I got well and truly karma-slapped yesterday. I shopped in my local super superior supermarket, Booths, and then went downstairs to their cafe to claim my free cup of tea (with my loyalty card). As usual I offered my card but was told I had to buy a cake or a biscuit to qualify for the free drink. I never ever eat either. In great high dudgeon I said as much to the member of staff. I then paid over my £2.15 feeling extremely virtuous. That feeling didn’t last long. As I sat down I realised I could have bought a biscuit for 80p which I could then have given to the hungry pigeons I had been chatting with in the Market Square half an hour before. Doh! So, a lapse in mindfulness (it happens often) and my out of control ego cost me £1.35, the pigeons went hungry and hot water would have had more flavour than my cup of tea. Lynden 0, Karma Lost Count
Yesterday I heard another story of living in our ‘Now’ with resilience and optimism. Jim, now retired, told me of his life dedicated to building bridges everywhere in the world, from his first simple footbridge to seemingly impossible spans over terrifying chasms. The bigger the challenges the more he delighted in finding beautiful, practical solutions. I feel that we all live this way in our daily lives, constantly devising coping strategies to overcome or navigate our Lifetests.
This fascinating man then told me of his nephew, John. Two years ago John was following his uncle into an engineering career, a superbly fit sportsman, he was relishing every single Lifemoment. He loved triathlons until a random twig snagged the front wheel of his bike during the downhill cycling section. The next five months were spent in a spinal unit building the bridge to his new life, paralysed from the neck down. That was the resilience part of John’s story.
As for his ‘Now’ and his optimism? He has just taken delivery of a brand new quad bike capable of speeds up to 70 mph! John continues to lap up every juicy drop of Life, the shivers of terror adding to his joy. He puts to good use every technological development, gratefully embracing each additional freedom his evolving computer gives him. I have a wonderful vision of him, strapped to the quadseat, navigational straw clenched in his teeth flying over the Lakeland fells, leaving a trail of inspirational bridges in his vapour trail for us all to follow. I am off to rev up my own particular quad bike.
I mentioned in the first sentence ‘another story’ – a blog which inspires me is ‘A Spiritual Journey’. It is well worth a visit.