July 7, 2011

Dear Universe, Please Do Not Disturb.

It’s Friday morning and I am sipping hotel coffee in my king-size Westin San Diego bed.  Thank you, oh ye gods of hospitality.  I’ve been here since late Wednesday night, an impromptu trip to visit my mister while he does some work here in lovely SD.   And it IS lovely, though also a bit implacable, as some cities can be…even after a day of wandering I still found myself wondering, “WHO are you, San Diego?”   As of yet I have no answer, though we did happen across some super amazing wine and food last night at this place called Red Velvet Wine Bar, which made me feel a bit more tender about the city overall.

Today I am left to my own devices, and once I can manage to get myself away from this oh-so-comfortable bed, I’ll be heading across town to take a yoga class at a nearby studio  (From a teacher, it turns out, who is a former Laughing Lotus grad, my alma-mater, so that should be pretty cooooool.)

Anyhow, I have a little parable to leave you with before I start my day…

Yesterday, also while alone in aforementioned hotel room, I spent several minutes composing and then deleting emails.  I was having one of those days where I felt, oh, sort of forgotten.  Not in a friends and family way, but in a work-relationships kind of way, and my impatience was getting the best of me.  Why isn’t that person emailing me back?  Why haven’t I gotten any word back about X job I just did or am about to do or said I would do?  Why, why, why? And I tried composing some direct, “hey did you get my last email?” emails, and I tried composing some less direct, “hey how ARE you?” emails (in the hopes that just my name in the ol’ inbox would trigger some response), and then I tried composing some less direct (and way more manipulative) work-around emails, to connections of the people I was actually trying to reach, subtly urging them to help me out.

But I deleted all of them.

I deleted them because I could feel that I wasn’t composing these emails…no, no, that little demon DESPERATION had control of my email account for the moment, and even though it was like putting down an unlit cigarette once you’ve already stuck it in your mouth and started digging around for the lighter…I willed myself to PUT the email DOWN.  And I did.  And I sat there with myself.  And I reminded myself that I have been down this road before in other incarnations of my life and career, and that even though writing and sending the missive itself can momentarily relieve the itch, that ultimately, whether it’s later that day or a week down the road…it would only make things worse.  I reminded myself that it was okay to be patient.  I reminded myself that my time would be better served by getting on my mat and practicing, or reading that book I brought with me, then sending desperate calls for affirmation out into the cyber-universe.

So, that’s what I did.  I got on my mat, in the corner of the empty hotel room floor, and started playing around.  And after not too long, I nearly forgot what I was so tied up about to begin with.  Until my hotel phone rang.  It was the concierge–I had earlier asked for someone to come up and replace our broken coffee maker, and the concierge woman was following up:

“There is someone with a replacement coffee maker standing outside your door,”she said, “but you have your “do not disturb” sign up, and they aren’t allowed even to knock if it’s there.”

And as I hurried over to the door, to let in the man with my new replacement coffee maker, the thing I had REQUESTED, I had to thank the universe for its quick and witty response to my tiny troubles.

GIRLFRIEND, says the quippy universe, you have to take down the sign that says DON’T COME IN, before I’m gonna come in.  You dig?!

And that sign, the one you inadvertently place on your door, while inside you wonder where your coffee-maker is…it can be any number of things.  Maybe it’s desperation, maybe it’s worry, maybe it’s your conclusion that no one cares, that no one wants you, that you’re not good enough…whatever it is, just remember that THAT is what is preventing the easy flow of solutions and offers and functioning coffee-makers into your life.

So, if you’re feeling stuck, or unseen, it might be worth taking a quick look outside to see if you’ve accidentally put out that DO NOT DISTURB sign.  Because the universe is polite, and it’s not even going to knock, if it’s up.

(originally published on my blog, Shanti Town, February, 2011.)

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