In this photo (l-r: Len, me, Sokjan and ABC (aka “Mom))
I’m exploring the transformation process. In this case, it’s transforming a ‘lack’ mindset into an ‘abundance’ mindset, and transforming fear into freedom.
So back in September, I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia getting ready to travel to Ratanakiri, Cambodia. My ego wanted to test my Spirit to see how I would respond to an absence of money. So when this event happened, I had been very strongly letting go of my need to control through my actions. I was keeping constant awareness on God within, and I was experiencing really powerful occurances of alignment with Life Mastery (or being a powerful manifestor.)
Here’s how the morning went: I was scheduled to be picked up from my guesthouse at 7:30am by the minivan to take me to Ratanakiri. I was ready to go by 6:50 and I went down to the cafe to have a leisurely breakfast. When I got downstairs, Len, the owner of the guesthouse, informed me that the minivan driver called and said they’d be there to pick me up for me at 7:15. No problem, because I was early.
I sat down and started eating breakfast and thought that while I was eating, I should go ahead and square my bill with the guesthouse. Luckily I did, because I went into my wallet and I found it in dire straights. I had lost track of my spending and found that I was short on cash for my hotel bill AND short for my van ride! And I definitely did not want to be traveling through Cambodia without sufficient cash. That’s a no-no in Asia where credit cards are never accepted.
I panicked for a moment because by that time it was 7:11. I told Len my predicament and she got Soukjan, one of the housekeepers to drive me to the ATM on the motor scooter. I was struck dumb because Sok Chan, a long-time resident of Siem Reap, had no idea of where an ATM was located. I was dumbstruck because it had never occurred to me that the average Cambodian never uses the ATM. I felt slightly bewildered because I was witnessing my ignorance very clearly. As much time spent in Asia, it never occurred to me that the average person here has no use of a Automatic Teller Machine because they don’t keep their money in a bank… AND they don’t go to the areas that have ATMs unless they’re toting around a tourist. If you’re a housekeeper in a guesthouse, you have access to meeting foreigners, trying out your English, and having friendly exchanges, but you don’t go where they go. Such a powerful wake-up call for me! But that awakening was just the icing on the cake of how this day would unfold.
Anyway, Sok Chan and I headed off, and I was feeling very stressed because I didn’t want the minivan to Ratanakiri to leave me. Since they’ve requested to get me early– they must be on a mission. I did not want to be the proverbial spoke that kept the wheel from turning. Also, I hate to be handling business at the last minute. I was mad at myself for miscalculating my finances. There were all sorts of daggers being thrown at myself by myself. I was NOT feeling good. However, there was a very stubborn part of me that refused to succumb to the daggers in my mind and the cortisol in my body. That part of me kept saying, “Trust this process. I’m good. I’m in the right place at the right time. Let go. Let God.”
Quickly, Sok Chan and I went to the ATM that Len used last night. I popped into the cabinet, stuck in my card, put in my code and demanded my money. After about a minute, the machine timed out. Because I’ve had so many issues with my account, I felt panic rise. Was my card going to be eaten like it was two weeks ago? Was my transaction about to be DECLINED? Am I overdrawn? Has my account been taken over by identity thieves? How would I pay for my room and board… And how would I pay for my journey forward? YIKES. All of these fears were popping up in rapid succession; and at the same time, I’ve got a dialogue running in my mind telling me that I’m going to get left OR just be a big pain in the ass because I’m making everyone so late. Both are abhorrent to me. And yet…
Although the stress was mounting in my mind, I had a voice telling me that this was an opportunity to not be disaster-minded. This was an opportunity to stay focused on my desired outcome, which is to flow easily to Ratanakiri.
Upon trying that same machine another time, and having the same response, Sok Chan and I headed to another ATM around the corner. The exact same issue as the first ATM. We asked a chauffeur who was hanging out polishing his car where to find another ATM and he directed us to a place where there was a bank of three ATM machines… All of them are out of order, but at least they displayed a message on them stating their un-usability.
So that was five ATMS that were out of order or rejecting my transaction. Panic wanted to set in because by that time it was 7:45. I was now 30 minutes late for a ride that was on mission! A security guard standing nearby pointed us to yet another ATM , and I was nervous because all of the ATMs were backed by the same bank as all the others. I was really beginning to wonder if ABA had the market on ATMs in Siem Reap. I was also worried because I thought that Spirit was trying to bitch slap me into an awakening, the point of which I had been missing. That is what was really frightening me. I was afraid that Spirit had been telling me that I shouldn’t go to Ratanakiri, and I had been ignoring it. YIKES. This was especially disheartening because yesterday, I had decided from what felt like an empowered place, to go to Ratanakiri. My profound life lesson is that if I decide I want something and I feel it in my body, then that is my message to go forward with the having. If I was not reading the signs correctly, then it would mean that I am not in touch with my intuition– that I’m out of the vortex and that all my learning, and the things that I teach are wrong. And that would be devastating!
