Last Friday was an awesome day for me. I had lunch with my friend, David, then went to my absolute favorite party of the holiday season, a friend’s annual White Elephant Party, where you wrap all the unwanted gifts you received for Christmas or Hanukkah (and those accumulated over the course of the year) and have a massive, brawling gift exchange. It is sheer joy!
Both of these events gave me the chance to see how the energy you bring to an encounter can alter the outcome.
After lunch with David, we drove into downtown Los Angeles to visit one of the stores that sells his incredible design products. I was driving, so he guided me to the area, then told me to park while we were still a few blocks away. I asked if there was parking closer to the store, and he said yes, but those spaces are never available, to which I replied, “sure they are.”
So, after we parked (directly in front of the store), he wondered aloud how I could have possibly gotten that spot when he’s driven there at least a dozen times and never found anything close.
The answer is that he decides in advance that there won’t be any parking nearby, and so there isn’t. I decide in advance that there will be parking close to wherever I’m going, and generally there is, and when there’s not, I get to be grateful for a little exercise. Good parking energy = good parking outcome.
Later that night, I arrived at the White Elephant party and the first person I saw was a woman I was hoping wouldn’t be there – a person I see once a year, at this party. I don’t know why (seriously – I have NO IDEA why), but for the past several years during the gift grab, she has decided that whatever gift I want, she will use all her turns to steal it from me, even things she has already expressed no interest in. I am not being paranoid – other people have commented on it. In fact, last year I had to conspire with other guests to get them to steal the things I really wanted just to keep her from taking them. It seems that thwarting me was a higher priority for her than actually getting anything she might want or care about, and seeing her made me instantly anxious.
Then, I decided to change the energy of our encounter. I tried to engage her in a nice conversation, focusing on her (this is an easy way to get people to talk to you – ask them to talk about themselves), but she was pretty negative and it quickly became stilted, and I gave up on the idea of changing things. Sigh, another year of holding something I really love just to have her take it from me, over and over.
After that, we started the gift game (which is nothing short of hilarious and truly, truly fun), and that’s when I realized that this was still in my control. Quietly, while everyone was getting settled, I closed my eyes and erected an imaginary barrier between us, an energy shield of sorts. Luckily, she was sitting on the other side of the room, so my barrier could be big and thick and wide. That’s what I envisioned anyway.
And for reasons I will never be able to explain, it worked. In fact, it felt like it worked too well. She never even looked at me, and while hunting around for things to steal, it was as if she didn’t see me (or my loot). Which is fine. I had an awesome time, and I really hope she did to.
On a related note, I invited my wonderful friend Lori Crawford (romance novelist extraordinaire) to come, and maybe it was her energy that changed things. She had a blast, but beyond that, truly understood the nature of the event. Lori had fun stealing and losing treasures, made sure she got one thing she really wanted, then gave away almost everything else she’d won, even things she’d fought hard for when it occurred to her that someone else might want them more. She is the embodiment of grace and generosity, and will be a welcome participant in the future.
Warm, giving people always create the best energy. Thank you David, Lori and Barbara (the party’s fabulous hostess) for giving me an awesome Friday.
Oh, dear – another blog post that is wayyyy too long. I promise, I will try to get these under control soon. Until then — Happy reading!