Yesterday was like most days–busy! I was making and taking calls, answering questions, giving advice, and brainstorming for innovative ideas. As I sat in traffic on 84 East, thinking about a wonderful meeting I’d just had with a fascinating business executive, someone honked their horn. I checked my rear-view mirror, and spied the impatient culprit.
He was having a conniption, because the driver in front of me had moved forward several inches and I hadn’t budged. I could have moved up, but then thought, “Why bother? It’s only a few inches, and then I’ll have to brake.” But then he honked again! Usually I would be annoyed, but for some reason, I was feeling myself: Centered and calm. I wondered, “Why is he so angry? He must see that there’s nowhere to go.” What was his life like? Why was it so important for him to move ahead a few inches? I knew that his anxiety to move ahead had nothing to do with me, but I had become his enemy just the same. As I sat there and watched him honk, I felt sorry for him.
I decided to move ahead (while still paying close attention to him). He shouted something, and threw both hands in the air in relief. I wondered, did those inches make him feel better? Was it a feeling of control? Did he feel that I’d listened to him, and that he had therefore won? What was going on in his life, and why was moving ahead a few inches so important?
I took in my surroundings. The woman in the car on my left was entirely oblivious to these events, as she was occupied by yelling at someone on her phone. On my right, Mr. Handsome was smiling and flirting with whoever was on the other end of the line. I glanced back at The Honker, and found him utterly immersed in his own world; no longer honking, simply staring ahead with a blank expression on his face.
I switched on my radio, and these words blared out: “I am feeling myself, feeling myself.” I have often heard this song, but for some reason, today it resounded with new meaning and gratitude. I realized that I had been so busy–so immersed in business–that I was not nourishing my being and enjoying the natural flow of the present.
I have been so preoccupied with school, kids, starting a business, and the numerous roles that I play; I had not been feeling myself. Although I wear a happy face each day, I have been disconnected from my usual inner joy. Yes, I realize that it’s peculiar to sit in traffic and have this moment! And I promise it’s not a mid-life crisis! I suddenly felt liberated. I rolled down my windows and blasted the song. I bobbed my head, moved my body, and began to sing along. To my surprise, the woman to my left–who had been focused on her phone call–looked at me and smiled! I shouted, “93.7!” Within moments, we were BOTH feeling ourselves!
I cannot tell you how freeing and delightful it was to let my hair down, let go of my woes, and sing and dance openly in traffic. I am a professional, and I teach people to be themselves; but today, I learned that I too had been losing myself all along.