I recently went on a magical pilgrimage tour to Egypt with additional solo adventures in Israel, Greece, and Belgium.
My tour began in Cairo, Egypt. However, being the gypsy that I am I couldn’t just fly into Cairo when I was so close to other areas of the Middle East. I was only a hop skip and jump away from Israel after all and as a teenager, Jerusalem had been on my bucket list. Which meant that I decided I had to kick off my grand adventure with a short layover in Israel.
I planned to spend a couple of days in Israel then fly over to Cairo from Tel Aviv. My travel agenda was perfectly planned until Mother Nature decided to get involved. Do you recall the first part of March when there were storms in the US that shut down some East coast airports and canceled flights all over the US for 24 hours? Of course, that was the very day I had planned to travel. The day that if I didn’t get onto a flight from NYC into Tel Aviv the rest of my plan would be a jumbled mess and I would have no choice but to arrive late and my tour would have departed and then what would I do?
As the storms started, I scrambled to get myself to NYC as early as possible knowing the airport was going to be shut down. There was no way of knowing if it would be re-opened in time for my arrival and to catch my connecting flight overseas. As I scrambled with last minute packing and flight changes. I couldn’t help but feel like everything was conspiring against me. Why a big storm? Why now? Was all this planning and effort going to be for nothing? Why didn’t I opt for travelers insurance? I am flying stand-by what if I don’t make it on the plane at all because of the airline needing to accommodate everyone whose flight was cancelled from the weather problems? Did I just commit a huge time and money blunder and was this going to even work? Would I ever get out of the country? Etcetera.
I had a friend who just kept calming me down, bringing me back to center. “It’s going to be okay “she’d say comforting me. To my response of things like “why didn’t I get out on that last flight I would have made it to NYC”. She would turn around and say, “it will be okay, you are going to make it out, you’re okay, it will be all right”, throwing in “have you tried praying?”. She and I went back and forth like this, bouncing from frustration to faith and back to frustration, with me belly flopping from one extreme to the other.
I finally came to the realization that I had reached the point where there was nothing more I could do. I was driving myself mad with the flip flopping. The stress and fear it was creating were nerve wracking and making me feel sick. The only option I had at that point was to surrender. To find a place inside of myself where no matter what the outcome was I could be okay with it and even find a way to feel grateful. I told myself if I had just made a huge financial mistake because I didn’t get travelers insurance and I lost flights, hotels or the tour, so be it. Money is energy and I claim to believe in abundance and not lack. There would always be more money flowing back in to me. If the weather continued to be bad and I couldn’t get onto the flight I had hoped, there would be another or another and I could adjust my travel plans accordingly. If I missed some of the tour or time in Israel before the tour started it was okay. I was blessed just being able to go on the trip in the first place. I was blessed no matter what the outcome and I reminded myself of that and chose to focus on that point and then on what I desired.
After I found that place of surrender inside, I listened to the words of my friend. I let myself be swayed by her amazing faith and I prayed for what I desired. I focused on my desire. I let it be okay when I lost that focus and started doubting. I caught myself in the doubt and refocused on letting it be okay no matter what the outcome, trusting that I could handle whatever happened. I then prayed and felt into my desire. And I just kept cycling through each of these steps. All the while my friend kept up an inspiring and steady faith that all would be well. (I have a lot to learn from this. 😊)
I headed to the airport and caught the first available flight into NYC. By the time we were flying into New York, the NYC airport had re-opened, and our plane was the first one to land in the airport on that day. I ended up arriving with plenty of time to make my connecting flight to Tel Aviv. On top of all that divine alignment; I had the pleasure of being upgraded from a coach seat into a business class seat.
While I had been in the middle of the ups and downs of not knowing if the weather was going to clear and if I was going to make all my flights. I was complaining to my friend’s husband saying it felt like everything was conspiring against me to make it so I couldn’t get to my destination etc. As I was boarding my flight to Tel Aviv I called my friend to tell her I made my flight. I spoke to her husband and he told me he had been thinking how I had told him it felt like everything was conspiring against me and that his take was different. He said it seemed to him that everything was conspiring not against but for me.
I leave you with this thought – what if those times we feel like everything is going wrong and working against us, everything is actually conspiring for us? We are often not in the place or space where we can see the timing of events or the pieces of the puzzle and how it all fits together.
What might become possible if we upgraded our faith?