I have a mild form of Dyslexia which can really get me in trouble, especially when I’m relaxed and not completely on top of every detail. So, last week it happened again. I set off from Denmark by train on Thursday morning. Since I’d unexpectedly ended up in Copenhagen, I had to purchase a ticket that hooked me back up to my earlier train and seat reservation. No problem.
Two hours in line at the train station got me a ticket, but no seat reservation. The very helpful lady at the counter told me she could sell me the ticket I needed but not reserve me the seat I already had about 3 hours down the line. Apparently, seats can only be reserved internationally. Uh oh. As I looked at her wondering what to do, she very confidentially told me that if someone was sitting in that seat it was probably a Danish traveler and I should simply say I had that seat reserved and they would move. I looked at her and she looked at me and I realized she was basically telling me that it would be up to my clear intention and declaration. Well okay then, my angel had shown up and I knew what to do.
So, I got on the train and got my seat. Then someone approached me and said they had that seat reserved, and had for weeks. I replied, as I had been instructed, that I’d had it reserved for months. I showed him the reservation with carriage and seat number and stayed firmly planted. Done. 30 minutes later, not done. He came back, after talking to the conductor who hadn’t reached our car yet, and informed me that the conductor suggested there must be something wrong with a date somewhere. What?! I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. I told him “Today, July 20th is what I have on my ticket.” But turns out it was Thursday, the 19th, not Friday the 20th. I was on the train a day early! So, of course, I was the one who had to move. Thank goodness there were a few empty seats.
This is sometimes how my dyslexia shows up. Switching things like dates and numbers, and days and times, while having absolutely no idea that my brain has made a switch. I’ve switched arrival times with departures times and missed planes altogether. I’ve switched days and dates and missed major meetings, even presentations I’m supposed to make. I’ve arrived early, late, or on the completely wrong day more times than I care to say. So I’ve learned to pay an enormous amount of attention to the details.
So here I am, alone, in my worst nightmare. Having made a mistake on a detail, and with no idea where I would be dropped off nor where I would get a hotel in high season. Panic? Attack? Woe is me? Well, actually, no, I’ve long ago learned through my personal growth that panic only makes it worse. And getting angry only makes it worse. And getting frustrated with or berating myself, only makes it worse. Did I immediately flip to a positive belief that everything would be okay? Well, actually. no again. Sometimes the swing from almost panic to downright cheerful expectation is a bit too far. Sometimes, for me, I need to slip into neutral first.
So I did nothing but what my spiritual practices have taught me to do, simply begin by breathing. Then I looked for a place to stay in the little town where my two reservation connected, somewhere in the middle of Denmark. Nothing available, everything sold out within walking distance, hell within miles. I needed a bigger city so I searched in the first major city in Germany I’d come to, where I also had a train connection. All the hotels left were priced well over $200 a night, except one. And that one just happened to be 5 minutes from the train station. I got the last room in that hotel and I got it for 50% off, under $100. I felt my angel had appeared, so I moved from neutral to a small positive expectation as I reminded myself that things usually work out somehow.
Finally, the conductor came by to punch our tickets. If I’d been traveling by plane they would have caught my mistake at the gate, but since they check the tickets on the train, by now we were 3 hours into our journey and had already passed the station where my new reservation connected with the original one. As I gave her my ticket I told her I was the one with the wrong date on her ticket. That I was actually supposed to travel the next day and could only apologize and claim vacation brain. I also told her that I hadn’t been able to make a hotel reservation for the night any sooner than Hamburg. Then I waited and breathed. She took it all in, and let me stay on the train. However, she let me know that her counterpart, the German Conductor, who would get on the train when we crossed the border might require me to buy an additional ticket from there to Hamburg, but she would tell him what was going on. And she wouldn’t stamp my ticket so I could still use the rest of it tomorrow. An angel in disguise who finished collecting tickets with all my gratitude.
Now, I was able to move to the place of perfect trust. That I really am absolutely supported by the Universe, and that things do work out. As we rolled into Germany, the conductor came by, and while he asked for my seatmate’s ticket, he never even looked at me. Another angel, just when I needed one!
I arrived in Hamburg, drug my suitcase to my hotel, with a typically clean, modern room over a noisy street with lots and lots of people on it. I stopped at the front desk to inquire about food and a good German beer nearby. The gentleman behind the counter told me not to stay on our street but 3 street over, he circled it on the map, would be a lovely area to explore. Then he circled the shopping district and a famous landmark or two I might want to check out as well. So I went to that street and found myself right at home among the quaint cafes, the metaphysical stores, yoga studios, and meditation places. I found a lovely dark German microbrew at a bar with the rainbow flag in the window. Another angel! How he knew just what I needed to feel at home after such a day is one of those moments of magic I count on every day.
I spent a truly lovely 24 hours in Hamburg, exploring their arboretum-like area, which, like most parks in Europe, is free. I walked through the small Altstadt and the new shopping area and had a lovely lunch. All in all a delightful, unexpected, side trip. I caught the correct trains back to my cousin’s and they met me at the station.
I laughed as I told them the story of my adventures. How much better than to tell the story as an angry, frustrated victim of my own stupidity. How good it was to once again be reminded of how completely supported I am, by my beloved and by the Universe. And lest you forget, I tell you these stories so that you will remember that whatever is true for me, is true for you too! You are equally as supported. Don’t panic, Don’t get frustrated or angry. Don’t blame others or shame yourself. Slip into neutral, Do what is called for. Then expect angels to appear and for things to work out. They almost always do!