These series of reflections are inspired by my unexpected injury in Trinidad and Tobago that has caused me to bound to my arm chair leg propped up and still for the time being and forced to relate to reality differently. I hope these reflections inspire you to open your mind to new ways to invite in the present.
It is a little before 5am and after a quick night's sleep I am rushing out the door to be driven to the airport. Of course, I woke up at the last possible moment so that I could get every last drop of sleep before I sit for 14 hours of travel (one must be well rested for all that sitting). I have barely rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and I am dressed, packed up and attempting to catch my international flight which leaves in 2 hours (mind you I am 30 minutes from the airport). This is the American way right..get there right in time with no time to waste. This would be a successful mission, right? As I am rushing to hand my suitcase to the driver, I fail to notice the 4 foot deep by 2 foot wide large drainage ditch that runs alongside the road and directly in my path to the car. The next thing I know I am being pulled out of the ditch, bleeding, and in shock at the huge gaping hole in my shin. How did this happen? How did I not see the hole? Why was there not a sign to warn me or better yet grating over the hole to protect me? This would also be the American way..signs everywhere so you don't have to think and pay attention for yourself,,rely on the sign to tell you what to see and what not do do. There was no sign to tell me to watch out for a large hole, how inconvenient. I also notice, there was nothing to protect me and keep me safe from my inability to be aware of my surroundings. How rude of them to expect me to first of all pay attention to where I was going and then to be responsible for keeping my body and my mind in the same location simultaneously. How can I possibly manage this with the little time I gave myself and in the midst of my race with time to the airport? Now, all sarcasm aside, I am not stating that a sign or grating would not be a great investment of money in Trinidad, but where does my accountability land? Now, I am human and we all make mistakes and I am not trying to blame myself for this unfortunate accident. But, in all honesty, I do have some accountability to own that can possibly allow me to make some sense of a dark event in my timeline. I failed to take the time to be in that moment fully so that I could be aware of my body, my state of mind, and observant to the environment in which I was experiencing the moment in. Part of me was still asleep, part of me was worrying if my time calculations would get me there on time, part of me was annoyed that I had not had coffee before leaving, and perhaps another part of me wondered why I had chosen to stay so damn far from the airport...and so on. This fractured presence can work when we have signs that we can rely on to remind us temporarily to pay attention and when we have protective measures in place so we can stay unaware and make mistakes and never be the wiser. But, how do we learn to transition to full presence then when this reality is changed, like when you are in a foreign county or any new place? What alerts us to turn on our alertness radar when we have made a habit of never leaving time for it? I have to wonder what would have happened if I had set my alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier. Would I have taken the time to fully wake up? Would I have taken the measures I know I need to be alert? Would I have slowed my pace a little since there was no need to rush to the airport? Would I have taken my time walking to the car? Would I have perhaps noticed the temperature outside, if the birds were singing, if there were cars on the road, if the sunrise was occurring, and even what the ground was like that my feet were standing on...all that the moment offered that I was simply too rushed to notice. The moment is happening now. I wonder how I can take my own responsibility for how I choose to show up for it? I can rely on the external to remind me and keep me in check or I trust that when I fully arrive into it, I will have plenty of time to choose where I am step forth.