The Real Reason for Turbulence

I wrote this post while on a plane, flying from Ancona in Italy back to the UK at the end of our honeymoon with my beloved hubbie Nige.

Know what I love about flying?

The way it makes you face death.

As Nige would say, “think about it”: You prepare for take off, and at some point (if you’re anything like me), a vision of a plane not quite managing to get off the ground pops into your head – completely uninvited of course. Even if only flashes through your mind for the briefest of moments, it is an image which nevertheless carries potency and power, instantly triggering primordial fear. Of course, your plane thunders along the runway, picking up speed and pinning you to your seat as you wash the world begin to rush by in a way that reflects day to day life in any major city, and before you know it, you’re a citizen of the sky, safe and not dead.

Then, perhaps, there is turbulence.

During turbulence, everyone tries their best to carry on as normal, reading, eating and sleeping. (Except for one time, returning from Barbados, when the turbulence was so bad that the overhead lockers opened, bags flew out and smacked people on the head and passengers left, right and centre started being sick. I prayed that day to just get the chance to see my mum one more time in my life. It was a simple request, and has thankfully been fulfilled many times over. How easily we forget what really matters.)

For frequent fliers, this carrying-on-as-normal is very easy to do; the turbulence is just an inconvenience in the way that potholes are on an oft-travelled road. For air stewards and stewardesses, it’s so normal that they practically dare it to even try and interrupt their daily routine of serving tea, selling bottles of perfume and maneuvering up and down the aisle with that compact little trolley that, to my childlike imagination, contains drawers and compartments full of magic.

But as unfazed and calm as we all try to be, engaging in some kind of unspoken, silent contract that we will not panic, for many fliers the unnerving bump-bump of the plane as it jars against the atmosphere reminds you of that buried fear that sits patiently just below your everyday chattering mind: the suddenly tangible fear of death.

Or perhaps of dying – the act or process of meeting the end of your life.

With Nige beside me, I feel safer; it would be alright to die by his side. Something about our companionship makes me less afraid to die. I realise something as we bump along, my eyes closed, head resting against the surprisingly comfortable blue economy headrest. My heart flutters a little, and not from the turbulence, but from the beauty of the image that my mind conjures. And what I realise is this:

Thousands of thousands of prayers almost certainly get uttered in people’s minds every single day by air passengers experiencing turbulence. Each of those prayers is unique, as similar as they may seem, in the way that snowflakes are unique, each with their own genetic DNA.

During turbulence, life’s extremely delicate balancing act is thrust, unwelcomed but inevitably, into your mind. And silently but collectively, God is summoned.Please God, let us live. Let me see my family again. Please let us be safe. Let us get there OK. Oh, God, that felt scary. Please, let us be safe.

I have this beautiful image in my mind of thousands of prayers being strewn across the sky every single day as planes take people all around the world.

I picture these prayers bursting forth in a moment of pure vulnerability, streaking across the sky, trailing behind the plane that carries them, each one leaving a unique trail in a unique colours. Pinks and blues, yellows and greens, purples and reds, cerises and magentas, aquas and pastels and brights. trailing like ribbons behind the plane that carries life from one country to another.

Daily contact with the divine. Daily connection to what really matters in life, if only for a split second and shrouded by a denial of the fear of death. A prayer-streaked sky above us, every single day that air travel continues to exist.

Perhaps that’s why God made some people afraid of flying – so that when they find the courage to fly, Love would be called upon, too.

Perhaps that’s why God invented turbulence.

An unexpected revelation

I have had something of a revelatory afternoon. (Welcome, by the way! Yay, new digital Elloa space! Woop woop!)

The wisdom passed on to me today came via a therapist. Well, a hydrotherapist, to be more precise. Okay, okay – she was a colonic hydrotherapist. Yes, that’s right; I sat for over an hour today having cool water flushed in and out of my colon to cleanse and clean it out. Yes, I did have that strange urge to look at what was leaving my body. No, I didn’t feel like I was going to poop myself afterwards. And fascinatingly, the lovely Senka at Revitalise in Hove could tell just from the types of bubbles and stuff leaving my body that I have a bacterial infection of some kind. She eventually diagnosed me (off the record) with candida – which apparently is notoriously difficult to diagnose.


