I took the top off my convertible last weekend.
And the earth moved.
Yes, yes, thank you, all of you jokesters for your insight: The earth only appeared to be moving as I zipped along at 70 mph up Texas Highway 290, on my way to see the bluebonnets. Everyone knows it was really the car that was moving.
But of course I'm not talking about the earth or the car. As you might expect, I'm describing an inner experience: a major shift in my spirit and body.
The top off my convertible, my car flying down the road, I glowed with happiness and light, feeling a blast of freedom, potential, and reconnection to the joy of life.
The experience was so simple, so easy, and felt so good.
"Why," I asked myself, hair flying, heart uplifted, happily gunning my car and feeling its power, "did it take me so long to do this?!"
It had been five years since I took the top off my convertible. And from a practical perspective, I know what took me so long.
I have a 1978, two-seater Mercedes, which in winter looks like a normal classic car with a hard top. But what many don't know is this: Lift off the hard top and voila! Instant convertible.
The problem is the hidden challenge: The top is very heavy, requires two people to lift it, and needs a garage or other secure place to store it. Which, for a person who has lived in more than 18 places over the last 5 years, hasn't allowed for much top popping.
Except…Except…blame it on some comments after a session with my spiritual healer and massage therapist friend:
Her statement: "Hmm, it appears that "You have it all right now."
The translation: (A basic teaching of many spiritual practices) "You have everything you need to be happy right now, in your current circumstances, whatever they may be."
My thoughts as I drove home: If I really believed that, how would that change my life? How might I be limiting my life right now, without even realizing it?
And then the invitation came from a fellow member of my photography group: To come to her ranch in the countryside and enjoy and photograph the sea of bluebonnet fields that are stunning in Texas at spring time.
I flashed on a memory of the first time I saw Texas bluebonnets. A friend surprised me by picking me up in his little Triumph convertible, the top down.
"You must see bluebonnet country in a convertible," he said. "There's nothing like the sight, and smell, and pure sensuousness of the experience." (He was right.)
I had to live that ultimate bluebonnet experience again. And here I was with a convertible! Almost forgotten, overshadowed by more recent identities as mini-moving van, New Mexico touring car, and ongoing restoration project, I knew there was still a convertible in the heart of that car.
I thought of my friend's comment. Hmm, all I needed was right here. OK, then all I had to do was find the other supportive pieces: someone to help me take the top off, and a place to store it.
No problem about finding someone to help me; I had done that before pretty easily. It was the "no place to store it" belief that usually stopped me cold.
This time, however, I intensely wanted my convertible in the bluebonnets experience. I forced myself to push harder, challenge my belief a bit more. What other options did I have?
I thought about a friend's pool room. I considered my mechanic's place. I entertained the idea of asking my neighbor, who used his second bedroom as a storage room.
Running through ideas, and feeling my hesitation, I realized that it wasn't just the lack of a storage place that had stopped me before. I was also uncomfortable asking for a favor, possibly imposing on someone who could provide that for me.
But the day was too beautiful, the urge for freedom too strong. And after all, what are friends for?
I picked up the phone and called a friend with a garage. He said yes immediately.
I was overjoyed…and amazed. Were the joys of life really this simple?
So last weekend you would have seen me on the perfect day, ecstatically zooming along the highway (more leisurely on back roads , the sun and air on my skin, filled with the feeling of release and freedom that every convertible and fast car lover understands.
I'm happy to report that I experienced fields and fields of bluebonnets, set my photographer soul free, and ended the perfect day with a beautiful sunset and an evening of food and wine with my wonderful hosts and photographer friends.
And now I'm intrigued.
What other beliefs in my life might be keeping me from enjoying the here and now? What else do I have that I'm not taking advantage of?
"Take the top off! Drive on, girl", I say.
© 2009 Heidi L. Straube, M.Ed., LPCInspiration