Tips From The Top

I’m Thankful For…Things Going Wrong?

Wow, what a great photo, right? It’s one of the bars at The Standard Hotel, New York. H and I had the most amazing evening here. But it almost didn’t happen.

We had tickets to do an evening dinner sail around New York – spent a pretty penny for it, too. But we mis-timed getting to the dock…and did see the boat… just as it turned to sail into the beautiful sunset.

I was beside myself. After (mumble mumble) years of marriage, you’d think I would know that my husband is terrible at keeping to a timetable. He’s the standard Absent-Minded Professor type – and if you’ve married one sister, you know what I’m talking about. You also know that you can’t get mad at him if time-related things go sideways . . . because let’s face it, the time-space continuum just don’t work the same way for him as it does for you. (Okay, I know that perhaps you want to blame him when thing go sideways – or you want him to “be different” – but that’s not how it works. **Shameless Plug Alert*** You might want to pick up my book Fempowerment: A Guide To Unleashing Your Inner Bond Girl on Amazon.com if you need a little refresher in this area).

So back to us, dressed up, watching the boat sail bye-bye. I was “stomping my feet with little tears in my eyes” mad – because not only did I want to go, but also it had cost a lot and – hey – who has enough bucks to basically throw them into the Hudson and watch them as they swirl slowly to the murky depths?

When things go wrong – don’t go with them. Elvis Presley

My husband was a lot more philosophical about it. (Probably because I was suitably upset for the two of us.) He reminded me that we’d wanted to check out the High Line – an old elevated train line from the ’30s that had been turned into a park on the West Side. He pulled out his trusty iPhone, figuring it must be close, because we were on the West Side. Sure enough – there was an entrance stairway a couple blocks away.

So there we were, up on the High Line in our evening-going-yachting outfits, walking along, taking in a very cool park that has been turned through labors of love into an amazing public park. (If you haven’t ever seen or been there – check out the website.)

Part of the line actually goes through buildings – the original High Line was built to get freight trains off of Manhattan’s busy West Side streets (Meatpacking District, etc.). We figured that some of these had originally been freight way stations. When walking through one of the buildings, we looked up – and saw the bar that you can see in the first photo above – but it was far, far up on the very top floor.

We were intrigued.

We got down off the High Line, trying to figure out how to get into the building. All the windows were uniform, so we figured it was either a condo complex (with a great meeting room up top) or a hotel. The Standard isn’t big on outside advertising…in fact, the front door is blocked by a huge sculpture of a black and white cartoon-ish clown with his hands over his eyes.

When things go wrong, you’ll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better. – C.S. Lewis

There is a whole story about getting into the bar – the very VERY cool elevators (as you go up, an animated “scene” a la Alice In Wonderland changes slowly as if you were in a hot air balloon rising over it) – the “secret” roof  bar – and watching the sun set over New Jersey. I’ll tell you all about it some time.

But this is the key.

The key is that without making the mistake – missing the boat, literally – we would not have gone to The Standard. And now I’ve recommended it to a few friends, and each and every one of them has said it was the highlight of their trip to Manhattan – as it was for us.

Because we missed the boat.

I remember going to a Suze Orman seminar once, where Suze said that anything bad that happens has an equal and opposite good thing that happens because of it. This was about 20 years ago and she was mainly talking about money (being Suze Orman), but I remember it to this day. She also said that if you’re in the “thick” of the bad thing happening, you will never be able to believe the truth of that statement – but if you find something bad – REALLY bad – at least three years in your past, you will be able to see that it actually led to something far greater and better happening.

Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be. – Samuel Johnson

When I was at that seminar, I remember thinking that there was no way that this was true with respect to what I considered the “low part” of my life. Back in the early ’90s, I discovered that my long-term, live-in boyfriend had not only run up one of the credit cards I had as a “reserve” with a big limit (I of course thought the balance was zero – he had run it up and was paying the minimums, and would get the mail out of the mailbox before I saw it), but I also unexpectedly found out that he had been having affairs for years. Then when I tried to kick him out, he refused to go, and ultimately got us both kicked out  – ruining my credit and throwing me back to living with my folks for a year.

I had found out the credit thing because things were rocky with him and I’d put a down payment on my own place, figuring I would have the ability to just melt away once I had my own digs – and the credit report showed this enormous $30k debt I knew nothing about, which meant it was impossible for me to secure a mortgage. After a little digging, it all came’a tumblin’ down.

So I was sitting there in that Suze Orman seminar, thinking “No way did anything good come of that.” But it had been over three years . . . and I started thinking.

Blogging about the experience (yes, I was blogging in the early ’90s) got the attention of a publisher – who wound up turning my blog into a book (as referenced above. Did I say shameless plug?) The house I was going to buy turned out to be a Money Pit – and I found one that was a lot better. And…relationships being what they are…had I not found this out, I might still be trying to “work it out’ with totally the wrong guy – instead of happily married to my Mr. Difficult But Definitely Mr. Right absent-minded professor.

