Part of a Sequence to a Breakthrough

Here’s what happened today, part of an incredible sequence that helped me reach a huge breakthrough tonight.

The day was architected to be supportive of the transition of Mike’s 8-day vacation of full-time loving and playful availability to the kids (and me!) to returning to work.  As we moved into the day, the flow just wasn’t there.  I figured there’d be some fatigue after spending all yesterday afternoon and evening in the brisk air around the backyard campfire, but I thought today’s fun activities would compensate for that.  Still, at every turn, the Universe provided supports leading us to the next, often better,  moment.

I have often considered helpful coincidences as flukes and focused more on the challenges during reflection, but now I’m thinking they are built-in supports that were just waiting to be received within my awareness.  Thank you, Universe!!

My day began with a brisk morning walk in the sunshine, followed by some spontaneous sun salutations right in the snowy driveway on my way back to the house.  I just felt like doing them outside today, on the snow, in the driveway.  I stretched, leaned, and lunged, basking in the glorious sunlight, appreciating the beautiful sounds of the birds and the sweet icy gurgles of the stream.   A lovely, grounding way to engage in the new day.  I feel that it really helped to prepare me for the surprising up’s and down’s I navigated through after that.

I feel like every challenge today was met with the tools and resources I needed, around the time I actually needed them.

My visit with the kids to Chuck E. Cheese this afternoon began with a long wait at an empty employee-less counter for tokens.  But then the cashier gave us piles more tokens than we paid for, simply because the machine was jammed and she just wanted to give them to us.  Then, Quinn didn’t want to play or ride anything (??).  I had kind of wanted to zone out there, let the kids do their thing in a place they adore.  But Quinn wasn’t doing it.  She just chilled out at the table with me, looking around.  I finally got up and we walked around together looking for something she’d like.  Then, the first two rides we tried didn’t work.  But in advocating for my daughter to get the machines fixed so she could ride them, I felt more engaged and intentional during our time there.

Despite those two positive experiences of extra tokens and feeling more present with the kids, my overall mood was hard to overcome.  I was in a funk, trying to use every tool I could to pull myself out of it, and I was still having a hard time shaking it.  Suddenly, I received photo text from a good friend that made me laugh out loud and helped me switch gears.  She had no idea at the time, but she energized me into the shift I needed.

Later, we headed across the plaza to Kmart in search of a light-weight apron for me (as opposed to the canvas barbecue aprons I have that feel too heavy and stiff), something I’ve been looking for everywhere without any luck.  The kids were a dream to shop with, not overwhelmed by the large space like they get sometimes.  It was awesome.  They were so patient as we searched through the Household Organization area twice, the only place all of the employees I asked told us to look in.  No aprons.

I couldn’t give up.  I refused to believe that Kmart wouldn’t carry this item.  As we took the long way to the cash register in my walk of utter defeat, we happily discovered some 2010 calendars and presidential placemats the kids had wanted.  Score!  Then, in the next aisle, I found the exact type of apron I was looking for!  It was in a completely different section of the store than where we’d been directed to all of those times.  Jackpot!

Finally, we headed to the gym.  I dropped the kids off upstairs to play in the facility’s Kids Club, and I headed downstairs to change, looking forward to my workout to get some of the day’s highs and lows out of my system.  As soon as I finished changing  into my sweats, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building.  I gathered everything back out of the locker and headed back upstairs as quickly as I could, only to find that the Kids Club room was now empty.

My heart stopped.  I raced to the front desk to ask where the kids were taken, and they kept insisting that I leave the building.  I said in no uncertain terms, “I will leave the building as soon as I know where my children are.”  They told me where to look outside, and I was able to join them as soon as I got out the door.

I put on their coats, and we tried to leave.  We were ready to go home at that point, we’d had enough happen in our day.  However, I was told we were unable to leave since the childcare policy requires us to return inside to “sign them out.”  I asked how we were planning to sign out if in fact the forms were burning up as we spoke…

The firetrucks soon arrived and we watched the firefighters do their thing.  We eventually got back in, signed out, then left.

