This Isn’t What I Ordered

Spaghetti and MeatballsI had a dream that someone was holding a plate of spaghetti and meatballs in front of me. I heard my voice. “This isn’t what I ordered, but it looks really good.”

Then I woke up. Or did I?

When we think we are awake, are we really awake? Or are we on auto-pilot, living, acting, and reacting the way we always have?

Are we so quick with knee-jerk reactions that we miss out on tremendous opportunities for learning and healing? Or do we respond with mindfulness and acceptance?

I’ve had experiences where I have been in acceptance. It has taken years of practice, but I know that when I go with the flow, I am happier, more at ease, and less stressed.

I remember when I was in Massachusetts for my Smith College reunion and learned that my return flight had been changed. I would be delayed for six hours.

I could have gone into reaction mode. What? I want to get home in time for dinner with my family. Now I won’t get home until after 10:00. I won’t get enough sleep. I’ll be too tired tomorrow. I need time to do my laundry. And on and on.

Fortunately, this is not how I reacted. The initial “What?” was followed by Wow. Now I have six extra hours. What am I going to do with this time?

Then, I had a brilliant idea. I contacted my dear friend, Anne, and asked if she might be interested in spending some extra time together. “Wonderful!” was her generous response.

As we said our last goodbyes to friends, old and new, Anne and I took a stroll through campus to enjoy the beautiful waterfall, Paradise Pond, and the botanical garden. Then, we walked over to Capen House, the place we called home for four years in the late seventies. We sat on a porch swing, next to the window of my first-year bedroom, discussing Anne’s interest in Donna Eden’s program and my Healing Touch practice. Anne had invited me to be a guest on her VoiceAmerica radio show, and we were really excited about preparing the details of her interview.

We marveled that we were sitting here, where it all started, talking about energy medicine! As students, we spent hours in the lab and library pouring over huge volumes of research, and typed papers on our Smith Coronas. Ideas like the internet and the human genome project were floating around somewhere in the quantum field. Anne became a PhD and went on to pursue a successful career in pharmaceutical research. I became a teacher, and eventually an at-home mom.

Who would have ever thought, all those years ago, that two biology majors would end up here, free to explore this amazing world in ways we never imagined?

That Sunday afternoon was fantastic. As she dropped me off at the terminal with a hug, I was filled with gratitude for our friendship and the unexpected time we were able to share together.

These are the things of our daily lives, the inconveniences, the unexpected twists and turns that can trigger annoyance or frustration for some; for others, outright indignation and anger.

But when we cultivate flexibility, patience, and optimism, the benefits are tremendous. When big challenges arise, we are equipped to respond without losing our center. Successful stress management is known to provide major health benefits. Moreover, we can look at everything that happens in our lives as an opportunity. It’s an approach that helps mitigate the inevitable stress that enters our lives, and it paves the way for healing when the “big stuff” happens.

So maybe the next time you are at a “restaurant” and the “server” brings something you didn’t order, consider giving it a try instead of sending it back to the kitchen. You might be delighted with what you unexpectedly experience. You might find the silver lining to an otherwise challenging situation. And, you might even find a connection with a higher power, a higher order of things that connects you with the part of you that is already perfect, healthy, and whole.

Listen to my interview with Anne “Healing Touch is Energy Medicine” HERE.