I have two offices - one in South Portland, one in Gorham. Last Tuesday, I had a meeting at my office in South Portland at 9:30. I got out of bed at 6am, made some coffee and fumbled around to get ready.
I let Lexi out, let her back in, fed her breakfast and took a shower. I dug around in my closet for something to wear and kept glancing at the clock. Gotta go... gotta go.... gotta go....
Once in my car, I ran through my day in my head... how my meeting would go, what I had to do after my meeting... what I had to do before I got home... I ran a grocery list through my head, and suddenly, it happened. I woke up... right as I was going around the rotary and my car aimed down 237, I realized I am not where I needed to be. I literally said out loud to myself "Oh my God, where am I going?!".... I realized I was on the wrong road, heading the wrong direction. I was on autopilot... driving to my office in Gorham, NOT to my office in South Portland. SHIT - I am going to be LATE!
I was sleepwalking.
Not literally, of course.... but I certainly wasn't awake either. So many moments I suddenly get hurled into the present moment, and almost like waking up from a deep slumber, I get jarred into reality. Huh? Huh? Wha....???
I've been working with a client, and she is currently reading "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. I consider myself well read in his teachings... not an expert (obviously not in practice) ... but well read. Two weeks ago, we discussed how she could bring herself back to the present moment while she was at work. She has an incredibly demanding job - she finds herself not eating lunch, not taking breaks, and at the end of the day, wondering where her time went. Her solution was to focus on having a pen in her hand. (she loves to write)..... brilliant. She also said she would say to herself a mantra. When I asked her what that was, she said "I will not rush through my life".... I challenged her to reframe her mantra to the positive... (because what we focus on expands - and by using the word "rush", that is what her mind would focus on) and she said "I am calm, I am at peace, I am in the moment"... brilliant again.
She spent the next week practicing her new habit, and last week she reported back to me "I've never felt so much JOY as when I realized I was in the present moment, slowing down, and taking a moment to breathe".... She experienced JOY. Wow.
As I cursed at myself, and then cursed Ru (my Subaru) for having a mind of her own and a bad sense of direction, drove a little faster, and checked my clock to see how late I was going to be, I remembered Susan telling me about the joy she felt....and I said to myself "I am calm, I am at peace, I am in the moment"... and decided to enjoy the ride. I may not be on the road I intended, but I might as well enjoy the journey.
Fog was lifting off the fields, and the sun turned the fog a misty pink. I slowed down and watched some cows graze in the field as I drove down Stroudwater street. I waved to a jogger as I drove down Spring Street. I laughed at the entertaining antics of two squirrels chasing each other around and around the trees at my office park. I felt the warm sun on my back as I walked from my car, and drew in deep lungfuls of clean, crisp, late autumn air.
Had I not woken up on my car ride, I would have missed the beauty of the morning. The cows would have still been grazing, the jogger jogging, the squirrels would have still been nuts.... but I would have kept right on sleeping.
It's time to wake up.... there is joy in my life, and I'm sleeping through it.