I lost my wallet this weekend… dropped it in a taxi on Saturday, and now it’s gone. While I’d love to say that I initially looked at it as a lesson and didn’t let it get to me, I’d be lying.
Instead, it distressed me most of Sunday. It wasn’t that there was any money in it, just ID and business cards… just stuff. In the end, it provided a number of great lessons and options to me, but mostly confirmed that the state of our mind is the state we’re in.
1. Directly involved with the wallet, I have reconfirmed that thoughts build on themselves. As I focused on the “bad luck” of losing my wallet, I gave myself a plastic paper cut (ouch), spilled coffee on a shirt, closed the door on my thumb, locked myself out, forgot to collect money from a student… you get the picture. What I was focusing on expanded – the bad just got worse.
2. At the same time, my focus was stopping me from seeing the good. I conducted a great self-hypnosis class – with real gems and personal experiences (I’d like to thank those in the class who shared). We spoke a lot on forgiving and letting go, or not bogging down with what we don’t want (cause that’s what you get), and living in the present, without bringing the past into this moment.
While I was thinking that this was great stuff, I wasn’t applying it at all to my personal situation. So I carried the event with me, not forgiving some unnamed taxi driver or passenger for not turning in my wallet, blaming myself for being so “stupid”… meanwhile I was missing getting 110% into what was going on around me, enjoying the moment right then. For that, I’m sorry, but I have forgiven myself and taken the gems from the experience.
3. Monday morning it finally dawned on me that I might not get the wallet back. I got angry (because it isn’t fair, is it?). But then I realised that my expectations of a certain code of behaviour might not be universally held, and that these expectations were only hurting me.
I’m not saying that I won’t trust anyone to do “the right thing” and give back what isn’t theirs, but I realise that there are so many variables that exist that I’m not aware of, so I can drop a lot of the “shoulds” and “oughts” and “expecteds” that are only hurting me and the way I live – when I focus on them… loop back to #1…
So what’s getting me so excited now? Well, a perceptual shift is getting me moving again. And what have I been doing?
Gratitude list – I started typing everything I have to be grateful for – boy, I’m still going (stopping now and again to add things when I remember them) – some of them are about people (family and friends and even old boyfriends), some about me (great smile, strong arms and a solid hug), some are about the universe and world surrounding me (rain, the big tree outside, moonbeams), community (my neighbourhood, clean air, safe city), material objects (a good book and eyes to read, comfortable running shoes and legs to run), my mailing list (yes, even you got on the list so far)… once you start, I realised how ’my cup runneth over’, which sidelines a few bits of paper and a black leather wallet…
Shifting the Goalposts – by losing the wallet I realised that there were many things in there that I didn’t really need, but just carried around with me. Looking around my office and home, I can see that I’ve got redundant items, things that aren’t necessary but I’m keeping anyway. So I’m cleaning, sorting, donating, reducing, prioritising… Just like forgiveness is about letting go, physically reducing can make you feel lighter – your life reflects your state of mind.
Especially with the end of the school year, some of you travelling or celebrating holidays, it can be a time when everything seems to be rushed and stressed and maybe some things are falling off the end of the to do list. Take a deep breath. Count your blessings (note that the ones that come to mind first might be the things could prioritise more), clear out what you don’t need. Laugh and hug as many people as possible (just added that). Know that you are a manifestation of your collected thoughts – you are fine, you are lovable, valuable, good enough – and you’re on my list!
The wallet was returned – Mr Tan Kim Woi sent it back to the taxi company so that I could pick it up. That is another thing to be grateful for! And even more lessons to learn…
Book “of the Month”:
I just read a book called “Your Hands Can Heal You”. It is about basic pranic healing, and I enjoyed it.
To all of you who (and don’t) celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, I hope the holidays bring you joy and happiness. Have a great end to the year and talk soon.