yet another slap in the face from the universe

my birthday was this past weekend, so after celebrating in the city with my friends on saturday, i headed to new jersey to continue the celebration with my family. i had the best, most laughter-filled, most relaxing day with the people i love most, and was happy as a clam. yet the day after my birthday was a little rough all around: i butted heads with my niece; had a friend react very passive-aggressively when i politely asked to rearrange plans to hang out; and was feeling a little sad about the end of a brief, yet very nice, romance. i had been on such a high the day before, only to feel like my world was crumbling around me (ok, that’s super dramatic. it wasn’t crumbling, but there was way more conflict than i’m used to on a daily basis.) since i was so wrapped up in my birthday weekend, i hadn’t done my self care practices, i.e. yoga/pilates, tapping, or meditation, which is probably why i’d had such a visceral reaction to the each relationship hiccup. i could handle each on its own, but taken together they felt like a punch in the gut. the last thing i needed/expected after the high of celebrating all these years of life.

that being said, i was feeling slightly melancholy on my commute into work the following morning. it didn’t improve matters when this guy insisted on taking the seat next to me on the bus, when there were plenty of empty seats both in front of and behind me. normally it wouldn’t have bothered me, but because i was heading back into the city after my birthday, i was laden with bags of gifts and the leftovers of the delicious cake that my mom had baked for me. so it was a whole to-do to rearrange my stuff and make room for this gentleman. anyway, once i finally re-settled myself, i noticed that the guy was meditating. i have never, in my hundreds of times on a new jersey transit bus, witnessed someone meditate during his/her commute. at one point, the guy even started practicing kapalabhati breathing (a yogic practice by which one exhales very forcefully–and therefore loudly–through the nose). i had to laugh. here i was feeling all flustered and frustrated first by my own personal shit, and then by the fact that my fellow bus rider had, at least from my perspective, inconvenienced me by taking the seat next to me. but in fact, the universe had put him there as a reminder that you best pick your self-help practices back up asap! and you best believe i did. i meditated for the rest of the ride, and by the time i got to the city, i felt infinitely more centered, even when the subway stalled for a good 10 minutes and i ended up being late for work. so to the dedicated meditator who insisted on taking that seat next to me on the bus, sincerest thank you, whoever and wherever you are.

i’m constantly saying it, but it doesn’t get old: the universe really does provide. as long as we’re open and willing to see the signs, the lessons are there for the taking.