Thursday, May 28, 2009

Smell the synchronizing

This starts out about as mundane as you can get. I run out to the supermarket for essential supplies in between posting today's blog essay and returning to larger writing and editing assignments. I'm in the checkout aisle with my loaded cart, which includes two bags of French Roast coffee beans, which seem to dematerialize fast in my household. There are people ahead of me but the belt starts moving and I unload one item, then a second - at which point the checkout cashier in the next aisle calls out cheerily, "Sir? I can help you over here." My instinct is to stay where I am, but the person ahead of me looks like they will need some time and I don't want the smiling cashier in the next aisle to feel rebuffed. So I repack the items I have unloaded and gently coach the old boy behind me to move his cart back far enough to let me go round. At which point, the nice cashier in the next aisle is calling out "Sir? You may as well stay where you are" - because a woman has just pushed an overloaded cart into the spot intended for me.

There's really nothing to do except go forward at this point, since the old boy who let me out has taken my place in line for the first register. The woman in the second line is sweet. She offers to let me in ahead of her, but I can't accept. "It's fine. It's one of those silly little life situations that offer a teaching lesson."

She's curious. "What is the lesson?"

"I think the lesson is: trust your instinct and check on the situation without immediately going where people ask you to go, even when you know they mean you the best. And keep your sense of humor."

The checkout guy and the packer are following this. The packer - an elderly woman retiree working part-time - says, "Life is what you make it."

"You are a wise woman," I tell her.

The cashier, Nick, is the shift boss and he processes my groceries at flawless speed. When he hands me the receipt he says, "I comped you for one of those bags of coffee beans because you were so nice."

The one-liners I derive from this very small incident are also rules for navigating by coincidence:

- For every setback, look for a gift

- Always check other people's directions.


Leanne said...

The everyday decisions Robert. I often use my checkoutline choice as a good guide to how my intuition is going. I try not to shop often and most of it is in the organic store (no checkout lines there) but when I venture into the supermarkets it's a good indication of which one I choose. When I find myself constantly picking the slow lane I realise I need to slow down and just be and when I pick the fast one - it's a bit like winning a prize. I feel so proud somehow that I have chosen the quickest lane. Fascinates me - little, every day stuff but still a great indicator of how things are travelling. I think how one responds to the little stuff, checkout lines, traffic, queues, train delays are a pretty good indication of how one (or should I say I) is going in life. Leanne.

Robert Moss said...

Excellent precepts for everyday self-monitoring and for practicing intuition, Leanne. I operate much the same way. We could derive another one-line rule for navigation by synchronicity for this: CHECK YOURSELF AT THE CHECK-OUT.

Unknown said...

Leanne, excellent point and a good way to monitor what is going on inside of a person.

This practice would make the bigger events in life which need our attention and a centered approach much easier....

I'm going to do this.

Thank you

Leanne said...

Robert, love the one liner. That hits the spot for me. I could also add here how one is driving!

Nancy said...

I use the check-out line to exercise my skill at changing people's energy, especially the grumpy ones or those complaining about the economy (or whatever) who just want someone to agree with their gloomy world-view. I can't be too cheery right away or they'll tune me out, but I can usually ease them upward a bit on the optimism scale. I often "cheat" by talking to the children first, who are naturally positive, & I thereby soften the adult.

Robert Moss said...

That's a great exercise at the check-out too, Nancy. I started doing this many years ago when I noticed my tendency to avoid a certain check-out aisle because the clerk seemed to be under a personal black cloud of misery. When I steered my cart her way, greeted her cheerfully then added - when at last she made eye contact, "I just KNOW today is going to turn oit wonderful for you!" she clearly thought I was some kind of nut. But when I returned the next day, she made eye contact right away and said, with the shadow of a smile, "I don't knwo about you. Yesterday turned out just the way you said."

We live in a world of overlapping energy fields and unconscious projections. As we become more conscious of how this works - and choose to practice CONSCIOUS projection instead of being the victim or perpetrator of unwanted negative projection - we can shift things, little by little, for the good.

So Nancy, you inspire another one-liner for the check-out line: CHECK THEIR ENERGIES AT THE CHECK-OUT.

Carol said...

Coffee lover that I am, I am thinking wake up and smell that wonderful french roast. I find that when one is in too much of a hurry, or over burdened, that it is hard to slow down and take the checkout line as it comes. As I scan the lines, I am kind of amused that I tend to pick the slowest and end up reading the latest magazine w/o having to buy it. I also feel discombobulated when others pull me from my path regardless of good intentions. A cheerful heart tends to win others over to a more positive outlook. not always.

Grace said...

"for every setback, look for a gift", I want to say that over and over, make it a mantra. I've known this for eons but forget sometimes. Just imagine how many gifts we could be gathering every day if we remember to look. Every setback could be a fun experience. Yey! I think I can try to make a game of this. this might work quite well for me.
"always check other people's directions", well, as I sit here with a cat and dog having directions of their own, and all the birds outside, I'm feeling it would be fun to also check their directions.
Two very energetically expanding ideas to carry around.

nance said...

I've been reading back into your blog, starting from your first entry and came upon this blog post just yesterday, Sun May 22nd, right after having a delightful interaction with a cashier. Even years later synchronicity keeps playing with us.