Somebody in Dorking is thanking the universe for bestowing a fabulous coat upon them. The postman arrived, looking for a signature, they obliged and hey presto, they were the new owner of a winter coat stuffed with the finest Canadian down money can buy. Elsewhere, a woman in Scotland was wondering where her latest eBay purchase had got to and I was raging because I’d sent a coat I’d just sold for £275 to the wrong address.
I was consumed by this for three hours. Who the hell had my fucking coat? Why had somebody called ‘Kenya’ signed CV 19 (short for Covid 19 I guess) when their name was clearly not on the package. Where was it now, and how could I get it back? For 180 minutes, the missing garment was my sole focus – more important than my ailing daughter recovering from a nasty bout of Covid, more pressing than the dog whimpering for a walk and far more urgent than cooking supper.
It struck me that I wasn’t being very Eckhart Tolle about this…
Now I am someone who can ruminate for days, weeks…years even. This is why you shouldn’t cross me, because I will go at problems such as planning disputes, wrangles with the local educational authority, faulty purchases etc like a starving dog with the only bone in town. But that’s the old me. I’ve worked with a spiritual mentor for three years now, I believe there is a greater intelligence at work beyond my understanding and I sometimes have conversations with dead people.
How could I approach this differently? It had already ruined my afternoon. And my family’s for that matter. Was it really worth it? How could I let this go and put into practice all the lovely Zen things that I have learned? I thought about people I’d read about in the papers who had been scammed out of thousands or lost their winning lottery ticket. My £275 coat was small fry. Surely, I could see that?
This is how I did things differently
- First I had to decide that I wanted to let it go. The only person suffering was me. Kenya had a new coat, the eBayer got a refund and the Royal Mail got the signature they required. I had a choice, I could continue obsessing over it, or let it go and enjoy my weekend. I decided to do the latter.
- I thought about how I would view this situation in 10-years time. Would I be bothered about my missing coat then? Hell, no. I probably won’t even recall it. I find this technique a great way to relieve stress quickly.
- Aside from travelling to Dorking in a bid to find the coat, there was nothing else I could do. I had to accept this was out of my control.
- I forgave myself for sending the coat to the wrong address – the registered address and dispatch address were different. It was an easy mistake to make.
- What was the bigger picture here? I didn’t know yet how the story ended. There might be a new chapter. I accepted this may be the case.
- Could I find any good in this situation? Actually, yes I could. I was able to learn a lesson from it. Be more careful when you eBay and remember, you have a choice – you can carry something around for hours/forever, or let it go. It also gave me something to blog about.
- I decided to practice gratitude. They were collecting for the foodbank outside the bus stop and I realised how lucky I am to be able to afford whatever I fancy in my weekly shop. I got home, turned on a tap and clean water came out – some people don’t have that privilege. And my daughter is feeling a lot better following two-weeks of Covid. Having her happy and well is worth all the coats in Canada if you ask me.
Having done all these things, I felt lighter and headed off to Dorking on Saturday morning. I told myself that it didn’t matter too much if I came back without the coat, I was setting off on an adventure.
The sun shone, Dorking is far more fabulous than I had remembered and they do great coffee. With the help of around seven strangers, I found out that the address was a former pub, that was now empty. I was given a phone number for the owner, a few people took my number in case the coat turned up somewhere and the builder who owns the business next door, explained that post goes missing a lot in the area. He took my number and said he’d call if the coat appeared. We also laughed about the prospect of one of his builders wearing it to work on Monday.
Wow. Everyone was so helpful. Why was everyone so nice to me? The answer came later on the train back home. I was sat opposite a woman who was shouting into her phone. ‘Nobody likes her anyway,’ ‘Why don’t you believe me?’, ‘I just want to have a nice day with my son’ were a couple of the phrases she hollered.
Her rage was palpable and I’m guessing that she’s not going to have too many friendly encounters for the rest of the day. I on the other hand, had turned up in Dorking, feeling bouyed by the weather and the beauty of the Surrey Hills, that were shrouded in fog, and visible at every turn. I was radiating ‘good’ energy and people responded to that.
Last night, when I shouted at my daughter for interrupting me in my quest, she started crying. That’s an example of going around with ‘bad’ energy, although as they say in spiritual circles, nothing is actually ‘bad’. It’s all good. All part of the magical grand plan.
So, I am coatless. £275 has gone down the pan and my eBay buyer just sent me a sad face emoji. Yeah, it’s a bit shit, but that was yesterday and I’m all about the ‘now’. Eckhart would be so proud!