|Spirit knows how to move me.
Spirit knows how to get me out of my chair.
Yes, it was a mouse. And I am not honoring mouse just yet. Notice I didn’t even capitalize ‘mouse?’
I had just experienced a wonderful meditation with several Tibetan monks. I was spiritually high and felt a desire to celebrate by going out to eat with my daughters. I felt led to a café way out on the edge of the city, where we could sit outside in relative quiet.
We found the patio empty, as it was nearly closing time. The moon was full and I was in heaven as I took my shoes off, put my feet up on another chair and leaned my head back to take in the glorious moon light.
Just as my body dropped into total surrender Amber, my youngest, says in a very calm voice, “Oh my gosh…there’s a mouse.”
Well of course being in such a peaceful state I was able to respond from a place of great wonder and gratitude. Or more correctly I jerked my head around quickly, brought my feet up onto my chair and asked in a panicked tone, “Where?!”
Amber pointed in the direction of the table next to us, and I looked down and saw the tiniest, cutest little mouse. It was darting this way and that making unpredictable moves.
Naturally I welcomed it in a spiritual way and gave thanks that Spirit was bringing me a wondrous connection to that which I long for. Oh, yes, I did all that while waving my white napkin in its direction fighting back tiny squeals.
It left. I was grateful.
And then it came back. I asked it again, to please leave. It left. And it came back.
I kept my eyes glued to the place in the tall grass where it kept magically reappearing. My neck began to feel strained as I attempted to follow it’s every move. My heart was racing and my nerves were frantic. Other than that I was thrilled to make a connection.
Amber and Grace laughed at me. “I thought you wanted to be closer to nature again, Mom!”
“Yes, yes I do. And I am very grateful that this mouse is here.” I said gritting my teeth and trying not to shriek as it came dangerously close to my chair.
“So what does Mouse mean?” They asked as they watched me trying to appear calm, while my hands kept jerking involuntarily at mouse in a shooing fashion.
I gave a very brief dissertation on the many possible meanings of mouse. So Grace asked, “But what does it mean for you right now?”
“I know better than this.” I said, “I can climb mountains, I can move cross country with kids and a mere five dollars in my pocket, I can stand up to speak in front of a crowd with no notes, and yet something sweet and innocent as this has me totally freaked out.”
Breathing deeply I laughed at myself. The wise woman within was observing the old me. The Wise Woman was amused.
My Wise Self reminded me of all the brave things I have done in the past. She reminded me of how I grew by learning to accept Snake and Wolf Spider and others that once frightened me terribly.
The Wise Woman reminded me how I used to worry about having enough money. She reminded me how nervous I used to get speaking in front of just one or two people.
The night before I was walking on a trail after dark, and I crossed paths with a couple with a flashlight. As they passed by the gentleman said, “You’re a brave soul.” As I walked on in the dark I thought of all the tremendous things I have overcome and I affirmed to myself, “Yes, I am.”
And now the Universe brought a sweet surprise to me, right at my feet, and I was getting tripped up in fear once again. Here was another opportunity to grow.
As I enjoyed what was on the plate in front of me I remembered the image I saw of the Dalai Lama earlier in mediation with the monks. I had felt his powerful message of relating to all people. How much easier it is to have love and compassion for another when we imagine how the other person feels. What is their story? Where did they come from? What makes them do what they do?
So I applied it to mouse. Why was this mouse continuously coming back towards us? It was so bold and brave, even with my shrill voice and white flag waving.
I began to imagine how she felt. Instantly I felt her hunger. And I felt her desperation.
Looking up I saw the parched land around us. The long, hot, dry summer had taken a toll on everything.
At the table my daughters were happily eating their macaroni and cheese. Gratitude washed over me as I realized how far we have come.
I have had to run around – sometimes all over the country – in order to get food on the table. Certainly I have taken risks, been bold and daring and been willing to go searching for what was needed.
Now I understood that which I feared. Now Mouse and I had something in common.
I looked at my food and I felt a desire to feed her. I wanted to help her. My heart opened and compassion came in because I could relate.
I took a beansprout from my bowl and tossed it towards her. I was too afraid to get up and go to her.
At first I didn’t want to look at her too closely. I didn’t want to know too much about her, but I was willing to share something I didn’t need.
At least it was a start.
She came and got it, disappeared and came back even closer.
As I shared my insight, my daughters were more than happy to share what they had.
Grace and Amber began tossing macaroni and cheese in her direction.
She retrieved the food quickly and took it into the tall grass somewhere we could not see. I imagined her sharing it with her own family. In my mind I saw little baby mice excited about the new prosperity.
The more I studied her, the more comfortable I became with her. The more I shared, the more I felt her presence, her pain and her joy.
The more comfortable I became, the closer she came to being with me.
By the end of our meal, our mouse friend was very bold.
She came and sat under my chair.
And I made a quick decision. The Wise Woman and the Old Scaredy Cat both agreed, I had grown enough for one evening. It was time to go.
I grabbed my shoes, my purse and in as calm a voice as I could fake I let my daughters know, “I’m going inside now. Will you bring our to-go boxes with you?”
They casually stood up and gathered the rest of the food. They stopped for a moment to watch their mother. They watched me barefoot, on tiptoe, trying not to appear frantic, scurrying in the door.
As I stood inside the entry way of the restaurant I began to laugh, too. It really was a wonderful evening. Mouse was entertaining, and so was I.
Safely behind glass I looked back outside and saw Amber kneel down and place a large helping of macaroni and cheese on the ground. I saw her speaking kindly to Mouse.
Each positive small change you make in your own life will influence the future in a good way.
And every good deed will be rewarded…sometimes unexpectedly.
When Amber came into the restaurant one of the waiters came over and handed her three giant cookies, as a gift.
Enjoy the good surprises that life brings. Free your mind and learn to relate to how others feel. Come from your heart.
Share the extra on your plate. Share the extra in your wallet. Share what is in your heart.
Blessings will come back to you.
And if my friend Mouse appears, just breathe and remember she’s human, too.
And if you have some extra mac and cheese…can you spare a bite for Mouse?
Sharing, caring and in love,