When I signed up for the Sex, Money, Power Workshop in Napa, California last weekend, I thought I’d return home having gained some profound new knowledge on these subjects. But as it were, I ended up coming home suitcaseless, without my laptop, camera, lenses, clothes, shoes or passport.
You can imagine our terror filled faces when we were walking back to the car from a diner we stopped at on our way back to San Francisco, only to find a broken car with smashed windows, but with none of our possessions in it.
I thought to myself … who would do such a thing? Is there no humanity left in this world? Didn’t they know and understand all my confidential files, my business folders, my website work, photographs, blog posts and a whole slew of other important private documents were in my only 4 months old laptop? Didn’t they know that my SLR camera was a birthday gift from my parents, and my lens the first gift I ever received from my partner? Or the new clothes I just bought for the trip?
I was shocked. Angry. I felt betrayed. Violated. Not taken into consideration. Identity-less.
How am I going to cross the border without a passport… I asked myself.
Worst of all, I felt victimized. The Police Report didn’t help ease things with its big fat “VICTIM INFORMATION” in bold at the beginning of a very boring and useless process.
I thought… What am I not getting? I just said YES to claiming my power in that workshop. We spent 2.5 days of owning our deepest parts of ourselves, so as to empower ourselves as women, and this is how it ends? There had to be more. I wasn’t getting something.
By 2 in the morning I had contacted the car rental, my bank, my phone provider, the airport, the airline, the Consulate and the Passport agency, among others, like my family. I cancelled my flight the next day, and planned to go to the Consulate in San Francisco early morning to inquire about what to do with the passport situation. I wasn’t happy to hear they’d require I stay in San Francisco for up to 72 hours for them to issue a temporary travel document akin a passport.
Fuck that, I thought. There’s no way I’m staying here 3 more days with no phone charger, no clothes, and barely any money left.
Are there any other options, I asked.
She said I could book a new domestic flight closer to the border, and provided I could prove I’m a Canadian citizen, there’s a possibility they might let me go. MIGHT.
I decided in that moment that NO MATTER WHAT, I was getting home that night. Staying there would have only meant more helplessness and delays. I had to take the risk and TRY.
I called the airline company to book a new domestic flight to Seattle. All they had for that day was a late night flight to Houston that would get me to Seattle only the next day.
Fuck that, I said again. I need to get home TONIGHT.
I called another airline, and they only had a morning flight that would leave at 10:40 am. It was 10 am as I was talking to them. I hung up, discouraged.
What the hell do I do… There’s gotta be a way out of here..
I called both companies AGAIN. I asked them to look AGAIN for anything to either Seattle or Bellingham. Finally, one lady said: ” Well, we do have a flight at 2:37 PM, but it’s not economy. We only have business class seating available. That would cost you 214$ extra. ”
And I sat there for a second.. thinking.. second guessing.. Do I book business and pay all this extra money? What if I go to Seattle and take a shuttle bus across the border, and they don’t let me go? Then what? But I stopped, took a second to check in with myself, and stepped into my power.
I WILL FLY BUSINESS CLASS.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE.
Please book the ticket, I asked the lady.
And when I said that, I felt so powerful and abundant that I broke that pattern of victimization and lack that I was perpetuating. The way was there all along, I just had to believe and see that it was there. There were very few chances of a same day flight, but they were there.
Next I contacted a shuttle bus service. Last bus from Seattle to Vancouver was at 6 PM. My flight was arriving at 4:45 PM. I should be fine. I took the risk again, and booked a non-refundable ticket at 2 PM, just before my flight at 2:37 PM.
2:27 PM rolls around, and the plane is announced as delayed. 2:47. Delayed some more. Then 3:04. Then 3:15. Shit. Is this really happening? What if I miss the 6 PM bus and I have to stay in Seattle overnight?
No, no, no. It’s NOT happening this way. I began to picture myself in the bus, crossing the border no problem, and sleeping in my very own bed tonight, cuddling with my partner. I saw and felt every detail, and didn’t veer away from that possibility.
My flight landed at 5:47 PM. I caught the bus just in time. And I crossed the border no problem, even without the passport.
During the whole bus ride home, I reflected on all this… I could have focused all my energy on the thieves, and how I was victimized, and how much I lost, both materially and financially. I could have blamed them. I could have hated them. I could have been pissed at the Universe or God for ruining my weekend.
But in my own suffering over what I’ve lost, I got to understand the kind of desperation and “it’s not fair” mentality that those thieves must feel on a daily basis about their life. I got to see that in the same way I thought I was victimized by this incident, they felt victimized by life. Only that kind of tremendous suffering could explain such an act.
I got to understand that even if it feels like the end of the world for me to lose all of my prized possessions, I’ve gained much more. Laptops can be bought. Money can be made. Things can eventually be replaced. We always have the ability to create and have more.
The biggest lessons though were these:
1) I didn’t “lose it”. I kept telling myself that I can take care of myself, and I’ll make it back home calmly and safely.
2) I got to see how much support I really had, and that I wasn’t alone. My friend’s sister offered us her couch for the night. One other friend in San Francisco was happy to help me if I had to stay a few more days. 2 other friends in Seattle offered to be of help. My mom scanned and sent me my citizenship papers. My partner got me the phone numbers I needed to make all those calls. My phone provider company gave me 20$ credit for 200 roaming minutes, and the list just goes on and on and on…
3) The Universe was on my side all along. It wanted me to see & recognize my power all along (although, if I were it, I would have chosen simpler ways to teach me this lesson!!!). Once I STEPPED INTO MY POWER and let go of the victimization and helplessness, all the opportunities and right people and circumstances and timing came together flawlessly.
So throughout this adventure, I found my power. I stepped up the ladder. I said YES when all else pointed to me saying NO. And I made it home safely, just like I envisioned.
Adversity is one of the best ways to grow. This whole ordeal hasn’t been pleasant in the least, but I’ve learnt a lot, and quantum leaped in many ways. And holy shit, let me tell you, business class is SO much fun! There was Nothing MORE rewarding after all those delays than to walk and board the flight as one of the first people. I OWNED my power all the way from San Francisco to my comfy bed (yep, see how I was blushing while riding in the very front of the plane? THAT flattered, let me tell you :).
How do you choose to stand in your power today, and decide from that sacred space? I would love to hear your comments below!