“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
It started off a seemingly routine morning getting ready to go paddleboarding. Thinking I would be mindful and not worry about taking my phone to take pictures, I purposefully turned my phone off and put it in the glovebox of my car. Forgetting that my key and my phone were both now in the glovebox, I closed the door, and the car automatically locked. Paddle and personal floatation device all locked in, a thickness of 6 mm of glass separating me and equipment that would enable me to continue my plans for the morning. I felt trapped, but was I really? So close yet so far away.
Here was a fork in the road where those hundreds (maybe thousands?) of hours of mindfulness meditation allowed me to pause. Knowing myself 10 years ago, I would have been wrought with catastrophizing, anxiety, self-blame, loathing and profuse apologizing to my friend who was meeting me to paddle. Instantaneously however, acknowledging that about myself, I was compelled to problem solve. A quick phone call back home to my patient husband to look for the extra key was unsuccessful, but we initiated plan B where he could unlock my car remotely via an online app. Not knowing how long this would take, I decided to go for a fitness walk along the waterway trail as I awaited his call back to my Apple watch. Returning, waiting in the shade, sitting on the curb, I waited patiently for the magical soft repetitive beeps indicating success in unlocking the doors to freedom. Modern technology in this case is a miracle! 50 minutes later I was on the water with my friend, connecting, and paddling, and enjoying the water. Returning to my car, I noticed a semicircle crack about a foot in diameter at the middle base of the windshield. No origin of this crack in sight. Thinking “Wow, this day just keeps getting better,” I couldn’t help but laugh at the close procession that these seemingly unfortunate events took place.
My very own “No Good Very Bad Day.” But, actually, it was only a portion of a morning. A few phone calls later, I have appointments and instructions for planned repair and my day continued.
Has living through COVID-19 increased my tolerance for unexpected events? Has it been the hundreds of hours of practice and teaching mindfulness? I certainly did not used to be this way. I share because this is my real life example of how mindfulness has helped and continues to help me. I am better able to see and experience circumstances for what they are rather than
getting caught up in false beliefs about what a circumstance might mean, or how a situation might fail, or judging myself for circumstances that I had no control over (ok I had control over locking my keys in my car, but berating myself certainly would not serve me or the situation). Mindfulness has been a lens cleaner infused with love for me in how I view my immediate life experience. Mindfulness embedded into my life has allowed me to view cracks as opportunities
where the light comes in.