Today I returned home after back-to-back road trips. I left Thursday morning to help run a Meditation Retreat near San Luis Obispo, returned to my home Monday morning with enough time to pack for cold weather and then head right back out on another road trip, this time to Flagstaff, AZ.
I got to be in the passenger seat on both trips, so all in all, even though I spent 24 hours in a moving car over the last six days, my job was really not that demanding.
After sleeping in my own bed (ahhhh), this morning when I decided it was time to buy groceries for tonight's Group Meditation (a weekly gathering at my home which includes a twenty minute group med and dinner), I discovered that my car, the one that was not invited on either of my road trips, was missing.
After a little online research and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that my car was not stolen and was able to locate where it had been impounded. I hired a Lyft ($9) to get there, paid $557 which doesn't include the traffic violation ticket ($73) tucked neatly under my windshield wiper, and drove off less than forty five minutes later with a friendly wave to the garage attendant.
If you are getting the sense that I am about to congratulate myself for not losing my $h!t, well, you are RIGHT!
"Woo! Good job, Me! You may have gotten that slightly terse tone in your voice when your dearest was offering 'help if you need it' for the fourth time, and perhaps you let out a few elongated hot breaths that could've potentially frightened a dragon, but, you were friendly with the people you spoke with on the phone and in person, and you simply took care of what needed to be taken care of efficiently. You rock!"
Alright, now that you've had to witness my self-congratulations, the truth is, I owe it all to Vedic Meditation.
Jamey of eight years ago would've had quite an emotional response to these very same circumstances. She would've cried and fell into storytelling about how she was so careless and irresponsible and what a waste of money! She probably would've made herself walk to the impound site as a punishment, even though she knew plenty of people who would have happily given her a ride. But, no, she would've felt she "deserved" to walk.
How do I know all this? Because it actually happened about eight years ago.
You'd think with all that self-punishing I did that this would've never happened again, but... hmmm, maybe punishing the self for mistakes doesn't work so well.
Practicing Vedic Meditation for twenty minutes twice a day increases Adaptation Energy*, which means I can handle most changes of expectations and increases in demands, without losing my head. Instead of having a big ol' stress response to the situation, I am able to adapt and take action from a simple place of being, where many creative solutions are available to me.
That doesn't mean that when my car gets towed while I'm out of town that I just throw my head back and laugh and laugh, gleefully skipping down the lane as if it isn't totally inconvenient.
I still experience stress. I just don't stay stressed.
How do you think you would've responded in this situation? Do you have a practice in place that keeps you clear, calm, and creative? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear about it.
Do you practice Vedic Meditation and still think this situation would've caused you to massively stress out? If so, let's check in. You might just need a simple adjustment or some inspiration to start beefing up those funds of Adaptation Energy again.
*Want to learn more about Adaptation Energy? Find a Vedic Meditation Intro Talk near you and ask. You'll seriously impress your teacher. ;-)