January 30, 2024
The Perfect Storm
By Amba Gale
Sometimes we get what we want, and sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes, I like to look at it like this: no matter what life serves us, it is always what we need.
Eckart Tolle, one of my favorite teachers/authors, puts it like this: “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
When last week started, I had many plans. I had a humongous list of what was to be done and to be completed by the end of the week.
I knew I was in good shape. I had just crossed a threshold. After coming back from our trip to Indonesia, I was profoundly backlogged. But then what was on the “front burner,” what was first to take action on, was doing a deep dive into some inner work I needed to do. While this was work I had thought I had completed in the past, it had now crept up again, triggered by current external circumstances.
And I did the work that needed to be done through three new modalities I had never experienced before; I freed myself up from that pattern from the past, which had been behaving as a great, emotional monster from the deep in the present,
So here I was, freed up and ready to finally “catch up” after the huge backlog that had accrued during my one-month time away from home.
My lists were set. I was ready to go.
Then, the cold snap hit.
On Monday. the power went out. As we have a generator, we assumed it was a neighborhood outage and found out later that day that a tree had fallen across our driveway, and we had live wires laying across our road. PSE came out and fixed it later. They don’t wait long when such an event occurs.
The cold was unrelenting.
For three days, we couldn’t open our mailbox. We used a blow torch.
The next day, my husband and I found ourselves in the family room, unusually, in the middle of the day, and we were talking about this and that and the other.
Suddenly, we heard a big whooshing sound. It sounded like a tornado was going through our house. I ran upstairs to see what it was—he ran downstairs. When we met back on the middle floor, an enormous waterfall was pouring from the ceiling onto our wood floors. We acted quickly We put garbage cans underneath, which caught the water while Don ran to shut the water off to the house.
What later surprised me was the level of calm we both had available to us during the “waterfall.”
The plumber didn’t come that night; he had too many people in front of us.
The next morning, I had to go to the dentist to get a tooth prepped for a crown; the windshield of my car had ice on it. I ran inside to get warm water and realized our water was off. We prepped the water from our Keurig to get some warm water.
I made it to the dentist on time. However, my blood pressure was up from the morning’s scare, and when the dentist stuck the big needle, my gums, my jaw locked, and my muscles seized. I thought I might not be able to ever talk again!
What do they call that? “The perfect storm?” Lemony Snicket’s “Series of unfortunate events?”
The next day, a little after noon, the plumber came and, in one hour, fixed the pipe. By Friday, the sheetrock was patched up by our sheetrock guy.
In The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo calls failures “unexpected openings.”
What kind of openings? Well, for one, we saw that we have gained some muscles over the Covid years in “rolling with the punches,” as a good friend of mine said.
We have developed some resilience in letting go of plans we are attached to, on behalf of inner peace.
Here’s a quote for all of us from Einstein:
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
I choose to live the latter.
It was a miracle that we were in the same room at the same time in the middle of the day.
It was a miracle that we were not traveling.
It was a miracle that the floors were not harmed.
It was a miracle that we got to shut off the water so quickly and, with so many people also needing a plumber, that he was able to come the next day.
May we all recognize the small and large miracles that are all around us, each day, each moment of each day.