I was working on my computer when the power went out. Tried to call someone … no cell signal either! Well, it wasn’t the first time when we had power off in our building during a heavy rain. Since it was getting dark inside, I decided to go grocery shopping.
“Not a good idea!”, you might say now, if you’ve read the news about the flooding in Toronto on July 8th, 2013. Well, I didn’t know at that time, didn’t check the weather for that day.
Last fruits and slice of bread were gone before the power went out, so I had a good reason to go out … right? 🙂 Hopped into my car, thinking that I’ll find a grocery store open in a nearby area. Yep, wrong assumption! 🙂 I drove on streets at the snail speed, bumper to bumper, for about four hours, in an area of about 8 square blocks (is there such a unit?) 🙂 Two blocks South, two West, four North and back. On my way, I was staring at the buildings with black windows, even had time to take some pictures. Since I didn’t know exactly where I could find what I want, I allowed my internal GPS (intuition), to guide me where to turn. 🙂 Should I be considered lucky that I didn’t got into those flooded areas, that I lately saw on Internet?
“Look, a new street feature near the subway station!”, I said to myself amused soon after I start driving. Continuing my journey, I realized that it might be much more than I thought at the beginning. Everywhere I went the power was off, no subway trains in action, it looked … strange.
At that slow speed, I had plenty of time to think. To my surprise, what came to my mind where thoughts like:
“We need an extended power off in the city to really appreciate a life with electricity.”
“We take for granted many things we have in our life.”
“Hmm, I should have food in my home that doesn’t require electricity (fridge, stove) to be eatable. You never know what could happen.”
“I should be more grateful for whatever I already have. Look, I’m driving a car while other people walk or wait in the rain for the bus … and I didn’t see any up to now.” Yes, for a moment I had the thought of giving a ride to a few of them, but for some reason I didn’t follow through. At that point, I start counting my blessing. And more thought I put into it, more calm I became and appreciative of life as is.
I noticed the politeness of drivers, allowing cars to pass through intersections with no lights. I guess everyone wanted to get home faster, but they showed respect to each other in the traffic. I didn’t see any accidents on my way, just fire trucks screaming for space to rush for emergencies.
The night taking over a black city looked scary, with only car lights making it appear alive.
I took this picture when I arrived home, as a reminder to appreciate more what I already have. Filled with gratitude, worries couldn’t surface from the dark. I fall asleep happy that I’m alive, healthy and safe: “I will take care of the rest tomorrow.”
This experience shifted my relationship with life into a new perspective, that now affects not only my thinking, but also my being, and other aspects of my life (including grocery shopping habits). 🙂
Please share your thoughts on this, or your learning from similar experiences.
PS: “Nothing new”, you might say, “I know all about being grateful!” But are you really counting your blessing daily? And really notice the gratitude feeling your body?
In a recent coaching session, I asked my client to say what she’s grateful for, while noticing the sensations in her body. To her surprise, most of the time her body was still tense while she was saying “I’m grateful for…”. Asked to recount what she said, she realized that her body was tensed when she was just saying it, but not really believing what she was saying. When I asked her to “zoom in”, she noticed a sensation around her wrist … like a metal bracelet that tightened her wrist to a point that it became painful. Then I told her to thank that “bracelet”, because it shows something that she needs to focus on. To her surprise, the imaginary bracelet dissipated right after she thanked, taking the pain away.
Saying it, without really believing, is not useful.