My best day so far: absolutely nothing happened

Posted by on 09.01.08 | 5 Comments
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‘Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but rather a manner of traveling’–Samuel Johnson

This post is an attempt to write with my left brain about a right brained experience. It happened over 10 years ago now, so I have the right to call it ‘my best day’ as it’s not the only day I can recall with my middle-aged memory–I have days to compare it to!

This day was nothing spectacular. In fact, nothing happened. If you’re reading this thinking that you’re going to hear about an event or something exciting, you better move on down your blog post reading list…but if you want to hear about a day that is my best one so far because of a lack of expectations and judgments, here’s my journal entry. My most sincere desire is to have more and more of these days until they end up blurring together like cities on the east coast of Florida…impossible to tell one from the other!

July 19, 1998 I left the FACIM ( Foundation for A Course in Miracles ) today after an extended class on Hamlet, Death and A Course in Miracles from the Course’s perspective. Rode the van from Roscoe (New York) to Newbergh to catch the plane home to Hotchkiss (western Colorado). Didn’t make it home–will finish the journey tomorrow. Interesting day…(Note: I was still writing in a paper journal at that time. Now I might have been keeping track of the day’s comversations and non-happenings on my mini tablet pc!)

That’s what ‘happened’. Here’s what really happened.

Being in a reflective and somewhat altered state from studying and reading and dreaming with the Course, I left the Foundation ready to head back out into the world. As I left, I don’t think I knew that my ‘world’ had been changed, but it had. After 7 years of semi-serious study–some of what the Course has to say had finally begun to sink in. From the Course’s perspective, the world is what we make it to be–it is an amalgamation of our projections and perceptions. The world as I make-it-up would never again be as unclear as it was before this day.

Riding in the van for 2 hours, I was aware of a peacefulness with which I wasn’t all that familiar.

We arrived at the airport and checked in, only to find out that all planes routed through Atlanta were on delayed status because of horrific mid-summer weather there, I merely smiled and sat down to look at the trees outside. I was aware of some discussion around me about the hardship of the flight delay. After an hour passed, we were informed that our plane was delayed another hour. I knew now that making my connecting flight to Denver was in jeopardy. But somehow it didn’t matter. I became aware that there were a lot of people that were getting very upset and anxious. For some reason, I wasn’t invested in the outcome of fussing about making the flight happen. I started talking with people around me, and found that we would both become calmer as we talked. I talked to the harried ticket agents, and although their frustration was obvious, they could feel somehow my lack of judgment of what was happening, and they would make little jokes and try not to get angry back at the angry customers. We sat. We waited. It wasn’t as if I was in a bubble–far from it. I was interacting with those around me and the situation with different eyes.

It’s as if it was a large party, and all I could do was smile at myself, at the others, and at the situation. Who knows what the people around me felt–they could have been ready to slap me goofy! And still we waited. The time passed for me to catch the connector and all I felt was this sense of ‘no worries’. Some of the others that were also to be on the flight found other ways to get where they were going. At about 7pm the ticket agents told us that there were no more flights going out of Newbergh that night and that we should find a hotel room. So I went downstairs to the baggage area, a little tired but not worried. There were NO hotel rooms left in Newbergh! I called every hotel, motel and B & B. The back-up had caused this small city’s lodging to fill up.

Now was the time to start being anxious…but I wasn’t. Something told me to call the Holiday Inn back and talk with Denise. I did–and told her the story. I asked if she had any rooms at all reserved for particular reasons. She said to hold on and she was going to talk with her manager. She got back on and told me with glee that he’d released one of the few rooms that they kept for special reasons (do they all do that??). I was filled with gratitude. Note: I later did write a note to Denise’s boss telling him how amazingly kind and helpful she’d been.

I retrieved my luggage, got a cab. The cab driver was from Nigeria. We talked as old friends do–in our short drive, he showed me pictures of his family, told me parts of his harrowing story, and we parted with sweet wishes for good lives for each other, and for his family to soon join him.

When I got to the hotel and met Denise, we hugged–it felt like we were old friends as well! I asked her if there was any food near by as it was now after 9pm and the hotel restaurant had closed. Denise said, ‘let me call someone’. She called the kitchen, told them the situation, and they made me a special, simple salad. I went to my room, washed my face, ate my salad, called my husband and told him that for sure I would be in the next day at 1:20pm in Grand Junction. Then I laid in bed in absolute amazement at my good fortune to find all those nice people in one day.

And then it hit me: these good folks are around us every day. This was not a special thing: this is how our lives could be–without a hitch. The hitches I would normally feel: irritation at the delays, the other passengers’ snarkiness, the lack of rooms, etc….they weren’t there, because I felt no need to have the day be anything but what it was: an opportunity to connect and be at peace. The world as I had known it shook itself like a dog after a swim.

I slept beautifully, had great dreams…and woke refreshed to finish the journey home.

There were some other experiences that I had on the long flight home the next day that cemented for me that these are not isolated experiences…these are woven patterns that we can begin to see if we stand far away from the knottiness of the backside of the tapestry–knottiness composed of planning, assessing, judging.

I am no bliss-bunny. I have my feet solidly on the ground and can say without hesitation that this experience has changed me forever.

I haven’t had that good a day since. I’ve had good moments, good hours. But this one stands out as a beacon of ordinary, everyday life that is how it really can be: full of love, adventure and deep joy.

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