Being, Life Coach, Mindset, Perfection, WonderPlay Coaching

Declaring Value is a Choice: 5 Gifts From My Stolen Car

We were about to take a drive to Humboldt Park (to scout locations for a community event for The Sacred Circus), and my car isn’t where we parked it after we got groceries the night before. Towed? No. Stolen? Yes.

The situation is (almost) resolved as I type this. Nothing was ever broken in the first place, but as usual, I am creating a lot of value in this journey!

The bottom line is: Declaring Value is a Choice. When we make a mindset habit of declaring value, the circumstances seem to reorganize themselves around that idea.
These 5 gifts (that I choose to receive) are ways I am declaring value from this whole experience.
Selfie from a day I was feeling really boss that week, regardless of missing car.
I was channeling Power, Creativity, and Love!

Declared Value #1: Recognizing That I Am Warrior. 

That doesn’t mean I’m not a Worrier sometimes. But I am prepared to step up and take appropriate action in the circumstances I find myself in. I prioritize easily. I plan methodically I move swiftly. I trust my intuition. I count on people to have my back, and I also am ready to move along if they are unable to help. I see that my mindset is one of my most precious resources. I didn’t panic or rage. I simply acknowledged that my afternoon was going to look different from how I had planned it and moved along.
At the same time, Warriors need breaks too. Which leads me to my next point…

This was a report to my team about my mindset practice for the day, as I was waiting for a bus.

Declared Value #2: Reminder to Practice Compassion and Gratitude.

Having compassion for myself was a challenge – surprisingly/not surprisingly. As I was waiting for the bus to go to work after I canceled the remainder of my participation in our Sacred Circus research trip, I thought to myself that I wanted to simply cry and be held. My need to be tenderly cared for got met in other ways that week, and sometimes I got reminders to be tender toward myself.

This was right before the first drive back in the recovered vehicle. Some of the objects that remained included this extraordinary shiny and sequined piece of fabric – remaining from my competitive pole season. I opted to wear it as a scarf immediately in the name of Celebration!
It was fairly easy to have compassion for the thief, by surprising contrast. I imagined the person who stole my car really needing transportation. I imagined them getting groceries and commuting to a workplace. I imagined them being super short on earthly dollars and choosing this as a way to generate some quick cash. As I learned from Grace Bishop at the first ImpacTable (find her business at LeadLove and her passionwork as a leader and facilitator of NonViolent Communication in Chicago), much of human emotional behavior is an expression of an unmet need. 
Bonus: whosoever stole the car cleaned it out pretty well! Thanks!

Cleaned out…Stereo included.

Declared Value #3: Leaning on My Human Resources.

What a network I have, in biological and chosen family!

The first phone call was to my Dad, who got into action to mitigate the potential negative effects, including recruiting his sister (my aunt & godmother) to investigate giving me a big ol’ pile of her airline miles to rent me a car for a week while we at least figured out what would happen next. He started fixing up “my” car extra fast and moving forward with that, but then once the stolen car was recovered, my grandmother contributed that she would switch cars with me so I would have a drivable car sooner, and even gave me money for the title transfer. Not to mention, my Dad insisted on having me drop the car off to him immediately so he could make sure everything was still in proper order before releasing it to me again. Holy cow. I would not have managed this situation nearly as gracefully on my own, without their assistance. I am SO grateful.

And then there’s my husband. The moment we discovered the car missing, he offered his service – “What can I do? What do you need?” And he was a space for love and listening the whole time. Even the morning the car was recovered, when we got that call from the police to either pick it up RIGHT NOW or they would tow it and have it impounded, he canceled his bodywork/training appointment that he had been excited about ALL WEEK to come with me in the rental to pick up the stolen vehicle. (I hadn’t even considered that it wouldn’t be drivable, but it started right up when we got there.) He got to be with me, too, when we realized when we were most of the way there that we had left the house without any ID. That was quite a hilarious scene with that police officer, but I was able to confirm my identity by having my Driver’s License Number memorized and independently corroborating the info on the initial police report, so that turned out ok. But I wouldn’t have been nearly so easy and graceful in that situation either, if it had not been for Ryan. I continue to be SO grateful. 

Declared Value #4: Reminder to Release My Hold on the Physical.

Possessions? Great. Stopping to smell the flowering trees? At least as great.

I remember the last time a big-ticket item was stolen out from under me: it was my backpack in Costa Rica. It wasn’t “my” backpack — it had all my STUFF in it, yes, and I was USING it at the time, but it wasn’t strictly mine. 

