It was September 2009 and I needed a break. I kept saying so. I told anybody who would listen, or not, ‘I need a break.’
My husband and I were five years into our one-year plan of becoming truck drivers. Our employer had said, “We’ll teach you to drive a truck. In return, you agree to stay in our employ for one year. The training will become free.”
We can do that, we thought. We’ll drive the truck for a year, then we can take other positions within the company. Easy.
Only problem was, without moving to the frigid Wisconsin winter land of Green Bay, none of the other positions within the company paid as well.
We are Oregonians – western Oregonians. We know 55 degrees and rainy. Our feet are webbed, not fur covered.
We were reading all the “change your life,” books, which somehow seemed to miss the economic realities of life change. I had set aside a little money and we were using it to consult with a life coach. Under her tutelage, we envisioned. We dreamed. We even did something called the Disney Process. “Think like Walt Disney,” we were told. “Imagine your ideal future, big, without limits.”
Ideal or not, our future would come with a mortgage payment.
I needed a break.
Finally, one glorious autumn day, riding my bicycle home from the hair salon, my wish was granted. The universe had acquiesced. I got my break just a few hours before my friends’ wedding.
It was a steep grade down, a turn to the left, then . . .oops! There was a man hole cover sticking up out of the pavement. Fortunately, my intuition was working. I saw the accident before it happened. I was able to land on my shoulder rather than my head after my brief flight over the handle bars.
And in that moment, while the EMT’s scooped me up for an ambulance ride to the hospital, one of life’s basic spiritual principles was reinforced for me. We always find that which we seek. I had asked the universe for a break. It had given me one, right across the shoulder.
But as I pursued my physical healing process, a spiritual healing began as well.
Because of my broken shoulder, I met the wonderful yogis here in McMinnville. Before I began traditional physical therapy, I did yoga therapy. As a result, I was reunited with my yoga practice, something that is central to my life now.
Because of my break, I was able to spend three and one half months rehearsing and performing with a beautiful group of musicians who present an annual Christmas Cantata at various locations in and around Yamhill county. Every year the group raises thousands of dollars for our local food bank.
Because of my break, I found an incredible, knowledgeable, kind, and compassionate naturopath who, to this day, helps me unite the physical with the spiritual and work toward true and complete healing.
I remember, I am not a body, though I possess one.
I am spirit, something much, much bigger than a body.
My body is simply a vessel for my spirit in this lifetime. Just as our favorite, delicious tea stains and degrades that beautiful and prized, beloved tea cup over time, so it is with our bodies. The things we take into our spirit become manifested in the physical through our bodies.
Because of my break, I got my break.
Finally, in the comfort and safety of my home, surrounded by the kind acts of all these wonderful people who seemed to – just appear – I was able to reexamine our work situation, as was my husband.
Though I was at home, he was on the road without me. We talked every day.
Now, we each had the opportunity to look at truck driving through new eyes. Why had we found ourselves in this situation and occupation that kept us away from home for weeks on end? Why did it seem that circumstances were making it impossible to create something different?
Here’s what I learned. Truck driving had, and continues, to provide both of us with the opportunity to be quiet, to connect body with soul. One experiences a lot of solitude driving 11 hours per day.
In 2006 Oprah Winfrey’s XM radio channel ran a daily program with author and speaker Maryanne Williamson on a book called, “A Course in Miracles.” The book contains a text along with a lesson for every day of the year.
That year began a beautiful chapter in the lives of myself and husband. With Ms. Williamson’s guidance we began doing the daily lessons. Now, those lessons form the basis of my daily meditation practice. I feel strong and capable because every day I am given a spiritual principle with which to face the challenges of our world.
Would that practice have come about without the time and space I have through driving the truck? Possibly, but its hard for me to imagine a more perfect circumstance.
Through driving the truck, we are, of course, mobile. Our parents are aging. My pop has passed. Our nieces are completing those adult path milestone of graduating from high school and college. Our grandnephews are frolicking in the wonders of childhood. Our grandniece is taking those early steps towards becoming a beautiful young woman. And, through marriage, a new grandniece is coming into our lives, a beautiful young woman who could give us great grandnephews and or nieces!
Because we are mobile, we are able to be there and participate in these family milestones, much – but not all – of the time.
Because of my break, I was able to see how driving the truck makes our lives richer. And, through examination, my husband and I have been able to determine how we can make changes that will give us more control over most every aspect of the work.
Because of my break, I was able to learn new spiritual lessons. That’s the power of the universe, the divine. Each of us is free to choose the descriptive noun that resonates. But, the bottom line is this. No matter the life situation, the universe has the power to use any circumstance to show us that which we need, long and desire to see and learn.
Because of my break, I WAS able to change my life.