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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Mayer

I went to the gym and came home with a Volvo

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

2020 came with a blissful vision of a decade of peace.  Two weeks later the campaign I had been volunteering for that filled with so much hope and gave birth to that vision ended.  As hard as it was, my stronger spiritual muscles along with the familiar dark winter days as a time of space and reflection got me through it.  In that reflective space an amazing opportunity came my way as my candidate, Marianne Williamson, had invited a group of 30 or so former campaign volunteers to DC for a Saturday of reflection around the campaign.  It was an incredible honor to spend a 10 hour day with a person that has had such an impact on me and the associated group of people that formed from the campaign.   

A few weeks later the Democartic primaries were underway.  We watched it unfold in Iowa and New Hampshire, states that we were poised to rally support in person and online for our candidate but instead we were spectators, along with the rest of the country.  A family vacation to Portugal was the perfect remedy to all that been going on. The beautiful coastline, fresh seafood and friendly Portuguese people helped me reconnect to bliss, along with creating heartfelt memories with my husband and daughters.

Then the 8 hour flight home and associated jet lag set in and slowed me down the following week.  As the blues of the trip ending lingered and eventually subsided, I was eager to get back in a groove.  The trouble was so much had changed. There was no campaign to go back to and even worse the primary elections were taking some dark, ugly and corrupt turns.  My other work as a mother, physical therapist, and writer resumed but my inspired vision of peace felt dormant. I wanted to fire it up again, yet as I attempted to get out there all I wanted to do was back into hiding.  I would go out there only to come face to face with a world full of panic over viruses and divisiveness over who best suited to defeat Trump. The fear and panic over the virus got worse as it was spreading all over the globe and in our local community.  The official recommendations were to go back inside and social distance.

A week or so before COVID 19 went viral, so to speak, a fitness regimen shift had me revisit a 6am training class. The class was at a gym I used to attend frequent but hadn’t been to in over a year. I drove my rental car as mine was being repaired after a benign incident (on my way home from the DC adventure with Marianne Williamson I was rear ended).  My 5:30 start to the day had me alarmed as the rental car started making some unsettling metal grinding noises that the kids and I had noticed the day prior when driving home from school. I told the kids we were one day away from getting our car back so best to just ignore it. As the metal noise continued intermittently while I drove down the empty highway the sun began to rise.  I then remembered the gym I was headed to was coincidently next door to the rental car company’s office. I got my work out in and headed next door to the rental car office which was scheduled to open at 8 am but miraculously when I walked by at 7am the agent who had met me at the auto body shop earlier that week was there. I explained the situation and with ease he upgraded me to a black Volvo XC 90 SUV.  I entered the beautiful luxury vehicle and placed my hands on the heated steering wheel and triumphantly drove home. I pulled into the driveway feeling glorious as Ken and the kids ran out to greet me and share in the excitement. They climbed in and we explored the various fun features, the kids got the biggest kick out of the heated BACK seats! 

Ah, the sweet synchronicity of going to a gym that I hadn’t intended which was next door to the rental car office that I hadn't planned on utilizing.  That moment of shallow glory set the tone and opened the door to a deeper realization. After the kids were off to school I came into my morning meditation.  I reflected how I got back out there past the fear and experienced some joy, at the same time while trying to shield myself from the televisions in the gym and talk amongst the people of a potential virus outbreak.  My meditation was the perfect remedy to help bring balance. While feeling the light of the car incident and the darkness of the headlines I turned to my breath. As I went deeper into my meditation I came upon an image of a dark room.  I felt a divine voice guiding me while faced with this dark room that I have three options. One, you can shut the door and run (as you have in the past). Two, go into the dark room and get lost in the darkness and despair (as you have done in the past), or your third option you can, TURN ON THE LIGHT!

The message was clear to me that dark times were ahead but there is still the choice to flip the switch and turn on the light.  As COVID 19 is declared a pandemic, grocery shelves are empty and major and minor events are canceled to avoid the spread, I am of course doing my part following the recommendations of hand washing and social distancing, yet my prayers for peace have never been stronger.  My prayers for peace also include vibrant health for me, my family, my community and the world. This pandemic is already having devastating direct effects on individuals and nations and indirect effects on business and institutions, which will continue for some time. With the obvious glaring dark you may ask, where is the light?  Look up and you will see it. As all of this darkness is exposed and made aware we can surrender it to be transformed by the light.  

We see the dilemma in closing NYC schools because of the logistics of dispersing school provided breakfast and lunches families rely on and the exposure of how a crisis like this hits those who are not as privileged the hardest.  People are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to be out of work. My former candidate, Marianne Williamson refers to this as, ‘America’s dark under belly’. This crisis is exposing it and it can no longer be ignored. We hear speeches from politicians to provide free testing without co pays and financial support for those affected when 2 weeks ago during the primary elections those very ideas were referred to as socialism, handouts and the famous ‘who is going to pay for it all ?!?”.  

I pray that this crisis becomes an opportunity for transformation.  That some benefit will come from all this darkness. Social distancing allows us to slow down from a world that was so busy, it felt unsustainable. Now all the things we have been so busy rushing to have been cancelled, we can sit still and pause and reflect on what is important.  All of a sudden when it comes down to what is important, everything has fallen away and it is just us and our loved ones. That is the light I switch on when staring at this dark room. My vigilant prayers for the expansion of humanity as a result of the coronavirus are stronger than ever.

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