Candida, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a parasite. Put more nicely than that, it’s an overproduction of yeast. The truth is that millions of tiny little parasitic nasties hook their claws into the lining of your large intestine. They feed off a substance that is known to be extremely dangerous and yet is found in abundant proportions throughout our western world and given to a huge number of children on a daily basis – sugar. Yep, that’s right: the white stuff, the stuff I’ve basically had an intimate relationship with since I was a tiny kid, has (as I’ve suspected for many years) been driving me along, and the urge to have it has been fed by these millions of bloody parasites living in my body. Yuck! What’s scary is that apparently, untreated candida can spread throughout the body and even get into the brain.

*Don’t even want to go there*

I have also had something confirmed that I’ve suspected for ages – I’m probably lactose intolerant (thousands of lattes later, I’m not surprised), and could do with taking a break from all dairy products for three days, reintroducing items one by one after that to see if I react to them.

What I learned about the body and colon health today was a revelation. Did you know that the first organ to develop in foetuses is the colon, and that all of the other organs emerge out of it? Well, I bloomin’ didn’t, and I find that utterly incredible. Senka told me that often, if a person has a part of their colon surgically removed, problems associated with the relevant organ that ‘popped’ out of it whilst in the foetus actually disappear?! Arthritis, for example, has been known to disappear. A condition as crippling as this has been found to vanish overnight once the source of the problem – the part of the body where the candida was active – had been removed.

Whatever it is I need to do to get rid of this thing, I will do it! (If you’re interested, my two choices appear to be a) 6 months of living on a very restricted diet in order to slowly, steadily kill off the candida; b) five weeks of an adjusted diet plus taking this – very controversial with the big pharmaceutical companies but supposedly incredible).

I think colonic hydrotherapy has a reputation for being a bit weird or disgusting. It’s still semi-taboo, a subject that’s met with an awkward laugh. But the thing is that it’s the organ that can determine the health of our whole body. Whilst we pay so much attention to our skin, layering chemicals onto it to make it ‘look’ nice and healthy, or to our hearts – vitally important, I’m not denying that! – surely the organ whose job is to actually eliminate waste from the body is something that needs crucial time and attention paid to it?

Imagine this… you live in a fabulous house. Marble floors (or whatever floats your boat). A gorgeous bathroom. Plush sofas, carpets and beds. A beautiful garden. An Audi out front. Fresh paint inside and out. And none of your bins are ever emptied. Old food, rotting and putrid, sits decomposing in your kitchen. You burn incense and oils to mask the stench, but that’s kind of pointless until you address the real problem – you need to empty the bins! Once you have, you find that things are a lot freer, the energy moves through your house, and you can truly rest in your environment. You’re not afraid to breathe deep. Life flows.

Finding a signpost that appears to indicate why I’ve had years of afternoon tiredness, tiredness despite getting lots of sleep, feeling disconnected, as well as a bunch of other physical symptoms (including itchy eyes that have meant that for the past few weeks I haven’t been able to wear my contact lenses – and it’s not hayfever) has made me feel so relieved!

As much as I don’t want to be a health freak, I do want to live lean, strong and vibrant. For me, a light has been shone onto something potentially critical happening in my life. I must be ready to deal with it.
One of the big challenges for me in my life is to take action when I’ve been given awareness about something, doing that all important work of making changes to habits and ways of being that don’t serve me. Apparently, I am at a crossroads, and it was an intuitive urge to book a colonic hydrotherapy treatment that led me there.

So watch this space… (I’m quietly pleading with myself to take the action needed on this one. Putting it out there = making space to welcome in support and accountability).

Is there something happening in your life right now that you’re ready to face the music about? Perhaps a physical symptom, or an emotional issue. Are you willing to be accountable? If it’s a no, that’s cool; just let yourself witness that. And if it’s yes, what is your next step?

I’d love to hear from you…
Elloa xx