The NYC subway system can be tricky. It's the best and the worst thing we have in the city. I can be at work in 20 minutes door to door if things go smoothly. Fatima, (our sales manager), comes in from Brooklyn and she has daily stories about how the train stops in between stations and will not move for 15-20 minutes which brings up anxiety within her.
Last week my train home got stuck between 42nd street and 50th. There was a loud sound inside the car and we couldn't hear the conductor. 10 minutes later we were still standing still . I felt the anxiety rising. I got sweaty and uncomfortable in my seat.
It took another 15 minutes before we started to move.
I texted Fatima and asked her what comes to her mind when the train gets stuck. She said : "I feel like I am going to have a heart attack and die in the car with no one able to get to me; I feel trapped".
I was sure that it was a terror attack and that was why we had stopped in between cars. The conductor was probably dead already and the terrorists were on the way to our car next.
I asked the guy next to me what he thought was going on and he calmly said "Oh, it's a mechanical problem. We will be moving soon".
What a great opportunity to notice how our minds work and how we all have different default responses, and how we totally believe and attach to the thoughts and stories in our minds.
What's your immediate response when your train stops? When you are stuck and not in control?
Can we treat our thoughts as clouds that come and go?