My husband and I had left a high-stress situation and decided to camp out on the beach the day before we would begin leading our first retreat. We had been backpacking and hammocking, getting trained up with Sacred Paths Yoga, doing Ayahuasca when wild shamans appeared, and all-around having brilliant adventures…and suddenly the earthly possessions I had been carrying around were no more.

For about five minutes I went from disbelief to sadness and anger. I asked continuously through hysterical tears, “What do I do?!” Ryan finally offered, “Start to accept the loss.” That was what I needed to hear in that moment. I snapped out of it immediately. I stopped crying and did as suggested – began to accept that those objects didn’t belong to me anymore, and released them to their next phase of existence and moved on to mine.

The backpack is not the focus of this photo, and it turns out it wasn’t the focus of our journey either.

All of this to say, when the car was missing from its spot, I had already had a great session of practice this year of accepting the loss of a high-value object. We figured out who to call, what to say, and what to do next. It was a little tiring, but I was ready to move forward. I still am, even now that the car has been recovered – missing stereo and some personal affects notwithstanding.

WonderPlay of the Day: Steps Toward Release! While out in the city, I threw away the shoes I was wearing and walked home barefoot. I was on my way home from an adventure to meet @c_rieds ‘s financial planner with @mr.ladysmith last week, and I noticed that my gait had adjusted to avoid the pain from walking in my broken sandals. My beloved white Birks had taken some severe water damage (most recently and deleteriously from our Big Top adventure on the Fourth of July with @placeodiscovery and @deosluciddream), and they had never recovered. And yet! True to my fashion, I had decided that I would try to make them last till the end of this sandal-season. When Ryan suggested I throw them away, I discovered I was still attached to them, broken as they were. They’ve served me ever so well (@birkenstock is my jam), and I’ve had so many adventures in them (3+ years!) – not to mention Ryan has mostly commandeered my other pair (which you can see in the 2nd video). I went through fear that was physical (what about broken glass? will it hurt me to walk on the concrete?), social (what will people think of me? can I present as as person in charge of themselves and their life if I don’t even have shoes?), commercial (will they even let me on the CTA?), mental (I’ve never done this before; can I even handle it?) and even familial judgment (what would my MOTHER say? @sandratuazon) before I finally allowed the pain of my present situation to override all of it. Not only was I not injured, but I was leaps and bounds more comfortable than with my broken sandals. I remembered that my feet were built to walk on, urban environment notwithstanding. Plus, I got to experience something completely new. To top it off, a man living out of his truck under the Green Line asked if I was barefoot by choice, and then offered me some shoes. How humbling! Takeaways: 👞Pay attention to your discomfort. There is something there for you. 👟Pay attention to any invitations you get to release your discomfort – and especially pay attention to your resistance to do so. 👠Give generously, and express gratitude freely. 👡Explore the world for new experiences – they may be closer than you think.
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^^^Another recent exploration of releasing the physical.

Declared Value #5: Seeing A Bigger Picture. (Hint:It’s All Perfect.)

Recontextualizing a hardship into an opportunity is always a way of declaring value. 

Here’s some background that made it seem hilariously extra-complicated: 

  • It wasn’t even “my” car. It was on loan from my family.
  • Therefore, the stolen car is not in my name, nor registered to my address.
  • I didn’t know WHOSE name the car was registered in when I called to make the police report. 
  • The insurance on said loaner car wouldn’t cover theft replacement or a rental.
  • I plan my schedule based on commutes for my jobs, which are in turn based on having a car for commuting.
We learned this glorious tool in my coach training called “Problems to Opportunities.” A few of us clever folks condensed it to “Probportunities.” The shorthand of the exercise is, when you think you have a problem, find at least 3 opportunities from it. I had opportunities to figure out how to get to work on transit and how long that would take, how to file a police report for a stolen car I don’t own, how to rent a car with someone else’s airline miles (pro tip: you still have to pay the taxes in regular dollars, and still with a credit card), and how to get creative regarding missing work supplies (my dance bag was in the car at the time, and they rifled through it pretty well) and stretch the resources you’re left with. As Mike Michalowicz says in Profit First (<<<that’s a link to the audiobook on Audible), one of the tropes of entrepreneurship is to do more with less. I am grateful for all of these opportunities and reminders.

Bottom line: everything is really fine. Really.

There’s nothing like a little training from the Universe to create yourself more into who you are becoming. I create this experience as character-building and interesting, and I know that it will eventually be what one of my colleagues calls “Fun Type 2” – it will all be be funny after it’s not dramatic anymore.

~~~

I’d love to hear how you declare value in your experiences! Please comment below and share what values you are creating. 

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