So what’s the point?

I think that often we shake our fists and curse and stomp around when things go wrong. Or there is the ever useful habit of blaming the “circumstances” on something else – our spouse, the weather, the economy, the traffic, … whatever. If you’re doing that, Look. You need to pull on your big girl panties and realize that whatever is in your Life is there because you got it there. Do you remember high school geometry? How the tiniest little deviation in a “vector” away from a straight line can, after enough time, become a whopping huge deviance from the original path? Is that what’s happened? Trace it back – somehow, somewhere, even something as innocuous as missing a train (seen Sliding Doors?) might have put you where you are today.

But even once you realize that, as hard as it may seem, it’s time to give Thanks for it – and move on. Because there is an incredible energetic resonance from Gratitude. I once read that the one thing that everyone wants to be is to Be Seen. When you give Gratitude in a trying time, you open up the way for the good that “will come” from that bad (or “lesson”) to flow to you.

Sound new-agey? Not so. This is actually part of what quantum physics is about. It’s a very odd world, quantum physics. It’s being proven every day that the “higher the vibrational frequency” of an emotion (appreciation/thankfulness/gratitude being very high on the list), the more of it you attract to you when you concentrate on it.

So how to celebrate that gratitude? Another SHAMELESS PLUG alert – I’m sponsoring a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge – you can go to TakeItTeachIt.com and check it out, or contact me and I will give you the details. If you’re in the middle of a “bad time” just doing this Challenge daily won’t change your Life…until about Day 14. (smile)

Will concentrating on Gratitude turn problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing? Actually, yes, if you give it enough time.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. — Melodie Beattie

Being grateful for what you have, you generally get more of the same. Though this might sound like I am touting the PollyAnna Principle, you can see it very quickly in dealing with, for example, dogs or young children. If your child or pet does something right, you say Thank You, act delighted, and otherwise show them that you See Them and you Appreciate Them (you do, don’t you?). They will make note of how they made you feel towards them. And they will have the intention of doing the same again, to bring about that same feeling.

Similarly, if you do not show gratitude – then that person will not feel Seen. You do not “incentivize” them to act that way around you again.

Sure. You “mean” to do this, but you don’t have time, or hey, what about your life and them seeing you and all you do for them? Believe it or not – if you “go first” and start practicing this, it will absolutely come back to you, as the Scriptures say, tenfold. And you do have a Choice, you know. You can come from a place of misery, or from a place of positivity. Perhaps this is the question to ask – Would you want to be around you?

Be thankful for the challenges and obstacles. Even if you can’t feel positive about them in the thick of things, remember that these are learning opportunities, and do your best not to wallow in self-pity. Because things will change. And when it does change, are you going to be stuck with people remembering how you reacted “last time”? If you are blaming everything on your husband, for example, and then your husband and you “make up,” will your girlfriends think that you’re “crazy” to be with such an “awful” person as him? Interestingly, there was once a psychological study that showed that even once someone had been shown that their position is incorrect, they will dig in their heels and support it well beyond when they should “logically” give it up – because no one wants to be “wrong” or “embarrassed.” Be thankful for it – and move on. Better yet – don’t come from a place of misery and looking for sympathy. I have a whole Chapter in my book on that, too.

“When flowing water meets with obstacles on its path, a blockage in its journey, it pauses. It increases in volume and strength, filling up in front of the obstacle and eventually spilling past it….” — I Ching.

So, what are you going to be thankful for today? It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be a beautiful sunset, the smile of someone passing you in the Mall, or the opportunity that you are being handed to pick yourself up one more time, to the astonishment of your adversaries.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. — Buddha

And don’t forget to live in the Present – be aware of the abundance in this current moment. Take stock of your feelings – and see if you can move them up to a higher vibrational level. If you’re completely Overwhelmed right now, you’re not going to move up to Joy in one leap. Wait one second, and instead of plowing forward and Doing, work on your Feelings. What’s a higher vibration than Overwhelm? You might move up to….say….Jealousy. Check out Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale  – and work on getting one or two emotions up the list.

Last but not least – look for the opportunity to give thanks…look for a hint that your prayers have been heard, and give thanks for it. I remember reading in Dan Brown’s book Angels And Demons that “All prayers are answered – sometimes the answer is ‘No’.” So be thankful that you are on the path to your dreams – it just might be a slightly different path than the one you expected. Give up on “expectations” – they just weigh you down anyway – and go for the Gratitude. It works every time.

Whatever it is you are feeling is a perfect reflection of what is in the process of becoming.
— Abraham Hicks

You get exactly what you are FEELING.
— Abraham Hicks

I am grateful for you 🙂