I was shaken up by the whole thing, but mostly by seeing the empty Kids Club room and experiencing the horror that I had absolutely no idea where my children were in that moment.

But, as had happened throughout this day and I imagine all days, the supports made themselves available.  Texting Mike and a couple of friends during the experience, then decompressing with them afterwards, offered exactly what I needed, right when I needed it.

The kids and I were really done at that point.  I wanted to cheer them up and help them get unspooked (the fire alarm experience was a little scary for them), so I took them to McDonald’s for the coveted Chipmunks toys, and to eat and play.  They were thrilled!  Declan proudly ordered and paid at the counter all by himself, which helped him to really center himself.  Quinn was excited to buy a toy all by herself too, as I looked on from a little bit of a distance.  Then She got *really* excited when the employee gave her a few of them for free!  Declan saw her bounty of toys, went back to the counter with some money in hand, and he came back with free toys, too.  The employees were so kind, generous, helpful, and patient as the kids selected the colors they wanted, it just warmed my heart.

After we got home, I drove out to the store to pick up some Sambucol so the kids could take it before bed.  I figure with a day like today, we needed extra immune boosters.  And as I drove, I started putting all of our day’s events together.  I saw how they all just fit together.

I also became acutely aware of the tension in my stomach.  I wondered why that was happening.  It felt like sadness and pain inside.  I wondered why I wasn’t feeling this in my heart area.  I knew these were emotions – why was I experiencing them in my abdomen?  Then I remembered something very common in my healing work — the heart/abdomen connection.

Many of us shove pain downward, we try to bury it in our bodies.  We move it out of our hearts, and we shove it down lower.  And there I was, doing just that.  I was seeing this happen right before my eyes, right within myself.  It was eye-opening.  With pain and intense experiences, I could see how I tend to? automatically? resist these sensations of overwhelm.  I look for ways to quiet them, to move them out of my awareness.  Anything but go into them.  (Enter food-as-pain-queller section here…)

So I invited the emotions to come back up.  I welcomed their return to my heart.  I went back to that moment of seeing the empty childcare room at my gym, that horrible void.  And as I felt those waves of panic, overwhelm, worry, anger, and fear rise up inside of me again, I breathed into them, breathed through them.

I knew the event had already taken place.  I knew that was OK, I knew the kids were OK.  It was safe for me to be with these feelings in my heart.  Where they belonged.  And to discharge them from my heart as well.

I breathed and visualized keeping my heart open, imagined keeping the channel between my stomach and my heart open, and pictured keeping my stomach clear and open.  In the grocery store, I breathed into that openness as I  walked through the aisles, helping my body to remember that these feelings were OK and to honor their fullness without squelching them or trying to turn them into something else.

As I breathed and reflected, I became intensely aware of the many supports that the Universe had made available to me to harness the amazingness of this day, in the form of Nature, Family, Good Friends, and Strangers.  That these were not random occurrences, but rather opportunities for Flow, helping me to see or be differently, to honor the flow within myself and within the day itself.

Tonight’s awareness around this habit I have of pushing emotion down into my abdomen is a huge breakthrough for me.  It reminds me of the amazing photographs featured in the news recently, the first images ever captured of an egg ovulating.   That the world knows a great deal about ovulation, and that a great deal of inferences and assumptions are made about it, but then suddenly and unexpectedly, we are presented with the gift of witnessing it and discovering important new truths about it.  And it can offer an entirely new way of thinking about ovulation, and everything else we think we understand, for that matter.

I know something about the way we move  energy around in our bodies in response to what life offers us, and I know something about helping our bodies support themselves into healing.  But until tonight, I didn’t know the precise, specific ways of how some of that imbalance gets there.  Tonight, I saw the first energetic “images” ever captured of the creation of that imbalance, inside of myself.

Yes, as meditative insights often do, I got there with openness and awareness, making a choice to listen to what was being asked of and told to me energetically.  But it was also with the seemingly-random supports over the course of the day that I was able to remain present in that journey.  Thank you to all of You who were in my day today!  And to all of You who were in a different day, which led me to the path of This Day!

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