Guest Blog: Creating Space
by Elana Brochin
I breathed a sigh of relief through my KN95 as I felt the wheels of the plane lift off of the runway. It was March 2022 and the first time I was traveling in a plane since before the COVID-19 pandemic began. This trip to Jerusalem had been originally planned for two years earlier, just in time to meet my newborn nephew. Three canceled trips later – corresponding with the onset of the pandemic, Delta, and Omicron – I was finally getting to meet Aviv, now an energetic toddler with a perpetually food-smudged face and a goofy smile.
Once the plane settled at cruising altitude and I started to hear the meal cart begin its journey down the aisle, I recognized another source of relief: a voice in my head whose volume had been significantly reduced. On previous trips, the wheels of the meal cart would be a cue for me to start my calculations:
How much could I eat during this meal to account for the fact that I’d likely need to eat again in a few hours (since, instead of sleeping, my body would be transferring to another plane)? Which meal would count as dinner and which meal would count as breakfast – or maybe lunch? – in my new time zone?
Would the extra hours I’d be awake and eating be canceled out by meals I would miss when sleeping off my jet lag?
How do I handle eating on the way back, during my 31 hour day?
But today, instead of the old calculations, I was hearing a louder voice asking:
Am I hungry?
What do I want to eat
When I listen to my body, what will it tell me about how to best nourish myself during these travels?
Later, as I was nearing the end of Talia’s “I Have a Body!” Cohort, she asked me what I’d want to do with the space that I had cleared up in my brain that had previously been wed to counting calories and pounds. I thought back to that trip and what I had done with the space I created from quieting those pervasive and intrusive voices; I got out my book, listened to my body, and started to cook up games to play with the amazing two-year-old I was about to meet.