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Posts Tagged ‘A Whole New Mind’

My MTA Mystical Moment

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

NYC subway
NYC subway

Just when you think you have experienced everything on the NYC subway system, you wake up and realize that new experiences are there waiting for you. Last week, I took the G train to Brooklyn and realized in my almost 20 years in NYC, I had never taken the G train before. I felt like a little kid taking a ride and felt excitement come over me as I discovered new parts of the city.

I wasn’t always open to new subway moments. As a matter of fact, I have had my share (like most New Yorkers) of MTA frustrations, announcements, delays, and cancelled services. Throughout my years taking the MTA subway into Manhattan from the Bronx, I have been delayed by hours due to sick passengers, kicked off the train for unknown reasons, asked to exit through all the cars because of a fire, and left stranded at East 180th Street.

For many years, I had subway anxiety. I worried about getting to work late and panicked when the train was delayed for “traffic ahead.” Having to stand for an hour on the subway also caused a lot of distress. I decided to travel with a good book and iPod to help get me through my ride with more ease. I would tune out the announcements and concentrate on reading and listening to my favorite music or podcasts.

This past week, I had an amazing MTA mystical moment. I was listening to the Oprah-Spirit Channel Podcast – that alone is a mystical moment. I had downloaded a few podcasts that expand my thinking and spark my creativity. On this particular morning, I was listening to an interview with Oprah and Daniel Pink (his book A Whole New Mind is amazing). In the background, the conductor was making announcements about delays. At first I ignored them, but then our train stopped for at least 5 minutes, and the announcement came again, “We are sorry for the delay. There is a police investigation up ahead. As soon as we receive clearance, we will proceed.” Passengers started mumbling, cursing, and rolling their eyes at the announcement.

I thought, ‘I can handle a small delay.’ Then, there was another announcement about the delay. I made my iPod louder to block it. Finally, after the third announcement, the words “police investigation ahead” echoed in the background. I took a breath, closed my eyes, and became still in the midst of a crowded subway car. In that quiet space, I could hear a soft voice inside repeating the words, investigation, investigation, investigation. And the moment came when my mind allowed the questions to come in and I could hear myself ask, “What needs investigation in your life right now? In what areas do you need to investigate?”

I let the questions float without answering them. I began to see a screen of areas in my life that need further exploration. I started my morning by experiencing the delay as an opportunity to investigate parts of my work, relationships, and dreams.

The delay taught me the lesson of slowing down and not rushing from thing to thing. Am I in a rush or is my mind in a rush? Looking for the bigger picture in the smaller moments can be some of the greatest gifts – even with a half hour delay due to a police investigation. I am grateful to the MTA for giving me the mystical moment to slow down and investigate my life. What a beautiful way to start the day! Perfect!

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Posted in Coaching, Learning, Life, Toning the OM | 4 Comments »