My unsinkable Molly Brown of late has been our cousin Barb.
When I drop my Ego and step out of its shell, I see my cousin Barb in a whole new light. This is a woman who ran her end of a large automotive stamping plant for years. She and her gaggle of machines ran circles around the men. Enlightened males admired her work. Others were uncomfortable and a little intimidated. She is also the same woman who can’t wait to take a class this summer in Native American drumming. And in a completely unexpected manner, it was Barb who taught me about Grounding in my own private Master Class earlier this week.
Out of nowhere, the phone rings last Sunday morning. It’s Barb. “Hi, How you doin?”
“Hi Barb. This is freaky. I was just thinking about you.”
“Yeah? So how are you doing?”
My first instinct was to suck in my gut and puff out my manly Ego. But for some reason, in that moment, I didn’t. Instead I let the flood gates open and spilled away.
Smelling my musky scent of pain and fear, she came out of left field and said, “I want you to do something for me”. Taken a little off-guard by the sudden take-charge tone in her voice, I took the bait.
“I want you to go outside and find a tree or a pond or someplace that’s got nature in it where you can be uninterrupted. And when you get there, I want you to take off your shoes and socks and just stand there under a tree”.
By now I’m thinking she’s the one that’s lost it, but she’s got my curiosity up. “OK. Then what?”
“All these burdens you’re carrying…give them a color…which one I don’t know, but one will come to you”.
“OK. Then what?”
“I want you to breathe like you do when you meditate every morning – in through the nose and out through the mouth. But this time, imagine that every time you exhale, there are big drains in the bottoms of your feet. Turn them wide open and let the color run out into the ground beneath you. Feel that color draining down out of you and into the Earth?
And as the color leaves you, follow it. Follow it down on its path into the ground. Keep following it as it goes deeper and deeper. Just empty yourself and ride the color down deep beneath where you’re standing. Eventually, you’re going to see a Light coming into view as you keep descending to the center of the Earth. Follow your color there. All it’s doing is returning to where it came from. That will be your Source.
When you get there, just float and feel its warmth. After a little while, imagine yourself beginning to drift back up the same path you came down on. But now the path isn’t your color, it’s Light and it’s going to be gently pushing you upward, back to where you began.
Now when you get to where your feet and the ground meet, imagine the Light slowly filling you from the bottom up; filling you with peace where the color used to be. Let it keep rising till it’s spilling over out the top of your head like the top of a glass.
You are filled with Light. Light is going to emanate from every pore in your body. If you hear judgment or hatred this week, open your mouth and a beam of light will shine out to fill the moment and you’ll know what to do.”
I’m actually a little embarrassed at this point as I listen to her instructions. My Ego is back and I’m already thinking how to gracefully…but for the second time, I don’t and stepped out of my Ego instead. Maybe there was something to this. I mean, after all, I had been thinking about her when the phone rang. I was so beaten up inside it couldn’t hurt to try.
And I did. And it was good. The whole process ended up taking about 45-minutes or so and it really helped me in regaining myself. Walking through the next couple of days, I did what she had said and smiled Light at just about every hassle, problem or obstacle that came my way. I focused my thoughts on the Light inside and all kinds of things started getting a little better. Odd? Yes, but very cool and most excellent in the adventure.
“Hi Barb, it’s Dan. You know that grounding thing? I learned how to empty myself a long time ago in doing my focus time every morning. I know how to get to the ‘Quiet’, but here’s the thing, it never occurred to me to follow it up by filling my empty self back up with something else. I thought I knew a lot about meditation, but you’ve really taught me something brand new. I love you and I love you for that.”
So the next day, I was in the library and I went back to the display I had remembered seeing in my peripheral vision a few weeks earlier. The banner above the display read, ‘Books that will permanently change your Life’. Eckhart Tolle, Gotham and Deepak Chopra were there and so was my old friend Dr. Wayne Dyer.
The last book of his I’d read was Excuses Begone. It had really equipped me with some solid tools I use all the time…so why not. His new book is I Can See Clearly Now. Filled with admiration for myself as I walked away from the circulation desk with the book tucked under my arm, it has sat dormant on my desk ever since it came home with me that night.
Two days have passed and last night, I am surfing through dozens of TV channels with nothing to watch. Thursday nights are a wasteland. But as I surfed, what popped up on my screen but a PBS special featuring, you guessed it, Wayne Dyer. Spooky? Not yet. And the name of his special? ‘I Can See Clearly Now’. Now, it’s spooky.
He began by relaying to us (me) how the word ‘coincidence’ is really a term from the field of math, specifically Geometry. Empirically defined, it turns out that when two lines share all points perfectly, they are said to coincide (see 1).
When two lines intersect, they coincide at the point at which they cross. In either instance, Coincidence is Perfection. Singularity.
