How to lose and find something with equanimity

This past Saturday morning, I prepared to go to a weekend workshop, Harmonics of Healing, with Tom Best and Steve Daniel. (Tom is my long-time NLP trainer, whom I now assist at trainings, and Steve is a didgeridoo player and sound healer extraordinaire.) Held at the Tree of Life Sanctuary in Radiance south of Austin, I was planning to sleep over and packing my sleeping bag, ice chest, and the various items I’d need over the weekend.

I got everything loaded in my car. Ready to leave, I reached in my shoulder bag for my keys — and they weren’t there.

Searched bag. Searched front seat, floor, sides of passenger seat, all around driver’s seat. Checked ground between front door and car.

No keys.

Thought maybe I’d left them inside the house, now locked. Climbed in through a window and searched. No keys.

Perhaps because I was on my way to a workshop/retreat, I began observing myself. I realized that every time I lose something, it’s as if I’ve never lost anything before. I seethe with impatience and frustration and arrogance.

How dare those keys go missing right when I’m ready to leave?

Just that bit of self-awareness helped me slow down and realize that I’ve lost things many times before. This is not a new experience.  There is something familiar about this. The Native American tradition gave us Trickster. When items go missing, it’s Trickster, playing games.

My keys are hiding from me! How cute! How precocious of them! What a surprise!

From this perspective, losing my keys became very, very funny! I called Katie and told her my keys were hiding from me, and that I didn’t know when I’d be there. I was smiling as I called.

I also noticed that I had switched from mainland time to island time. Trickster feeds off pomposity and arrogance and loves to make people look like buffoons. Getting present instead of racing ahead mentally to the next thing is one of the best things to do.

I remembered a technique for lessening anxiety called Mind Juggling, and that is to toss a ball from hand to hand with my eyes gazing up. The activity and eye direction change one’s state. I got out a tennis ball and began tossing it from hand to hand, gazing up to where the wall meets the ceiling.

After a bit, I got an impulse to bring in some yoga props from the back seat of my car. I’d been intending to do that for a while. Why not now?

As I was removing yoga blocks, from the corner of my eye, I saw my keys on the ledge behind the seat. Just where I’d set them when I had loaded the car, cramming the ice chest in.

I had completely filtered that out from my memory.

Ahhhh. Game over. I win. Thank you, Trickster, for your lessons and the stretching I develop to meet the moment.

Keys in hand, I locked the house and went to my workshop/retreat, which was lovely.

When I got home Sunday evening, I unloaded the car and put things away. I made myself a cup of tea and was ready to sit down and check email.

Guess what? No laptop. And no keyboard, mouse, carrying case, DVD/VCR player, antique flute.

My house had been burglarized.

Stay tuned for more about loss.

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