My story started about 6 months back. I was invited to be on a panel discussion with Deepak Chopra. It was to be held at The University of Virginia and the agenda was to develop a strategy to encourage and educate women on how to utilize the power of spirituality and mindfulness to survive, and thrive, as they go through life’s challenges, be it divorce, illness, loss of job, or any painful transition.
Needless to say I was honored, excited and a bit unsure of my role.
I mean, what could I add to the dialogue that would be more useful than anything Deepak would bring to the conversation.
But over these last few months I started to re-examine the transitional periods of my life and saw how they’ve helped me become “my own Wingman”. I realized how far I have come from those dark days and how those miserable times became the springboard for my improved life. This realization brought me a sense of confidence in my ability to contribute to this very important project.
So it was with eagerness and an open heart that Jan and I decided to cut short this chapter of our great adventure, currently exploring Ecuador, and return home in the hopes of helping others to successfully overcome their challenges.
It was at a Thai restaurant here in Cuenca, Ecuador’s second largest city, when I received the email.
“We have had further issues and have rescheduled the event for May at NYU.”
“Ughhh… what a bummer.”
All this, just as they were serving my vegetarian Pad Thai and some Peruvian boys started playing music right next to me.
The food and music were great, but it didn’t bring me any relief from the blanket of negativity that had enveloped me.
You can imagine my disappointment.
“Do you want to talk about it”, Jan asked sweetly.
“NO”, I barked back at her, and we walked home in silence, me feeling saddened and a bit despondent. And you can now pile on guilty after the rudeness I exhibited to my loving wife.
Today is now day 2, and even though I’ve done some of my wingman practices I haven’t been able to totally erase the sting of my disappointment.
So this morning upon awakening, I decided to bring in the big guns.
I’ve turned to Rumi, the famous 13th century poet, theologian and Sufi mystic. His moving poem, “The Guest House” is one of the best pieces of advice on dealing with negative feelings.
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
I was reminded of the time my since departed brother, Stevie, and I were coaching a little league team. We had to make one last cut, which meant an eleven-year-old boy would have to play in the minors that year instead of the majors. His hopes were crushed and his comment to my brother has stayed with me forever.
“But Steve, it’s the majors.”
“But Rumi, it’s Deepak.”
And I don’t want to invite these destructive and ugly emotions into my “house”.
But invite I must. For I know from experience that it is the inviting in that leads to the acceptance and release.
Perhaps my “Rumi” practice can help you as well. Please join me by clicking below, and let’s invite those difficult feelings in, and even be grateful for their arrival and all that they will ultimately teach us.
PS… You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.
PSS… If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for Skype sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.