Thursday, July 31, 2014

Everything IS perfect!

"Everything is perfect, all the time," so, the saying goes.  Or, at least that's how I say it when I'm trying to convince myself that it is true despite every known, concrete fact screaming otherwise as I recite these words in a panicked mantra, over and over hoping they will sink in and all WILL feel well.

Every so often, however, my best laid plans will go awry and I am relaxed enough in the moment to look for the hidden opportunity my change in circumstance provides. When I seize that opportunity magic happens and, inevitably, I later discover that my plan would not have worked out nearly as well as what actually occurred.

This is what happened yesterday.

I planned to spend the afternoon dissolving my mural work on an inside window at Yoga Health in Duluth. I discovered this past weekend that the glass enamel paint marker I'd used to begin the mural easily washed away. I thought it was partially due to the fact that I cleaned the glass with rubbing alcohol before applying the paint. So I planned to spend this morning erasing my mural from the glass so I could begin again this afternoon after washing the window with soap and water.

Prior to heading to the yoga studio, I went to pick up a few pieces of clay I'd had fired and was delayed by the salesperson. The whole time I was listening to him, I was thinking, I really don't have time for this, but it will be rude to interrupt. It would have been especially rude because he was telling me about a sermon he is giving in a few weeks and asking whether I thought it flowed well and made sense. I recognize the importance of speaking aloud prior to giving a presentation to organize the material and get feedback from others, so I listened.

He spoke about wildflowers that are planted and nourished by God. How their beauty and variety speaks to how very much He loves each of us. He said that the wildflowers remind us that we are never alone and all we need to do to remember this is to stop and appreciate their beauty and abundance. He said so much more, in far more eloquent words, but this part touched my heart and I'm glad I listened.

I had a dentist appointment at 1 p.m. and my morning delay didn't leave me enough time to get to the studio. I wasn't worried, I had the afternoon.

When I got to the studio after my appointment, however, it was locked, even though I'd made arrangements to have access all day. I wondered briefly why the door wasn't open, but it didn't matter: I couldn't get in. So I sat on the sidewalk and drew potential patterns for an upcoming class project on the only spare paper I had with me: a brown paper bag.

I discovered when I got home that I'd prepared the glass exactly as directed by the manufacturer. I was overjoyed to realize that listening to the spontaneous sermon saved my mural in the morning, and the unexpected locked door saved my mural in the afternoon, while gifting me with the time and focus necessary to plan a class I'd been nervous about all week.

I am stunned each time this sequence occurs. Roadblocks appear for seemingly no reason, my path is redirected, and in the end everything turns out better than I could have imagined. The only difference each time is whether I resist or relax; struggle or breathe; panic or trust. This experience reminded me that when my plan is changed by circumstances beyond my control, it is often (always?) because I am being saved from myself in an important way. Although I may not be able to choose what happens in any given moment, I do have the power to choose how I react to it and I know that relaxing, breathing, and trusting is a far more enjoyable way to experience these changes than the alternative. And so I relax, breathe and trust that "Everything is perfect, all the time." May you live knowing anything is possible.

My fledgling mural ...SAVED!