person who bragged about my multi-hour conquests at my cubicle. No, I enjoy BALANCE, VARIETY, and PEACE. Being able to be an extraordinary editor and writer requires that I am also an amazing auntie, sister, godmother, and friend.
To ensure that I maintain my balance I have to go up into my private jet. While I’m up there I have a lot of conversations with Jesus, my Mommy, and my Daddy. I will have long winding conversations with myself about what happened the day before, what I learned, and what’s on the agenda for the day. More often than not, the inflight movies feature quite a bit of Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday,” “Masterclass,” and a short list of videos from preachers, teachers, TedX speakers, and regular folks that I like. Sometimes, I will switch it up with podcasts from Rob Bell or Tim Ferris. My inflight snacks are typically pretty light—Starbucks coffee, fresh water with lemon, yogurt and granola, or a piece of fruit.
My initial panic is always, “Well, Leah, what if there is an emergency? What if someone dies? What if you miss a HUGE opportunity?” But I have to remind myself, “Leah, what if you were actually on a plane right now. There would be NOTHING you could do until that plane landed. So whatever the it is, he, she, and they will have to wait until you choose to finish this journey.”
I used to love that ad campaign from Southwest Airlines that ended with the tagline “You are now free to move about the country.” When I choose to descend from my airplane mode, I often feel like I’m now free to move about my life with a greater sense of my purpose, my reasons, and my whys. Sometimes I get back on the ground with more questions and ideas. Sometimes I will begin my work docket up there with some light jazz or a podcast playing in the background. Other times I will descend back to Earth and take a walk around my neighborhood or indulge in a 25-minute shower. (Yes, I said 25 minutes. I’m a Pisces for crying out loud. This fish needs her water. There are other ways that I save Mother Earth.)
My life requires a daily flight outside of the clatter of emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media. I need that time above the clouds to just BE ME before I step into being an editor, writer, and ghostwriter for the day. I need to be on point with my spirit before I start bouncing around with other humans. So if you can’t reach me, please know that I’m not ignoring you. I’m just off flying and refueling my spirit. And I’ll be more than delighted to return your message when my plane lands.