Anyway, I go to the 6th ATM and it felt totally different than the others. I don’t know how to explain it, but it really felt different. The air around the machine was lighter. The feeling of the cabin was more real. It was the same company, but the machine inside was rapid, quick and clear. The screen was bright and somehow just right. The only way to describe it is that it felt clear. Anyway, it gave me my money without a hitch and my tension began to melt away just a little… but then we had to get back to the guesthouse. When we pulled into the driveway, there was a handsome driver with a white minivan, and again, the panic began arising because in my mind, the driver had arrived two minutes after I left and he and his van full of passengers has been waiting for me for now over 45 minutes. Oooh! The shame was rising in my system like hot bile.
I dashed past the driver with a quick, “I’ll be right back. Just one moment, please!” Len was swamped with breakfast orders and I was trying to surrender to allowing the driver and the passengers to be in the right place at the right time and me to be in the right place at the right time. This is a powerful Spiritual principle that helps me process my fear and stress, so I kept breathing that mantra in despite my worry.
As I was rolling into the cafe to settle my bill with Len, I took in the stress that she was having and was struck by another pang of guilt because I had taken Sok Chan, who is also the kitchen helper, to drive me around in search of the ATM, and we had taken soooo long! I expanded to included Len in my mantra, as well– “Let go. Let God. I am in the right place at the right time. The driver and passengers are in the right place at the right time. Len is in the right place at the right time.” Len said to me, “Hey can you wait a minute for me to finish with the other patrons? Your driver isn’t here yet, so do you mind waiting?”
I respond, “That’s not my driver outside?”
She said, “No. That’s the driver for the patrons I’m trying to hurry up and serve. Your driver isn’t here and hasn’t called. Do you want me to call him?”
I giggle a little at this and surrender fully to the moment– relieved. Spirit has NEVER failed me. NEVER. The Universe always has my back. I am always in the right place at the right time– even when it seems to me and everyone around me that it’s not true. If I could stop resisting, then I would see this more often. But actually, I have stopped resisting this. Ego gets panicky sometimes, but that’s usually because something big is about to happen to it.
It turned out that my minivan to Ratanakiri was two hours late! When they finally came to get me, they sent a motor scooter which took me and my bag to a little shop front where I had to stand around waiting for another 30 minutes for another bus that was coming through with some passengers from another small town. That bus had been severely delayed and so that’s why we were late. In Cambodia, it’s not easy for people to get transportation across the country, so they tend to wait and look out for one another like this. It’s actually really awesome and supportive.
Interestingly, the little bus depot is located across the street from the river. I was standing outside observing the people and being present with my own feelings. I spotted a man swimming in the river beneath a tree on the other bank of the river. I had a very distinct memory of seeing young kids swimming in the river and thinking that they were courageous to be swimming so carefreely in that brown and murky water. There were so many lotuses and lilypads and thick clumps of seaweed. I wouldn’t have to guts to be in there without knowing what was surrounding me. That morning, the man swimming across the bank stuck out to me because he looked a little like a toad with just its head sticking above the water. He seemed like a stone statue of a frog peeking its head from brown, murky water.
I returned my attention to what was happening on the street– the food vendors, the tuk-tuk drivers and other people in the community were all going about their morning rituals. But then there was a crescendo of energy! The tuk-tuk drivers and other men on my side of the bank were rushing toward the water’s edge. Two of the men stripped off their clothing and leapt into the water and swam across to the bank where I saw the toad-like man in the water beneath the tree. Apparently, that man had gone beneath the water and not resurfaced. Someone on my side of the bank saw this and shouted an alarm.
The two men who had swam to the other bank were searching for the man but could not find him beneath the murky water. They dove down again, and located him on the third attempt. The man had gotten entangled in the roots and seaweeds at the bottom of the river. They managed to pull him out, but it was hard going. He was a big man, and a solid mass of unconscious, dead weight. As they hauled him onto the bank, I could see where there were thick, black roots wrapped tightly around his ankles– the work of a master bandit intent on keeping his prey from escape.
The two rescuers had to fight his weight, the current of the river and an uphill slope to get the man to a place where they could administer CPR and resuscitate him. I did not see much from there because it was too far and they were partially hidden by the tree. The people on the road said later that they brought him back. But wow. And that’s how my journey to Ratanakiri began.
And that’s how you leave your lack mentality behind.
So this post began as the unraveling of the ego’s fear and the Spirit’s triumph. I got the chance to experience how my ego serves up fear and limited perspective, and how Spirit serves up leeways and positive outcomes. I then got to witness the rescue of a man from impossible circumstances. I needed to see this because one of ego’s fears is that I will not be helped if I am endangered because no one will see me, or no one will know. Now, this is an old fear from a past-life that found me gang-raped savagely. The issue of rape has come forward with me into this life, and I am still processing the emotional disconnection that comes from this powerful energetic. One of the side effects of this trauma is a feeling of deep isolation and a feeling that no one will be there to help me when the shit hits the fan. When I am traveling, one of the only doubts that comes up is if I can communicate that I need help. Of course, this is a reasonable concern when you’re somewhere and can’t speak the language, but I’m talking about a deep, dark cellular fear– something that is visceral and has the power to block the flow of energy and even cause dis-ease. So for me to witness a man who seemed lost being found and rescued and saved… that was a triumph for my Soul.
And my ego responded with release. Which is good. I have been feeling profound connection to Source and movement forward ever since.