“what’s for ye canna get past ye” –Scottish Proverb
Greetings Dear Ones!
In a time long ago and far away, there lived a woman who loved to sew. She worked hard in the Kingdom of Chaos to serve the Prince and Princess in her care. They were being “Home” schooled—which, naturally, meant they were NEVER home, so she dragged all manner of knitting and hand-stitching with her in bags and baskets wherever she went—to swimteam practice, to art class, to music lessons, even to friends’ houses where it was hoped the royal duo could socialize appropriately and not one day turn out “weird.” Everyone who saw her knew she loved to sew. The kingdom had a neighbor two doors down who was known for having a squeaky pool motor. (Apparently, the intervening neighbor could not rest comfortably in his hammock in the back yard without this pool motor driving him into homicidal rages against chipmunks.)
One day, just as the Woman who Loved to Sew was heading out the door and bellowing for the Prince to find his shoes, Mr. Squeaky Pool Motor showed up asking her if she would like a job removing the buttons from about three thousand polo shirts and stitching the neck openings closed. He thought that because she loved to sew, she might enjoy endlessly snipping buttons off shirts. He had just landed a contract to provide uniforms to a local cereal manufacturer whose employees were not allowed to wear buttons in the factory in case they fell off and got into the product (where, presumably, they would be indistinguishable from the rest of the cereal). He would pay her. “Pay? she thought, “what a funny concept. Imagine getting paid to sew!” She tried to do a few but it did not work out. She was not home enough. She was not organized enough. It was tedious work. With a huge sigh of relief, she soon advised him to find another seamstress who could manage this project better.
Time went on, as it does, and the Kingdom of Chaos collapsed and the Prince and Princess went off to real schools in the real world—or perhaps they were fake schools in a fake world, who can really tell? And the Woman Who Loved To Sew found herself unemployed. A woman she did not know phoned her. “A friend of yours has told me you love to sew and I need to employ someone who needs to sew. Do you think you are interested?” She was. She began to work and was paid to sew and she liked it all very much indeed. Then, one day, on her desk was a pile of shirts. Her instructions were to cut off all the buttons and to sew the bottom part of the neck openings shut. She paused. She recognized these shirts. She looked at the other women in the shop. “Did these come from Mr. Squeaky Pool Motor?” she enquired. “Why yes, do you know him? He is one of our regular clients. We do all the uniform altering for an entire factory through him. He brings these shirts by the bale and we handle them.”
The Woman Who Loved to Sew gazed at the mountain of shirts resembling an ugly red tide of seaweed on her desk. She thought of the Scot’s proverb “wha’s for ye canna get past ye.” She slumped as she realized she was living out some version of a Greek Tragedy—where she could never escape her Fate. Later that day, after hours of Purgatorial snippings of buttons and stitching the bottom inch of the necks closed, Mr. Squeaky Pool Motor— that cheeky wing-footed messenger to the Damned, showed up to collect the shirts. He was delighted to see her. “Are you employee of the month yet?” he joked.
In my lifetime, I have found time and time again that the work we are meant to do Finds Us, no matter how we think we are evading it. So too do Blessings find us when we least expect them. I am desperate to believe in the notion of Free Will—I cannot see how True Love could exist without it—but there are definitely some freaky coincidences that make me feel like we might be just the dice game of bored gods. The journey we think we are taking is really a dance going on between what we Think We Want and what we Must Have—the Entwined serpents of perfectionism and endangerment, oscillating between fidelity and rupture—as we become both the knife and our own wound. We try to choose wisely, thinking Choice Matters. Sometimes we have no idea how to orient ourselves except by the tags inside our clothes. (Hint: they go to the back.)
Perhaps versions of this story have happened to you? One day you realize that nothing is really working in your life…that just because you are still breathing does not mean that you are actually Alive. You feel tempted to do more of the same, only longer, harder, faster, better—but you realize that that is the definition of Insanity so you attempt to try something Completely Different. Only that does not work either; just because we are doing something “different” does not mean we are doing anything Right. Then you find yourself back where you began, only so much worse.
