Archive for July, 2014

July 24, 2014

Travel Tip #8 Speed Up Your Trip Through Security and Keep Your Clothes On!

Did you know you may be able to speed up your trip through security at the airport? If, like me, you feel like you’re always running behind once you’ve packed the snacks and headed out the door, you can benefit from participating in TSA Pre✓™.

TSA FAQ

If you qualify for this program, you’ll walk to a very short line, show your boarding pass and walk though a metal detector while your bag is being X-rayed. No removing items from your bag or clothing from your body. Let me qualify that – you might have to remove a trench coat, but if you want to wear your fancy boots that take forever to put on or take off, go right ahead because they will stay on your feet. You can also manage to avoid the full body scanner.

It’s unbelievable how much more pleasant a trip through the airport becomes when you remove the stressor of the regular TSA line. The requirements as listed on the TSA website are:
Q. Who is eligible for TSA Pre✓™?
A. Travelers that are eligible for TSA Pre✓™ include:
•U.S. citizens of frequent flyer programs who meet TSA-mandated criteria and who have been invited by a participating airline.
•U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents with a Known Traveler Number (KTN), sometimes referred to as a trusted traveler number.
•U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are members of the TSA Pre✓™ application program.
•Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves, and National Guard.
•Department of Defense and U.S. Coast Guard civilian employees.
•Members of the following U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trusted traveler programs:
•All members of Global Entry.
•U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS.
•U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are members of SENTRI.
TSA will determine an individual’s eligibility for TSA Pre✓™ on a flight-by-flight basis through an intelligence risk-based analysis of passenger data. A comparison of the four DHS Trusted Traveler programs is available here.

Currently, there are 11 airlines that participate in the program. I inadvertently was approved for a recent trip by using a 3rd party online booking site and leaving a checkbox checked. If I had known how much I’d like the service, I would have been demanding it, searching for that checkbox, and feeling stressed if I couldn’t find it. Serendipity is a wonderful thing!

If you feel enough pressure planning ahead for your dietary, workout, and health routine needs for a trip, you can now get rid of some stress by taking the easy way through the airport. I highly recommend it.

Anyone else use this service? Has it worked as well for you as it has for me?

For more information, visit:
http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/faqs

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

July 9, 2014

Cool as a Cucumber!

cucumber
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression cool as a cucumber; who hasn’t? This cucumber dill salad got my mind rolling in that direction, then I read about a robbery at a local hotel. The woman who held down the victim was clad in a swimsuit. She’s a cool cucumber for sure.

A TV news story yesterday from the town where my sister lives showed a naked woman running across a gas station parking lot. She appeared more hot – I would say under the collar, but clearly there wasn’t one – and bothered unlike a deliberate streaker at a football game. It was speculated that her run, which eventually resulted in her tackle by a police safety, was prompted by a high level of drugs in her system making her behavior run more hot than cold.

These two news stories illustrate our general association of cool as a cucumber with someone who is unflappable, controlled, unemotional, brave, strong, or unaffected by circumstances we feel would be intolerable or unbearable as opposed to someone who can’t control their emotions in the heat of the moment. When a doctor calmly reviews our child’s grave injuries, determines the best course of action, and looks us in the eye as he gives us bad news, we admire this quality. When a predator faces a TV camera showing no empathy, sorrow, or remorse, we feel chilled to the bone. Our minds struggle to understand; our solar plexus tightens in fear; our spirit senses a disconnect.

Detaching from our emotions serves to put us in a state in which we can function under extreme or dangerous circumstances without falling apart. It also removes us from our humanity, our reality, our truth. Hopefully, only momentarily until we’ve pulled the victim from underneath a car, or dressed our child’s severe wounds.

If we are exposed to traumatic situations repeatedly, dissociation from our feelings may become our most comfortable state because to stay engaged would be excruciating. To the casual observer, this can make us look like a cool cucumber. It may get us promoted at work, allow us to perform our duties under pressure or make tough decisions without flinching.

With the prevalence of electronic devices that can capture our image and transmit it at any time, we’re encouraged to wear our work mask any time we’re in public so we won’t get caught acting like a hot chili pepper.

This protects our jobs. This protects our families. On the surface it seems to be good advice, but we must recognize that it has a similar requirement in that to wear the mask we must set aside or hide our real feelings.

Why do I mention any of this? I know it may seem like an odd rumination for a post. Perhaps it is on its own, but the relationship of this content to the process of healing our wounds, reconnecting our bodies with our emotions, and feeding our spirit so we can thrive makes the topic relevant.

When we are distanced from our emotions, we cannot trust our perceptions and this leaves us feeling wary, on guard, afraid. Fear weaves it’s own limiting structure that often keeps us from being able to face the truth we know about ourselves. Without our truth, we question our ability to be brave, to face difficulty, to persevere, so many of us become numb and stuck. We look like the perfectly brave cool cucumber while longing for a connection with a chili pepper so hot it makes us cry.
pepper

Reconnecting with how we really feel is a messy, ugly process. It requires honesty, bravery, self-acceptance, and looking like anything but a cool cucumber. I happen to think it’s worth it.

How about you? Would you rather be a cool cucumber or a red-hot chili pepper?