Editor’s Note from David Arenson: It’s easy to think and feel amazing when you feel amazing … but what happens when things are NOT going the way you would like? What happens if you wake up on the “wrong” side of the bed?
It’s easy to say this when things are going the way I like and, as I would prefer all to be. You know, those Leave-it-to-Beaver kinds of days.
It’s a whole other thing to repeat that phrase when it feels like I am walking in piles of crap, waiting for the next landmine to go off.
The other day the little things in life simply messed with me more than usual. I woke up to greet the day by lying in bed and doing my morning breathing exercises. I walked into the bathroom to get myself ready for the day. As I stood with my oversized PJs on turning the knob to start the shower, ice cold water poured directly from the showerhead onto my face and all over the floor. Apparently the housekeeper had left the showerhead facing out toward the bathroom as she was cleaning and forgot to put it back where it belonged. I can tell you that my response was far from ”Every single moment in my life perfectly supports me.” My response was more like, “You have freaking got to be kidding me.”
The whole bathroom was soaking wet and my nerves left totally on edge as I jumped into the shower. Upon coming out of the shower, I noticed there were no towels upstairs. Of course not…. There is nothing quite like running downstairs to the garage – wet, cold and full of goose bumps. As I came back upstairs, I turned on my cell phone to listen to my messages and was unable to hear a single word. My phone had been suspended and turned off. I called the assistance number to get help and even that was turned off! It was one of those moments when I actually looked around and said, “This has got to be on Candid Camera.” My work schedule was booked solid all day long. I didn’t have time to go the store and deal with this. I brushed my teeth, finished getting dressed and cautiously went downstairs to continue my morning. I was afraid of what else might happen to mess with me!
After returning home from taking my little one to school, I looked out of the window, which overlooks the koi pond — and noticed my favorite huge white koi fish floating on the top of the water. It was 9 in the morning and all I can say is that I was ready to go back to bed.
I sat on the ledge of the pond and cried. I wasn’t crying because I was sad about the fish. I was crying because, in that moment, I felt very unsupported and alone. After I finished my not-so-little meltdown, I closed my eyes, put my left hand on my stomach and my right on my Heart. As I slowly breathed in through my nose I said to myself, “Every single moment in my life perfectly supports me.” As I slowly exhaled out through my mouth, I allowed my body to let go of the unsupportive feeling my body was carrying. I continued to do this for several minutes and began to notice a deep calm come over me. However, as I was repeating this phrase, I noticed I started to get angry. I sure didn’t feel very supported in those moments this morning. Not one bit.
With the next breath I asked myself a very simple question.
“How exactly did this morning support me?”
As I stared at the stiff fish floating in the water and started to reflect on my morning, I realized each thing that happened gave me an opportunity to slow down. The cold water shooting into my face quickly made my mind stop racing — the phone malfunction would allow me to reschedule a client and open up an hour in my schedule when I barely had a moment to breathe — and the unfortunate casualty of the majestic fish reminded me not to take things with too much worry because all passes. Most importantly, all of those things got me to the moment of really contemplating how everything in my moments supports me. It may not have supported the schedule I was trying to hold and maintain, but it was supporting a greater vision for me and teaching me to surrender yet again on a much deeper level. I simply had no idea how.
I walked across the street to the neighbor to see if he could help me get the fish out of the pond. The thought of doing it myself made me dry-heave. He said he would be happy to help, which made my heart feel fully supported inside. He continued to tell me that if there was anything else that I ever needed to never hesitate to reach out. He said that’s what neighbors are for. I checked my emails a few moments later to find out that a client scheduled that day wanted to postpone her session — which gave me time to get my phone fixed. As I stood in line to get my phone fixed, I met a really wonderful woman, passed her my card — and heard from her that very day.
After getting my phone fixed (which took all but ten minutes), I went to get some lunch and noticed a woman behind me completely overwhelmed and disheveled. It was hard to not laugh at her because it reminded me so much of myself that morning. The look on her face, her frantic energy, looked oh so familiar. It seemed that she had forgotten her wallet and couldn’t find her phone. When I went to pay for my lunch, I told the woman behind the counter that I wanted to pay for the woman’s lunch behind me as well. When the frazzled woman overheard me she said, “OH NO… I COULD NEVER…”
I smiled and looked into her eyes and said, “We are all here for each other. It’s a pleasure to be able to make your day a little brighter.”
I walked away feeling like myself again…
May we remind each other that regardless of how all of the details are unfolding, that we can trust everything will always work out better than we could ever imagine. When things aren’t going the way that we would like — and a breath or two doesn’t seem to do the trick to accept what’s before us — may we remember to close our eyes, breathe and ask ourselves one simple question, “How is this moment perfectly supporting me?”
We will find the answers if we are willing to ask the questions. Sometimes we just need to be reminded with a jolt of cold water in the face first thing in the morning.