It would be far easier if the Universe provided clear signs, Unmistakable Biblical Omens—like burning bushes or flaming chariots to tell us we are on to the Right Thing. But no… Listening to the internal GPS of the soul is infinitely more tricky and nuanced. I get a lot of “recalculating route… you are approaching a slow-down ahead…you are not on the fastest route…” Sometimes I have to say my prayers and just lie down and wait. I know the thing I am looking for is also looking for me. If I am truly meant to do or be or have something, it is also meant to have me.
I am not a fatalist but I recognize that there is a Dance going on in this universe we inhabit. I realize there are ways to ask for what we really want that make it more likely we will get it. I look to my teachers. (My teachers are anyone who is near.) This spring, one of my best teachers was a young girl who bought a prom gown from us. It was a gown that had been hanging in the shop for nearly two years. It had come to us via a sad story and we had agreed to sell it off to recoup a debt. It was not an easy-to-sell color or size. It hung, like a headless, bodiless spectre of Prom all year in its corner. We tried to sell it off to brides, girls celebrating their Quincineras, or Bat Mitzvahs, you name it. No one would take it. I thought of tucking it surreptitiously into people’s bags and padding their bills with a mysterious charge of $300 just to get rid of the thing. It never worked. It seemed like we would be haunted by that dress for all eternity.
Then one day, a girl came in with her boyfriend who was having his tux altered for the Prom. I asked if she had her dress yet. “No,” she said, “I’m looking for a specific color and style. I haven’t found it yet. I’m not even sure where to look…”
“This color?” I ask, pulling forth The Dreaded Gown.
“YES!!!” she cried. “that’s IT!”
“Try it on,” I insisted, nearly ripping it from its hanger. “You are just the right size too.”
She put it on and it was PERFECT. It did not even need to be hemmed! It was like it was made for her and it had just waited patiently all those years and months, for her to come along and claim it. “I can’t believe this is a brand new Sherry Hill dress for so little money!” She said. She called her mother who came to see the dress immediately. They both agreed it was a good deal. However, even at the reduced price, it wasn’t money they had readily to hand. So the girl came back every week during prom season with another few crumpled bills of the money she was earning to pay for the dress. As I watched her process of Manifestation unfolding, I noticed that she did the following things:
1. She was Clear. She knew exactly what she wanted.
2. She Believed. She Understand that she could have it.
3. She Asked. What does this require? How much money? How will I get this money? What sort of work must I do?
4. She Responded. She got into action around it to work, earn, show up and pay weekly.
5. She Released. She Trusted. She knew we would not sell it to anyone else while she made her payments; she simply connected with the emotions of Joyful anticipation.
6. She Recognized immediately that it was “hers” because she had been looking for it.
7. She was Grateful. The day she picked up her gown was one of the most delightful days in the shop all season. She was effusive with her thanks and gratitude.
One of the things that impressed me the most was the consistent Belief and Determination in one so young. Mommy and Daddy did not come in and write out a check. Yet, she felt Deserving. She honored herself and her dress by earning the money and coming in each week to pay off a little more of the dress. She managed to give herself exactly the dress she had always wanted for her Prom. I was deeply humbled by her lessons.
What’s for us cannot get past us. But sometimes we have to know how to hunt it down and bring it gently to heel. Sometimes we have to choose to work, carefully, intelligently, consistently to get what we think we want. Getting into Alignment with our needs and wants and desires, rather than living out comic-tragedies resulting from a series of reactions caused by our own Blindness requires a series of conscious choices. The range of what we want and think and do is limited mostly by what we fail to notice. How many other girls never saw that dress hanging there for half price? How open are we? Can we observe what is around us mindfully, with a willingness to be changed by what we find?
I adore stories, myths, and legends. But I have found that Words alone do not teach. (If you have ever attempted to domesticate human teenagers in captivity, you know this to be true.) Words merely resonate with those who have experienced the same things. Words remind us of where we have been—not where we can go.
Fate seems willing to give us all we deserve. We just have to remain Connected to our Source and turned to the “On” position—like lamps that won’t glow, or sewing machines that won’t work unless they are plugged in to power. As long as we stay AWAKE, we know our needs will be met. Even if we have no idea exactly what they are.
Be well my Darlings! Get plugged in, somehow, to the source of your Love & Energy, your Hope & Happiness. May your Good Work, Good Things, and Good Love find you easily today!