It’s 30 below here in Calgary. We’ve been in a deep freeze after a blizzard on Monday. Needless to say, I haven’t been able to go out for my daily walks, as five minutes outside is enough to freeze skin and create snotcicles. I made a self-care commitment to myself to get 10,000 steps a day in order to keep my body healthy and happy. I’ve been wondering what I am going to do now that I can’t really be outside for long. I’ve been swimming, dancing, and stretching my body to keep it fit.
Today, I woke up with a solution: I could mall walk. OK. So I never thought I’d become one of those folks who walk around malls to get their exercise but here I am with not a ton of other choices. Malls are probably my least favourite places in the world. So I got ready to go determined to accomplish my intent. I unplugged my car after warming it up so the engine would turn over. I started my engine, turned on the heat, and began dusting snow off my car. When I was done, I went to get in and realized I’d locked the door. My wallet, purse, house keys, and phone were all inside the running vehicle. Today was not a great day to get locked outside. After an “oh crap” moment, I immediately felt calm.
OK. What do I do? I asked my High Self for solutions, listened, and they started pouring in. I went next door and knocked on my neighbour’s door. If he were home, that would solve the problem because he’s got keys to our house and I’ve got a spare car key inside. I rang the bell but no one was home. Standing outside was out of the question so I walked up to the local school. Maybe I could call AMA Roadside Assistance. The secretary at the school was really helpful when I told her what happened. It seems most Calgarians have had this experience at least once! She went online and found me the number for AMA and let me use the phone. However, with the weather being what it is, there was a seven-hour wait time for assistance. That was obviously not going to work. I remembered that I used to be able to open my old Datsun with a coat hanger and asked if they had one handy. They did. I went to my Cavalier and gave it a go. The first problem was that the window was frozen to the plastic protector so it was really hard to get the hanger in there to unlock the mechanism. Finally, I leaned on it with all my weight and the window budged. Unfortunately, no amount of maneuvering with the hanger worked. So back to the school I went to warm up and think of another idea. I could break my window but in this weather, that would be a last resort. I had no choice, I would have to call Michelle at work and ask her to come home. The problem was that I didn’t know her work number or her cell number by heart- they were in my phone, which was in my car. I again asked the secretary if she’d give me the number for the Foothills Hospital. I prayed that they would be able to find the department she worked in and patch me through. Luckily, they did and Michelle came home an hour and a half after I’d started the car.
Where is the spiritual warriorship aspect of this story? I know you are probably wondering. This stuff happens to everyone. Yes. That is true. It does. The amazing thing was that I didn’t lose any energy in this process. I gained energy. I thought about my shamanic tools and training to help me solve the problem. I kept trying different strategies until I found one that worked. I was willing to accept the consequences for my mistake and owned them. I offered Michelle financial compensation for having to leave work. I gifted the secretary at the school some unopened chocolates I had at home as a “thank you.” When I started beating myself up for my mistake after I realized I’d locked myself out, I immediately stopped that pattern. I forgave myself. I apologized to the Earth too for the carbon I’d emitted during the time my car was idling. And then went straight to finding solutions. I even came up with solutions for preventing this in the future. While I waited for Michelle to come home, I even got my 10,000 steps by walking around the neighbourhood and going inside the school every once in a while until I could feel my skin again. I did good self-care under stress. I was able to support myself in a challenging situation. This would have been impossible for me as few as three years ago. I’ve honed these skills over the last few years. This was a measure of how far I’d come.
Later, I asked Spirit what the teaching was in this situation for me. I’ve been working on becoming a better leader and image-maker in my community. Spirit’s message was simple: all leaders make mistakes and the test was whether you could own your mistake and find solutions without losing energy. And so I passed. I am really grateful for the shamanic tools that have been passed down to me from my teachers. They are tools for living a full and rich life without losing energy in the process. They are tools that promote compassion and humanity- for others and myself.