Exposed – Unhealthy Attachment to My Mac

All packed and ready to goWell, I made it to the Philippines.

Arrived last night just before midnight and got to my hotel, Pension Natividad, at about 1:30 am.

Kinda weird to take a 14 hour flight and arrive two days after I left.

Anyway, I left from LAX on Thursday, Sept 16, at 1 pm and got into my hotel in Manila on Saturday at 1 am.

In case you’re new to, here’s a little update on what I’m up to. I’ve spent the last couple years dreaming of transferring my life from Tucson, Arizona to interesting places international.

To do that, I’ve sold, given away, stored (only a few art pieces and 4 boxes of files and stuff) or brought with – everything I own.

Letting Go

My primary theme during this time has been letting go and continually redefining my personal identity (mainly letting go of identifying myself with my possessions, home, line of work).

Easy to say in just a few words, but it was actually extremely challenging!

On the plane from LA to HongKong I had another opportunity to let go and redefine. I’ll get to that (jump ahead to it). First some fun stuff.

Frequent Flyer Master

Flying Across the Planet

Have you ever heard of Cathay Pacific?

It’s a HongKong airline that is focused on quality, customer service and comfort. I’d heard from Chris Guillebeau, my hero, that it’s one of the two best airlines in the world (Singapore Airlines being the other).

So when I wanted to use my miles to book a flight to the Philippines, naturally I wanted to fly one of the top two.

Although I’ve flown a little internationally (Europe, Russia, South and Central America. Actually I just added it up: I’ve been to 24 countries, not counting airport stops.), I haven’t been much of a travel aficionado.

But when I ran into Guillebeau’s Frequent Flyer Master and Travel Ninja programs, I moved into a whole new realm of understanding and began to take baby steps into the exciting world of “travel hacking.”

In addition to turning me on to Cathay Pacific, Chris also taught me about flying Business Class for long flights.

Here I am in what I thought of as my own little Travel Pod.

Just a little gushing about the flight. One of the flight attendants knew all of our names. She even said, “Have a nice time in Manila, Ms. Hill,” as I deplaned.

In my personal theater, I had hundreds of movies and tv shows to choose from, plus I could see outside the airplane without opening the window via a camera attached to the belly and projected on my screen.

I watched a couple issues of House MD and the movie Cemetery something, mostly while cleaning up my computer’s address book and doing other put-off tasks and simultaneously charging my MacBook Air and my iPhone.

Oh, yea, the food! I typed up our lunch menu.

Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Business Class Lunch Menu


Heirloom tomato and romaine salad with lemon vinaigrette

Red king crab with marinated apple, celery and zucchini coulees

Main Courses

Steamed sea bass with salted ham, mushroom, steamed jasmine rice, kailan and carrots.

Pan-seared beef tenderloin on shallot confit, parsnip mash, green beans, baby carrots and cherry tomatoes (I had this – very nice)

This was just the appetizer.

Rose wine chicken with egg fried rice, pak choy, carrot and mushrooms

Rolled mushroom lasagna topped with mornay and marinara sauce

Cheese and Dessert

Gambozola, Yellow Cheddar, Port Salut

Fresh seasonal fruit

Chocolate marble cheese cake with raspberry coulees

Tea and Coffee



Braised beef brisket with noodle in soup

Smoked salmon with red onion on bagel

Chicken satay with cucumber and onion

Ice cream (Haagen Das)

Mac Crash

As I said, I was working on my computer during the flight and charging it too. I just got this new13″ MacBook Air and have had it less than two weeks. I wanted something smaller and lighter for travel and sold my terrific 15″ MacBook Pro to my niece, Des.

So I haven’t used my new Air much. Anyway, I was doing some work on the flight, then turned off the computer for lunch.

After lunch, I turned it back on and the screen went black.  I could see faint outlines of text, but otherwise black.

First computer strategy is always to reboot – right?  I kept turning it off and on, increasingly horrified (but confident in the inherent quality of Apple products and service) at what I saw.

Once the text on the screen was covered with a gauzy white film, like looking at it through layers of white tissue paper.  Not something you like to see on your new computer.

What’s Up?

My mind cast about for a reason for the malfunction.

Too much electrical interference on the airplane (I’ve flown and computed many times before – never heard of this causing computer problems – and many other folks were happily computing away in their own pods).

The electrical outlet was incompatible and I fried my computer (I’d had a recent conversation at the Apple store and was confident I had what I needed to protect my Mac)

It was a new Mac – I should have been testing it continually, so if it had any bugs, I could have taken it in for repair before leaving the country (would have been nice).

I turned it off and let it rest. Turned my personal media center back on. I was watching the Cemetery something movie with Ralph Fienes.

Maybe ten minutes later, I tried my computer again. Still on the fritz. Major fritz. Scared me.

And periodically, a wave of negative feeling would wash over me. That’s when I realized this was a pretty big emotional upset.

Consciously I knew I could call Apple via Skype and ship my laptop to an Apple center somewhere in the world for repair. The overall cost would be time, effort and money. And all would be well eventually.

But what I was feeling was deeper and stronger than just being concerned about the hassle of getting my computer fixed.

Turning Toward the Pain

Since doing so much EFT for several years, I’ve learned to move toward, instead of running away from, emotional pain (usually, anyway).  It’s given me the confidence to trust that I can resolve stuff and don’t need to hide it or stuff it (denial, repression).

I tuned in and realized that if I didn’t have a computer, my identity was threatened.

We are often unconscious to the way we’ve created a personal identity based on our jobs, our possessions, our relationships, our lifestyle.

This can lead to great discomfort when any of those is threatened or changed.

See Embarrassed to Do EFT on an Airplane? for the next installment of this tale, for what I did with this threat to my identity, and for a tapping sequence for you to help you loosen the hold your “stuff” has on you.


from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

p.s. Chris Guillebeau is an amazing guy and a wonderful travel mentor.  To learn more about what he’s up to, click here.

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About the Author

Natalie Hill is a Transformational Coach for women entrepreneurs. She loves empowering women to bust through their blocks so they can be who they were born to be. Contact Natalie at Google+

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