Thanksgiving is When a Blowout doesn’t Blow Out Your Happiness

When a Blowout doesn't Blow Out Your Happiness2

I’m celebrating having a tire blow out just before I reached the shoulder of the 8-lane  highway I was on yesterday, and the day-long sequence of unplanned events that followed.

A Day Full of Lemons and Lemonade

It is 6:48 pm, and I am sitting at a curb waiting for the light to change, ‘homeless’ since I left home at 9 am. I am totally savoring the fast-food meal to which I treated myself, feeling completely bathed in thanks-giving that about how amazing it is that not one single thing about the entire day ruffled my feathers or caused an adrenaline rush.

What a change from my old ways!

Given that my well-orchestrated day was unfolding as planned and I was just about to be uncharacteristically early for my acupuncture appointment, an onlooker would probably say that NOTHING about the next few hours went ‘right’ or smoothly or according to plan.

However, I had cause to celebrate: That my brain has been so conditioned to love things as they come that it was still a day filled with gratitude and love and beauty along the way.

I got to make lemonade at every turn!

  • From finding that my ‘newish’ used car doesn’t have a jack,
  • To missing my appointment, but noticing the essential oil scent and true beauty of my acupuncturist as I thanked her for driving over to see how I was doing (and discovering that she DID have a jack!),
  • To picking up trash along the highway with the 6-year-old son of the good Samaritan who offered to help,
  • To walking up the ramp to the nearby repair shop after my determined Samaritan STILL couldn’t get the wheel off,
  • To noticing that I was being charged a huge minimum towing fee even though the car was less than 1/4 mile from the shop,
  • To reveling in the kindness and ADORABLY fat fingers of the guy at the next place as he wrote up the expensive bill for the tire replacements, and so many more lemons that effortlessly transformed themselves into yummy lemonade.

After 7 years of outrageous transformation in the way I react to people and events, I felt so blessed that this last super productive round (of inquiring with clients in crisis and teaching my Radical Relationship Relief Group Intensive) seems to have evolved even further toward self/other forgiveness: Where we each find out for ourselves that there is nothing ‘wrong’ and no one to blame.

Amazing how much DEEPER we can go into undoing the most common and troubling belief of all, and the one I’ve noticed is at the root of ALL emotional pain:

The belief that something should–or even could–be happening differently than the way it IS happening.  That someone (including ourselves) should–or even could–be showing up differently than we are in any given moment.

The journey of following the symmetry in whatever upsets or scares me has brought me to a rarefied place where I am (in  MOST circumstances) just watching it all unfold, putting one foot in front of each other, seeing it as an adventure–just feeling curious enjoyment at life’s every turn (even as I re-write this, since my last fun half-hour revision didn’t save!)


It’s funny that I just used the word “rarefied,” without realizing that one of the definitions is ” distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people.”  What this means to me is NOT that I am not connected to people and life, it means that I am no longer connected to a script that says:

  • “When X happens, it is bad, and that means I will be upset;
  • and then when Y happens, it means I’m officially having a horrible day;
  • and if Z happens, that means I’m a total loser and need to beat myself up;
  • And it all means I need to go to worst case scenario in my mind and predict all the things that will go wrong in the future.”

Without these pre-programmed responses and the ego’s self-preserving stories, we are actually far MORE connected to the actual lives and concerns of people (including ourselves) as they unfold in real time.

Three appointments got cancelled (the acupuncturist and two of my clients), I spent tons of money, and yet there was just not a  problem. And without the stories that destroy creativity, I moved effortlessly into enjoy the time to shop for Jamie’s b’day and see a movie while the car was in the shop.  Releasing the stories leaves us free to be totally connected to each perfect as-is moment.

I have such a clear picture of me sitting on that curb noticing how life is comprised of unpredictable and unexplained and completely out-of-our-control events (grace), and how OK that is with me!!!  Being free to live from that OKness-that curiosity and openness and willingess to receive–is the entire spiritual journey.

The only thing that is SLIGHTLY in our control when there seems to be a problem is the decision to question any thought that gets between ourselves and that grace and receiving–and even that is more of a ‘happening’ than a choice.  I am so thankful to notice that, over time, there are fewer and fewer instances where I even NEED to question the thinking (all day yesterday, for example). Having undone the bulk of stressful thoughts over time, they just don’t show up or don’t hook us much any more.

Finally, I noticed that THIS is totally what the last module I’m teaching in my RRR Group Intensive is about. So thankful I get to live the gifts as we go through it:

The Free-Fall into Living and Loving without Conditions (where a No is equal to and usually better than a YES!).

Very cool.
PS. blowout Feel free to call or email if you want to learn more or get support with something that upsets you or an outcome that feels bad or wrong. I love paying all I’ve been given forward!  xox

5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving is When a Blowout doesn’t Blow Out Your Happiness”

  1. Thank you Shawn.
    Your ability and willingness to place your personal experience into the context of your transformational Work really makes it come alive.
    I’m celebrating the sweet n’ sour tang…that perfect balance of your lemon-aid.

    • Oh, lovely, Donna. Thanks so much. I do love knowing how to turn the sour into sweet–a very different way of living from when I used to run from or hate the hard stuff. Now I know any stories that create pain are just an innocent part of me that got hold of a scary thought–and needs a bit of help seeing through it. It IS very sweet to be the hero for ourselves in that way. Finally. 🙂

  2. Hello Shawn!

    Lovely lesson and fabulous energy from you in this post. I feel blessed that our paths have crossed in this busy life. That tire! It demonstrates so aptly how life spins blissfully along, then suddenly, a blow out to help raise our awareness and support our growth. Bravo! Let’s Skype sometime.🌃

    • Hi Cindy–Great to hear from you, and glad the tire image and post held some meaning for you. I love the metaphor you extended it to–yes–and it’s only when we see anything as blowing out our happiness that it does (ie, when we compare it to the story that a tire is always supposed to be round and without gaps and holes in it!) Turns out the tire being just this way in that moment saved me from a more dangerous blowout in the future, and led to an amazing day and to this post and your comment! Wow–no way to lose here. 🙂 Love, Shawn

  3. I appreciate your sharing how you managed the difficulties of the day in light of the inquires and the Work methodology. I too experienced joy and happiness during the stress of encountering snow and the effects of a winter storm in high elevations of the mountains of Arizona. Noticing the beauty of the trees with the snow and then after going through that experiencing sunshine, green covered mountains that turned into green shrubs and cacti on beautiful rocky mountains, and then arriving into Phoenix after 3 previous days of travel and connecting with family . Fran

Comments are closed.