Last Tuesday I looked out my window only to see the aged electrical pole in front of my window split in half. How and why this happened I have no idea but busy Gerrard St. was soon a snarled mess of police officers directing traffic, enormous trucks blocking the road in both directions, and men sporting fluorescent orange vests carrying saws and drills. As the day progressed, so did the chaos. Streetcars and cars were rerouted and pedestrians and neighbours stood in crowds behind the yellow CAUTION tape to watch all the excitement. My building was effectively shut off from the outside world as I watched from the inside. Moments later I found myself without power.
Of course, this all occurred right when our Minding Your Inner Monkey group was supposed to start in my building. There was no way that participants could get in the front door though without risking arrest or electrocution. In fact the electrical pole was being sawed in half as it dangled in the air, electrical wires still attached just outside our window. As with all situations, however, when one door closes, another one (or two or three!) opens as long as we do not have fixed expectations of how things should unfold.
Angiela (my co-facilitator) stationed herself outside with the police officers and directed our group traffic around the block to our back entrance. I lit candles inside our group room until the power came back, and our wonderful group members used their creativity to navigate the TTC’s new routes. To our surprise, we started only 15 minutes late (to the sound of jackhammers and saws) with a deepened sense of comaraderie.
I love moments like this. Moments which wake me up from the slumber of false certainty and the illusion of security. In Canada, we are so used to everything going according to our plans. We lull ourselves into a sort of domesticated sleep where we go through the motions of life thinking that we know what the next moment will hold for us, unaware that a vast array of possibilities exist. The apparent predictability of our lives (until we are confronted with illness, loss, death etc.) reinforces the notion that our plans are right, and our thoughts about life and ourself are fundamentally true. We live in denial of our inherent vulnerability to the vicissitudes of life and in unconscious fear of our freedom.
But, what a precious gift to be reminded that we can let go of the reigns and fly free into the unknown next moment, that we can bring our full aliveness to each moment of the day, and that each moment can give birth to a new experience of life and ourself. How wonderful to remember that each day offers us the opportunity to do something different and think something fresh. It is in the space of the unknown that our vast capacity for creativity and humour emerges. Imagine if we met each moment, each person, even ourself, as a blank slate with no preconceived ideas….
There is no doubt that our Minding Your Inner Monkey group had a lively feel to it last Tuesday. I am grateful for the broken electrical pole and the reminder it provided us all.
Wishing you all many moments of awakening to our inherent freedom.