” When you meet someone new,” my yoga teacher friend asked in today’s class, “what is one quality that stands out? Are they inspiring, loyal, joyful…”
My mind immediately went to: “Kind. They are kind.”
“Now,” she said, “If you feel comfortable, turn that quality into an ‘I Am statement..'”
I am kind, I began to chant in my head as a mantra.
As I pulled out of the yoga class and stopped at a stoplight, I realized I was in the wrong lane. I looked in my right side mirror to make sure nobody was coming, and switched lanes. As I did this, a car that must have been in my blind spot or who was doing the same thing, slammed on his brakes, and screeched to a halt. Oh boy, I thought in my head. Close call. I kept driving. I could see the driver’s hands flailing in the air. I felt badly, but was grateful that we did not get into an accident.
I turned onto the highway to travel north back home, and noticed the same driver tailing me. I knew it was him by the Rudolph nose on the front of his car. I switched lanes. He switched lanes behind me. I switched lanes again. He switched lanes behind me.
Suddenly I felt I was like Annie Walker, the kick-ass detective in the hit show Covert Affairs. I pictured her whizzing from lane to lane chasing a bad guy, with total confidence. Only this time I was being chased. Same difference, I thought.
I got smarter this next switch, and went directly in front of a car in the right lane, so that he could no longer be behind me. He went in front of me, and purposefully slowed down. He slowed down to about 35 miles per hour on the highway. This time I honked. I pretended I was about to switch lanes to the left again. He started to go that way too, and instead, I stayed in the right lane, which made him swerve back in front of me. Eventually he realized he was endangering himself by following me from lane to lane, and took the next exit while flipping me the bird in the rear view.
“Wow,” I thought. “Is this the violent people that I was scared of before taking this Black Cohosh essence? I was not scared at all today…”
I reflected the rest of the drive home, and even now, at how calm I felt the entire time this was happening. Even though this guy could have totally run me off the road. Even though he was stark raving mad. For some reason, instead of feeling guilty or bad, or pulling over, I just kept driving. Instead of being shut down, I went on the offensive. This is a new reaction, I realized, that I normally do not have in the face of anger.
I am kind…
This affirmation was sticking in my head. Pulling out in front of him was an accident, and what he was up to now, was intentional.
I am kind…
How often in life have I taken the blame for something that was an honest mistake, and tried to make up for it? How often have I believed I deserved punishment for making a mistake? Where did this belief come from?
We all make mistakes.
“Spread your angel wings,” Anna said in one of the yoga poses today. I felt my arms open and my shoulders. Sweet relief. I don’t have to hide this part of me today, right now. Nor did anyone else in the class.
I got home, and finally decided to pull the angel wings out of my car that have been in there since my Halloween wedding. A few of the feathers were torn and tattered. But, nonetheless they still are wings.
I am kind…
I will fix the wings.
Black Cohosh: No harm may come to me
Horseradish: I feel my power
Indian Tobacco: I embrace my higher nature
Even when it looks like it might be a time to give in, to shrink low, to be hard on yourself, chances are it is better to embrace who you truly are- your higher nature.
I often tell my clients, when you begin to heal things, the old story comes comes up and appears in your reality. It’s like your spirit is looking to filter the gold out, from the piles of rock and sand. Simply observe the old story almost like a train passing by, carrying all your old baggage with it. Today that man in that car, was my train passing by. He was reminding me of who I am not, and what I will not do, to appease violence.
I am so grateful for my plant and human allies today, as I remembered who I was even in the face of this angry driver. I did not shrink down. I will not shrink down.
And don’t you either.
My name is Grace. Do you know what that means?
I am kind.