We Teach Best What We Most Need to Know

Equanimity is on my mind.

It is amusing to me when my topic for a particular webinar program seems to coincide with an incident forcing me to practice my own advice. This is happening more frequently and it is a great reminder of easier said than done.

Take this past weekend.

I was booked to fly to Calgary via Toronto (that is another story) in order to have a few days with my twin great granddaughters and have a few days to adjust to the higher altitude and the time zone before I started work at my beloved Wellspring.  The plan was to be up at five, with a ride to the airport at 5:45 from my daughter.  But a text arrived  from the airline at 5:15.

Flight delay until 10:45.

I did a quick calculation and realized I would miss my connection from Toronto to Calgary. Did a little research and it looked like a second flight could get me there by late afternoon. Yay!

I went back to sleep and my “driver” came at the later time and dropped me off at the airport.

I lined up to get my new boarding pass for the Toronto leg only to discover that there would be no flight for me until the next day and not arriving until 5:30 PM

Derailed

Essentially this change derailed my beautifully planned weekend. Pick up by my grandson in Calgary, time with the babies, a lovely dinner, visit to my favourite Farmers Market with the whole family etc.And precious time with the twins and their parents.

Called my daughter and she came back. This was inconvenient and disappointing to say the least.

It just so happened that I had been talking about the importance of calm under stress and that very day I read an article by a favourite writer on – guess what – equanimity.

One of the best questions ever posed, in my experience, when we are studying personal and professional development was one posed in a program I attended –

“how does this apply to you?”

Well, that set me back on my heels. The question wasn’t “does this apply to you?” Rather, “how does this apply to you.”

The starting point of the article I had just read that morning went like this:

“Equanimity is said to be an anchor. It protects you against the wordly winds” – pleasure and pain, praise and blame, gain and loss, and fame and disrepute – by keeping you anchored so you’re not tossed about by those winds.” Daisy Hernandez

 I asked myself how does this event apply to me?

Will I spend the day sulking, feeling sorry for myself, wishing things were different or would I use my time to do something that I don’t often have time for? It was like a free day, all of a sudden. Unwelcome but still a precious day.

So I thought about what I have wanted to do for awhile and haven’t done and came up with a plan. Here is a sample of my first three hours.

I chose to begin, this is now mid morning, by going downtown to the market and having brunch at a lovely french bistro. And it was delicious and the best americano I had had in a long time. This small hidden bistro – beautiful atmosphere, eclectic patrons, interesting art and lighting, great service and delicious food, was filled within ten minutes of opening. I was the only solo in the room and I enjoyed every second of my surroundings.

Minto Bridges

Following this I took the time to walk across my favourite scenic three white bridges, (the Minto Bridges) that span the Rideau River, connecting two islands. I have driven across many times and walked on one but this time I did all three over and back with simple enjoyment.

Finally, back to the Byward Market where I visited a beautiful, luxurious, and old fashioned Paper Papier – stationary and pen shop – with a tiny, exquisite floral division, Fleurissant,”at the back. By the time I left with my small purchase I was at ease with myself. Disappointed still, but good.

Next day, back to the airport, five hour wait in Toronto, and arrived after six. A delicious dinner was underway and I had a short visit with my beloved family before the girls went to bed. So, the bottom line -it was a trial getting there and it was worth it.

Two things

1:) Travel is uncertain, much like weather. I now think it is best to lower my expectations for what travel means and be prepared to wait. When we have an uneventful flight consider it special.

2:) There is no point in shaking a stick at the clouds. We can line up, do what we need to do to get to where we are going and also have something to do while we wait. Write a letter to the airline if that helps but yelling at the agents is not helpful and unkind.

3:) Mindset – My sweet friend on the west coast will tell me that it sounds like I am bragging, which always makes me chuckle, because I am not. what I am doing is looking for ways to reduce unnecessary suffering, when things do not go according to plan. (there are many, right?) basically when our plans get ruined, we have that to deal with. Why waste our precious energy about how this shouldn’t be; it’s unfair, etc etc.

So what did I do with my five+- hours?

Card  making. I make photo cards for people who come to my programs and I needed more, so, I found a corner in “that” airport with a table and enjoyed myself. My cardstock, glue and photos were in my backpack and before I knew it, I was in the zone, enjoying myself.  Suddenly, it was time to board. Mind you, it took me two hours of wandering around to find this great spot but still…you get the picture. (pun intended)

Always remember there is no formula for getting through annoyances, grievances or tragedies. There isn’t always forward motion but how we approach things makes a difference. Not denial but full on acceptance of the trials and tribulations of life. Yet, always with the question, “what can I do now, with things as they are.”

Notes

1:) I am currently in the mountain town of Canmore, near Banff and there is snow on the ground. In this location it actually looks good. What is more, we arrived at my friends cabin and were greeted by five deer, one of them a fawn, and three relaxing under a tree in the front yard.

2:) Thank you for following this blog. I love your company and appreciate your encouraging words. I will still be in Alberta next week and will be in touch once again. Warm greetings and best wishes to all, Trudy

PS I don’t always manage this – equanimity- just letting you know how satisfying it is when I do manage.

11 replies
  1. Pat Scanlan
    Pat Scanlan says:

    Trudy, what a timely post. Your morning choices were so gentle and lovely. I felt like I was right along side you. And Canmore, one of my favourite places in the Rockies. Enjoy and I know everyone that I know is looking forward to your time at Wellspring. With love. Pat

    Reply
    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you dear Pat. And if only I had time to see all the lovely people in know in this corner of the world…With appreciation, Trudy

      Reply
  2. Jean
    Jean says:

    Welcome to the world of travel these days Trudy.Sorry, we are showing off with our alberta weather.Thank you for the reminder to always have a “plan b” and to make it a positive one.Good reminder for all of us .Every year I like to go find crocuses for my mother in law,and visit her at the cemetary, on her birthday, which is tomorrow. I think I had better change my plans- could not find flowers and probably not even her headstone, so, a free day for me.Good day to moodle, I think. Enjoy Alberta.

    Reply
  3. Janice+Falls
    Janice+Falls says:

    Well Trudy, you have just reoriented my travel expectations to err on the side of equanimity! Next time I’m delayed/bumped/etc, I will think of you and all the ways you found to make lemonade of the lemons you were given 🙂 I trust the rest of your trip will flow as you wish and I know you will enjoy it all regardless. big hugs to you xoxo

    Reply
    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful words dear Janice. May you have uneventful trips in your future, and if not, you will find a way to make lemonade. Hugs, Trudy

      Reply
  4. Wendy Rudnicki
    Wendy Rudnicki says:

    Thank you for this, Trudy. It was just what I needed to read! And I loved the descriptions of how you spent your “extra” time, and the photo of the deer and snow.
    Namaste and blessings,
    Wendy

    Reply
  5. Nancy Jo Bleier
    Nancy Jo Bleier says:

    This blog is right on! I’m sitting in DMV (dept of motor vehicle) waiting, waiting, watching, waiting until my # is called so I can title a car

    Reply
  6. Darby
    Darby says:

    Thank you Trudy for your wonderful experience with travel. I am taking a trip out of the country and so many unexpected things can happen. I need to remember “equanimity “, if challenges occur. I have my scrape book and art supplies to keep my mind and fingers busy.
    With joy,
    Darby

    Reply

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