I truly believe that when you need to learn something, the Universe will provide lesson after lesson to get you to where you need to be. The trick is being aware enough to read the signs. Lately, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the idea of living in the present moment, mostly because I suck at it. I’m always in my brain, planning something, imagining something, dissecting something. I feel I’ve been challenged to get beyond these mental gymnastics. If I’m ever to grow in spirit, I need to get the heck out of my head. This, as my mother would say, is my “growing edge,” which is why it’s so challenging.
This weekend I was slated to travel to a conference to learn more about my options in the writing and publishing industry. I’ve long toyed with the idea of writing a book (likely non-fiction, but I keep an open mind about fiction too), but I’ve got no idea where to start. Before I devote a huge chunk of my time to writing a serious work, I thought I would learn more about the industry and make sure I know what my options are and what I am getting myself into. Well, guess what? Three days before the conference, the publishing company had to cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s been rescheduled for this summer, which is fantastic, but I had a hotel room booked, a non-refundable, no changes, there’s-no-way-you’re-getting-your-money-back hotel room. Crap.
I immediately did what I always do when I get news like this. I had a little mental hissy fit. I mean, seriously? I was really looking forward to this. Travel by myself for the weekend. Have dinner with some friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Get out of my daily routine. Relax and recharge before summer starts and the kids are here 24/7. Crap. Disappointed here! Then, something miraculous happened. I stopped to breathe. I actually listened to my own advice and I stopped to breathe. After a couple minutes, I allowed myself to return to my head to weigh my options. There were only two. I could skip the trip. Sure I’d lose the money invested in the hotel room, but I could spend the weekend at home with my family and save up for the trip I’ll have to make later. Or, I could take the trip anyway, see my friends, and spend some quality time alone with my thoughts, my laptop, and my luxury SUV. Either way, I didn’t need to invest hours in the fabricated drama created by an unexpected decision. Instead of wasting time being disappointed and pouting about it, I could make a decision and move on with the present moment. So, I did. As an early Mother’s Day gift to myself, I’m going on my trip this weekend.
With that drama dispatched, I am able to sit here in the shade on our back patio, enjoy the chattering finches and the melodious meadowlarks, feel the warm, spring breeze on my skin, and just be here and now. I’m making progress. Little by little, I am getting better at refocusing myself when I get distracted from the current moment. Granted, I still have a long way to go, but my response time when I get sidetracked by minutiae is getting quicker. So, Universe, I get it already. I see what you’re trying to do here. Believe me…I appreciate it.