I was headed to India. Back to the Arabian Sea and the cliffs of Varkala to work on my novel. You know…the one I’ve been working on for about 6 years now. Five weeks in India. Five glorious weeks of nothing but writing time. Me. My computer. My memories. My music. And the ocean.
By the time the first leg of my 25 hour journey landed at JFK airport, I felt sick. Sort of off. Hungry but not hungry. Headachy. Not right. And to top it off, I was sore, because I’d fallen down the stairs in my townhome the day before. Two hours into the flight from JFK to the airport in Trivandrum, India, I was sweating because my butt wanted to burst wide open. Wide ass open.
Of course, it wasn’t simple. It wasn’t like, Oh, I’ll just get up and head to the restroom. Nope. Because I was in the middle seat in the middle aisle and the flight was in such turbulence that all were forced into their seat. Even the flight attendants. But holy moly. There was a crazy animal trying to get out of my stomach by way of my butt or my mouth, and I didn’t know which.
Now, I’m a rule follower, and I shiver at the thought of getting in trouble, but I couldn’t stay in my seat with the buckle fastened because the Indian man next to me was far too gentle a guy to be covered in throw-up or sharing the scent of poo with me. Plus, this was a 14 hour flight, and if I was to shit my panties, I’d pray for the whole plane to go down so no one would ever know. And that wouldn’t be fair to anyone, now would it?
So I got up. I got up and headed for the toilet. The flight attendant in the jump-seat snagged my arm. “Back to your seat. Back to your seat.” Clutching my stomach I said, “I’m going to be sick. I need the bathroom.” “You have a bag in your seat,” she said, indicating the flimsy puke bag stuffed in the back of the airplane seat. “Not that end,” I said, pointing to my rear end like a 2-year-old.
I fielded the other 2 flight attendants who also grew so irritated with me that they finally just let me go. I closed that bathroom door, and held on to the railing because the last thing I needed was for the poop flying out of me to get bounced all over the bathroom walls. This flight was rocky.
I managed to make it through the flight and thank God I didn’t poop in my undies or puke on my shirt because of course once I landed, my luggage didn’t. I realized this after waiting by the baggage belt for over an hour. It would take 3 days to finally arrive.
Thankfully, the cab I had prearranged waited for me outside even though it was 3am by the time I emerged. He drove the hour to the hotel, and I settled in. Me and my backpack with my laptop in it. I had no clothes, but at least the hotel had a little bar of soap. I stood under the cold water – hot water was a luxury the hotel didn’t have – and soaped up. Then of course, the water cut off, because you know, it’s India, and the water tank is dry, and what are you going to do? I sigh loudly and begin to wipe the soap off my body with a towel that I’m uncertain is clean, but oh well. Maybe the soap will help it too.
I awake the next morning ready to work on my book, but first I need to Skype my man and let him know I’m safe and sound. I turn on my computer, and realize the battery is almost dead, so I plug it into the converter and plug that into the dingy wall socket. As I’m filling Mark in on my lost luggage and soap residue covered arms, I hear an explosion near the wall socket. My converter is literally melting down the wall.
Let me make a long story short here. I couldn’t work on my book for over a week. (I don’t think well with paper and pen and much prefer the quickness of a keyboard.) I was driven all around every little shop around the area and couldn’t find the right adapter. I was so damn irritated. So mad. You know, because I had to sit on the beach and get massages. And who the hell wants to do that? I’m not even joking. I was really mad about this you guys! Because MY PLAN was not working out.
It would be over a week before I met the owner of The Juice Shack and told him what had happened. He strode back to the kitchen and emerged with an adapter that was exactly what I needed. The work on my book commenced! And I wrote up a storm even though there were people down the block getting bitten by a loose, rabid dog, and a man who got pushed over the cliff and killed before an angry mob set his cliffside restaurant on fire.
But I was confused – if I’m supposed to write this book – even feel a pull in my heart to do it, then why was it so hard? Why wasn’t the Universe supporting me in this? Shouldn’t it be helping me? Supporting me? Seeing to it that my luggage doesn’t get lost and that I have the technology I need without it dripping into obsolescence?
Fast forward a year later. I was sitting in Dr. Pain’s office. I had shoulder and neck pain that wouldn’t go away, and I needed a chiropractor. I call him Dr. Pain because his adjustments hurt like hell and make me cuss. Although that’s not that hard to make me do really. But if it works, then I’m all for it. He had his hands on my shoulders, and around my tank top straps, he could feel my skin. I’ve seen this doctor for years.
“What’s going on with your skin?” he asked. “It’s rough.” “Yeah, I don’t know,” I said, “I’ve noticed that in the past year.” He asked if I’d had any sort of accident. Nothing came to mind. Then suddenly it dawned on me. “Oh, I fell down the stairs about a year ago,” I said. “Did you get a concussion?” he asked. “Well, no,” I said. “I mean it was a really hard fall, and I slammed into my right side, hip, and back, and the back ridge of my head clipped the edge of the stair hard, but I was ok. I was able to crawl to my phone and was only blacked out for probably less than 30 seconds.”
He stared at me funny. “You blacked out?” he asked. “Well yeah, but not for long. No big deal.” He sighed and slightly rolled his eyes. He could sometimes be condescending, but I liked him anyway. “If you black out AT ALL, then you have a concussion.” I let this sink in for a minute. I remembered the flight. The sick. No freaking wonder. You’re not supposed to fly after a concussion.
Needless to say I did some acupuncture, some chiropractic care, and some specially formulated supplements to get my brain back in gear and working optimally. And I realized…the melted converter, the inability to find the technology I needed to work on my book – I saw it all as a horrible inconvenience, viewed it as a definitive example of how the Universe wasn’t supporting me.
Yet it so clearly was. Now I could see it. Now that I had all the information, it was so obvious that the Universe was trying to look out for me, to give my brain time to heal, to buy me the time of a week of not thinking or over-stressing it. The Universe was taking care of me when I didn’t know to do it for myself.
When we don’t have all the information, it’s easy to feel like the Universe is working against us. But it never is. It never does. It’s always working for us. We just have to trust it. We have to rest easy in the knowing that we are being guided as gently as we allow ourselves to be guided.
Since I wasn’t able to figure out for myself that I had a concussion, the Universe tried to help me recognize it with some horribly timed diarrhea. But that didn’t work either. So it took away my opportunity to jeopardize myself further. It protected me.
Now I know, no matter how hard things are, how inconvenient or nonsensical, that The Universe holds my best interest at heart. And I have no doubt your best interest is being held too.
So step back and ask yourself – Do I see this world as working FOR me or AGAINST me? I guarantee you’ll be happier if you can trust that it’s the former.