That moment I realized my practice is contributing to my wealth …

That moment when I realized my practice is paying off and contributing to my wealth.  The work I am doing is taking hold, paying dividends, building equity and providing confirmation that the journey I am on is the right one. 

I have wanted a camera every moment of this journey, photography is as much a part of my path as is writing. I felt this twang of jelousy, envy, and wanting each time I saw someone with a camera that had the capabilities I longed for.  I kept telling myself that my iPhone 4s was enough, yet each time I found myself in a situation where I saw an image I wanted to capture and my iPhone 4s did not have the capabilities, I felt that twang.  I felt a missed opportunity, a moment slip by, a reminder of a lost of a piece. 

Photography to me is a journey in itself; it is a visual account of each moment and in each moment there is a thought, a story, a lesson.  Photography is the capture of the essence of beings, of moments, of stories.   Being a visual person I see the world through visions, visualization, colours, pictures; it compliments the very writing that fills my soul.  I decided the iPhone 4s was not doing my writing, my story telling the justice it deserved so I decided to walk into Ubud town centre and seek out the tool that would compliment my very essence..

This longing, the wanting had been with me for a long time which is a message that it is what is meant to be.  You know when you go shopping and see something you absolutely have to have, you buy it, you bring it home and it sits in your closet with the tags still hanging off and you never wear it.  For me, when I am in a moment like that I stop take a breath and ask myself if it is a want, a need or a EGO driven desire, sometimes I walk away and let it sit.  Other times I purchase the item and it sits in my closet or on the shelf and eventually I give it away recognizing that it was another purchase without the right amount of consideration, a purchase EGO driven desire.  Now, If the item continues to haunt me, to pester me, if it continues to show up in my thoughts I take it as a message and I go back to the store and purchase the item.  As I continue my journey of minimization, letting go and living a simple life, I try to carefully considered each and every purchase.  This decision was not an impulsive “I want” decision it was well thought out and justified as a tool as I move forward in my life to create “the “job” that uses all of my creative talents and abilities working with and for the people I love and who love me and earning a good income” (I love myself – Louise Hay).

I found “ZOOM” a camera shop located in the heart of downtown Ubud, a busting city with people, motorbikes, cars, noise, traffic at its peak and I ducked inside.  As soon as I walked through the door, I saw her sitting on the shelf, the exact replica of what I had conjured in my mind.  I am not a researcher, price comparison kinda person, I get a vision, I know what I want and I seek it out trusting that I have all the information I need.  This was a solidification of that mindset.  The I told the clerk what I was looking for and he reached into the glass enclosure and pulled her down, I knew it was her.  We did all the required business to purchase such a device, he handed me the bill and I reached into my wallet into the tiny pocket that is the shared home of my precious interact and visa cards.  As soon as my fingers reached into the tiny pocket I knew something was wrong, there was only one, my card was no longer in its comfortable pocket.  My heart started hammering instantly and my mind tried to take over immediately going over everything that this could mean from how I was going to manage the journey without this precious card to why didn’t I have a back up plan (blah blah blah).  I paused and remembered my breath as I looked through my wallet emptying the contents out onto the counter, I turned to the clerk and said my visa card is gone, its not in my wallet.  I pondered the ways around paying for this camera without my visa card working with the clerk to see if perhaps he could simply punch in my visa number on his little machine as you can easily do in Canada.  Not in Bali, he made a few phone calls, in the meantime I walked over to the bank across the street where I had last used my visa thinking I may have left it in the machine (my mind assuring me that this is completely uncharacteristic and I would never do such a thing).  I walked into the bank and was directed to take a number and get in line, seconds, minutes, ticked by at snails pace, I felt anxiety bubbling up, my foot tapping on the ground, staring at the customer service agent hoping somehow if I stared at him long enough it would hurray along the transaction.  I wanted to leave, to flee, to make it all stop and go away.  It reminded me of a time many many years ago when I had hurt myself in a sledding accident, quite sure I had fractured my tailbone, I took myself to the hospital and waited and waited and waited until finally I was put into an examination room, my impatience got the better of me and I left and went home before seeing a doctor.  I suffered for a long time with this injury and not really knowing the extent of the injury or what I had done to myself simply because I could not wait, my impatience took over and I reacted.  I thought of this situation and I settled, going back to my toolbox, I pulled out my breath again and reminded myself that if I simply left that bank without the answer I had come for would leave me in the exact situation I was already in without a answer to a very logical possibility.   My mind had already decided that the answer would be “NO”.   I sat and waited letting the minutes tick by one by one.  Reminding myself that each time a situation like this arises I can allow my mind to take over and lead me into a state that does not serve me or I can simply breath and take this opportunity to move my attention into my body, to a mantra, to an affirmation, to something that serves me.  When it was my turn, 30 minutes later, I explained my situation only to hear the answer my mind already knew.  The laws in Bali require that if any cards are left in the machine they are automatically destroyed and there is no chance of recovery.  I walk back over to “zoom” and tried to come up with a way to purchase my baby without a visa card.   I am sure some of you are thinking “just take the money out of the bank you were just at” I did think of that but this bank did not take interact cards only visa. The clerk had a thought, come with me on my bike, I jumped on the back and we went for a ride to another bank just around the corner.  This bank issued cash with an interact card but only in increments of $50 which meant I had to withdraw $50 six times.  I needed $300 to purchased the camera.  We went back to the store, I paid the man and smiled as I walked out of the store with my new baby. 

As I walked back to the Ashram I processed what had just happened and realized that my practice was paying off, it was a part of me now allowing me to be in each moment with the same level of groundedness, continuing to come back to the moment wether it is joyful, difficult, sad, or frustrating.  It has allowed me to step back and watch myself process each situation with a the same sense of groundedness, it has allowed me to become a witness.  It has allowed me to notice my automatic mind and body reactions, push it to the side, acknowledge it, sit with it and then come back to the moment, to right now.  I always say the meditation is like putting money in the bank, each time you sit in meditation, walk in mediation, use creativity, honour silence, you are increasing your wealth.  Our wealth is not how much money we have, what kind of car we drive, how big or lavish our home, its not how much stuff we own or how much money sits in our bank account, instead it is what we have inside the tank, the tools, the reserve, the ability to witness, to pause, to respond rather than react.  This day was another confirmation to myself that the journey inward is a constant payout of dividends on the deposits made each and every day contributing to my wealth. 

As I reached the Ashram I calmly went into my hut and looked through my belongings thinking I might have misplaced the card that day in a pocket, it was not there.  It was gone.  I got my laptop and went to my online banking to ensure my card had not been stolen and confirm that no charges were mounting on my account.  I was shut down, my online banking was shut down and I had to call for access.  My mind went wild again thinking about all the things that could be happening, identity theft, racking up of charges on my visa, I did spin my usual spin but the difference is the length of the spin, I noticed right away what was happening inside my mind and I stopped it, took a breath and starting moving forward one moment at a time.  Called the bank, after much frustration is making the call, cancelled my card, had another re-issued, closed my computer and went back into meditation.  All is well in my world.

The only thing constant in life is change, I pull this out of my toolbox regularly and remind myself that life is constantly changing, new experiences, new frustrations, new joys, will always be knocking at my door.  The more I can remain or come back to this state of “equanimity” (mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium) ( the more likely this too shall pass just as quickly as it entered with little or no suffering.  Just another moment in time, another experience to add to all the others.  For this, I am grateful.

I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am happy (mantra used from Anand Ashram, Bali, Indonesia)

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