Today’s mediatation is titled “Resilant Me” and the centering thought is, “A gift resides in every moment.” I swear Deepak and Oprah must have some secret plan to test me because today brought some pretty serious moments… I’m still looking for the gifts.
Let’s ignore the fact that it’s been 100 degrees and humid all weekend and I work OUTSIDE. (I should start some union to make this illegal.) Or the fact that today is Labor Day, a day to celebrate all us red-blooded Americans who work way harder than we should, and give us some much need rest. Except I was working. (I should also lobby for a special Food and Beverage Service Holiday where WE all get a day off. Because to US, all holidays mean is we get to work HARDER.) I’ll even give some slack to the group of really sweet ladies I served early in the day who told me all about their online dating disasters, called me their therapist when I gave them advice, and then left me a 10% tip. (For those of you that don’t know, this is NOT good. It’s 20% in 2017, but I figured since I’m all enlightened now I should let this one roll off me.) But after smiling and engaging despite all these circumstances I finally reached my boiling point.
A group of 5 people sat at the high top table by the bar. I gave them great service, refilled drinks, coursed out appetizers and entrees, everything was smooth. At the end they asked to speak to my manager, but reassured me it had nothing to do with me. Turns out they were mad at the hosts because they weren’t able to give them what they considered a proper table (it was a holiday, they didn’t make a reservation while others did, and nonetheless were sat immediately at the still lovely high top table.) And then THIS happened:
Because they didn’t like how the HOSTS treated them, they punished ME by leaving me zero when I had rightfully (I assure you I’m good) deserved $40! Then they had the audacity to actually write me a note telling me it wasn’t about me! I would have rather them say nothing, tell me that I sucked, or that I had two screws loose and didn’t deserve to live. Any of these would have been better than trying to apologize while simultaneously screwing ME! When I tell you I saw red, I mean I saw flashing lights with steam and whistles cautioning a train it’s about to run off the tracks RED. And I’m so sorry to my table closest to the server station who had to hear me cursing like a sailor.
But then I thought about today’s meditation which told me to try to be less reactive, that I can find gifts in every problem and that each challenge opens a new door leading me closer to my own destiny. You’re going to have to excuse my language, but my first thought was, “how the f*^% is getting stiffed a gift??? Is my destiny being paid zilch for my hard work? Cuz that blows!”
Well, I think this was just an exercise in perspective for me. The fact is, once I took some deep breathes and calmed down, I realized I had a LOT of great tables who DID tip me. I could focus on that OR I could focus on this ONE situation. It also was a much needed lesson from the universe that a lot of things in life that really suck, and are unfair, AREN’T personal, even though at the time they feel very personal. Every single day someone’s ego is hurt because they don’t get the best table. Or someone snaps at you because they just got in a fight with their boss or significant other. And your choice is to let their projections drag you down and block your own daily flow of creativity, OR to listen to the whispered life lesson in each encounter.
It’s easy to feel joyful and in harmony with the universe when everything is going the way we think it SHOULD go. But how do we deal when there is a clear gap between what we want to happen and what is ACTUALLY happening? How do we prevent an explosion of reactivity like I had today? Meditate. Every day. As we get still in our minds we will be able to be still in difficult situations. It will be easier for us to watch our thoughts instead of letting our thoughts control us.
And find a way to be grateful for the life lessons and self discoveries you are making in the midst of hardship. I know my lowest point (remember broken relationship, loss of cat, homeles, car accident scenario?) did honestly clear the way for the biggest transformation of my life. It ended up being a GREAT thing. Even those people being common sense lacking jerks at work today served a purpose. It gave me material to hopefully help you! So keep on practicing, and listen to the words of the very wise Oprah, “Perceived failure is just life trying to move us into another direction.” I have faith life is better at giving directions than I am. I can barely tell my left from my right.
And so it is.