He went on to talk about how Fear and Love are the only two poles there really are in this life. He’s right. We all know about duality. Good and Evil; Life and Death. Ying needs Yang like Day compliments Night, which in turn heralds the next new Day. Summer, Winter, Hot and Cold…the list goes on forever. But Love and Fear are singular.
Love has no time or place for Fear. They do not coincide. And ironically, the only thing Fear is afraid of is Love. Fear, truly revealed, has no time or place for Love in its movements. Neither can co-exist with the other. This is, in the truest sense, not a coincidence.
And yet up until now, whenever I have used the word ‘coincidence’, it’s always been in the context of the accidental: “Oh, what a weird coincidence”. Like Barb calling out of the blue…
The longer I live on this asylum called Earth, the more I am reminded there are no accidents. Life is exceedingly coincidental.
The next morning (this morning) my phone at work rang. “Good morning. Thank you for calling [our company name]. My name is Dan. How may I help you?” It was one of our outside sales reps.
“Larry _______ here. Being the top salesman in New York is not an accident, I’ve got four or five things I need you to do and I don’t have much time…”
And with that, he was off and babbling like an auctioneer; each request delivered more condescendingly than the last. Now I happen to know our sales force were just issued new laptops and apps on them as powerful as any hard-drive on steroids.
I also know the sales people have all attended a 2-day training class on the new power tools. Maybe what was really at work here was Larry overcompensating for his not knowing how. Why else such unwarranted and rude aggressiveness? And besides, it didn’t really have anything to do with me, right? I just happened to be the mope who happened to be the one who picked up the phone. Coincidence?
Refusing to be less than professional with Larry, I also knew there was no way I was going to get rolled by some fast talking jerk who hadn’t done his homework.
I put on my state troopers voice and took control of the conversation. Besides, knowing what I knew, I knew Larry needed me worse or he wouldn’t be on the phone, telling me what to do. In the course of the call, I did everything that needed to be done to make sure the affairs of his Customers were well taken care of. But do you think I was motivated to do one iota more for him than was professionally necessary? Duh! No.
Thankful to have gotten Larry off the phone, my thoughts returned to the exchange several times through the course of the morning. Had I shown love? Had I shone any light? I had been right, but had I improved my standing with my Creator? I mean after all, somewhere there was someone who had to live with Larry. How did I know what might really be going on in his life? So while I knew I had handled the call appropriately, by lunch time I had decided to drop him a line or two of e-mail, thanking him for having let me help him with his Customers. That was it. Short and to the point, but I felt better.
As the afternoon wore on, calls were bouncing off the walls. All of us were starting to feel like we were defending the Alamo when I took a call from a Customer in Georgia.
“Good Afternoon. Thank you for calling [my company name]. My name is Dan. How may I help you?”
“Hi, my name is Mike and I’m the manager here at XYZ. We’re nearly out of product and we were wondering if you could tell us when our delivery is coming in today?’ He went on, ‘Sorry to bother you and all, but this is the Memorial Day weekend and it’s going to be huge. We’re really up against the wall here”.
“No problem Mike. Let me take a look and see what we can see to answer your question.”
In just a few short clicks of the mouse, I was perplexed. “Mike, I don’t know how to tell you this, but our systems show the delivery happened two days ago – but you and I are on the phone talking about when is your product showing up? Let me call the trucking company. Can you stay on the line with me?”
Several minutes later and having talked with one or two of the dispatchers, they asked if they could look into it and have one of their managers talk to me. ‘Yeah, sure.”
Several minutes later, I talking to a woman in Atlanta named Linda, explaining Mike’s problem. Remembering my experience earlier in the day with Larry, I made it a point to stay cool, calm and cordial as Linda looked at her screens just like I had been doing in front of mine a few minutes earlier.
“Dan, this doesn’t look right. I’m going to have to call you back. Can I have your direct-dial?”
“Yep, no problem. I really appreciate you taking the time to get to the bottom of whatever is going on here” and gave her my number.
I go back to Mike. “Mike, I’ve got to call you back. We’re working on it, but I want to make sure we’re seeing this clearly. You OK with that? Can I have a number where I can find you quick?” Mike agreed and getting his number, we hung up.
Fifteen minutes later, the phone rings. It’s Linda. “Hi Linda, it sounds like you’re getting as slammed today as we are here.”
“Does the phrase ‘one-armed wallpaper hanger mean anything to you?”
I could hear the smile in her voice and laughingly indicated I was picking up what she was putting down.
“Dan, we found it. Our driver delivered to the wrong place. He’s gone back to get it but it’s Friday afternoon which is why you saw a next Tuesday delivery date on the web site. I need to call you right back” and she was gone.
Five minutes later, “Hi Dan, Linda here. I’ve talked to our driver and we’re re-directing him back here to Dispatch. My manager lives in your Customers part of town. We’re going to load the order into his SUV and he’ll drop it off at your customers on his way home. He’ll be there between 6:30 and 7 tonight.”
Wow! I thanked her and called Mike back with the good news. He was clearly gob-smacked.
“I don’t know what to say? I really didn’t think I was going to get anyone to give me the time of day this late on a Friday. Thank you Dan. You guys really do walk your talk.”
I said something about it being no big deal, but made sure he knew it had as much to do with Linda and her crew as it did me and mine.
After we’d hung up, I had the impulse and picked up the phone.
“Linda, it’s Dan. I know I said thank-you before for what you did for us and our Customer, but I just wanted to say it again to you, human–to-human.”
There was no hug or kumbaya moment, but I could tell she didn’t hear ‘thank-you’ very often in her line of work.
“You’re very welcome. If you need anything in the future, anything at all, you give me a call. You’ve made my week. I’ll tell the guys you called.”
I remember hearing Oprah Winfrey talking at some seminar or another about each of us being like a ship. Mind you, we don’t have any say in what trade winds are blowing or where they are headed. That’s why they call them Fate. But each of us does exercise our free will in deciding to follow them and go where they are going to take us or, turning out of them in order to go somewhere else under our own power…and take our chances.
Mind you, the winds will blow. It is up to us to choose whether we do our part (or not) and make sure our vessels are fit for each day’s journey. Are we tending to our sails and keeping them in good repair? Or are we drifting?
So you ask, ‘On what beach does this seemingly disjointed week find you?’
Let’s roll that beautiful bean footage…
A week or two ago, I’d seen some books in the library before my name ever came to Barb’s mind that prompted her to pick up the phone.
But because she did, I gained a whole new approach to relying on silence as a means to filling myself with good stuff.
And so inspired, I checked out the book (which I had yet to read) Not feeling like reading and because it was a Thursday night, I was surfing my TV which unexpectedly landed me on a television show where I got to hear the author himself speak to me about Fear and Love in real time in the comfort of my own living room.
Coincidence turns out to actually be perfect, even when lines are crossing.
The next morning, a cocky salesman showed how temptingly easy it was to want to behave badly when he was crossing me. But I decided to try the love thing instead rather than be being fixated on just being right (another comfortable habit).
When I released my anger, I was now open to a faceless Customer I will never meet. And because he called, I now know that Linda exists and, how good she is, at what she does.
Because Linda sensed that I truly did appreciate her craft, she talked her manager into loading up his personal vehicle and make an extra stop on his way home?
And because he did, my Customers’ Customers will enjoy themselves this weekend and not even know a guy named Mike cared enough about them to call another guy they’ll never meet, a guy named me. And because Mike called me, I had the chance to practice my new found respect for the power of Love which in turn, prompted me to call Linda the first time, and then again, the second.
And all of it – all of it, because a driver in Georgia made a mistake in his delivery while I had the sense to trust Barb and let my color flow out into the ground instead of feeling stupid, standing barefoot under a tree.
And that, my fine feathered friends, is what has had me scribbling furiously for the past several hours in order to relate all of this back to you right now.
Moral of the story?
Wind and Love are usually unseen, but unmistakable in their presence and never accidental.
Fear is “fact erroneously appearing real” (Dr. Dyer).
The right things do happen for the right reasons when we decide to get out of our own way and go with Love. When we step outside of ourselves and flush our Fear out the bottoms of our feet, Love is able to fill our sails and do its job of taking us to wonderful places and people we didn’t even know were there.
Wise women and men have been trying to tell us for centuries that Life really does get better the more we flex our love for each other.
Unsinkable or not, all things really do work together for those that love…
SOURCES, PHOTO CREDITS and ATTRIBUTIONS:
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
READ MORE ABOUT MOLLY BROWN AT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown – Closing photo of Ms. Brown from same Source.
Cartoon by Odd Streak: http://middbeat.org/2013/03/21/tonight-the-middlebury-moth-coincidence-i-think-not/
(1) Coincide: coincide. http://wordnet.princeton.edu/. WordNet. Princeton University and An introduction to the Elements of Euclid, being a familiar explanation of the first twelve propositions of the first book (Google eBook) by Stephen Thomas Hawtrey
Longmans, Green, 1874 (Page 49) (SOURCE: http://books.google.com/books?id=kzIDAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=what+does+it+mean+when+two+lines+coincide&source=bl&ots=eyz_WcueDi&sig=l71V4KvuyTQQW6dMrqjxZFUkVhQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Dr-AU7nWD8WgyATng4GwCg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=what%20does%20it%20mean%20when%20two%20lines%20coincide&f=false
I Can See Clearly Now by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer: http://www.hayhouse.com/i-can-see-clearly-now-1; Joe Floyd by joris joriso: http://www.wipwapweb.com/media/show/instance/Salesman-1705
29 May 1912: Mrs. J.J. “Molly” Brown presenting trophy cup award to Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron, for his service in the rescue of the Titanic. The committee for the award was chaired by Frederick Kimber Seward.
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