“I want an upgrade” she trilled as her nails tapped out a rhythmic beat upon the highly polished mahogany counter. A puzzled look came across the face of the man standing behind the hotel reception desk. Thinking that she was being misunderstood, she repeated her request and I could tell that she was not about to be denied. She expected some attention and she wanted it now! With an efficient French accent, the manager asked if he could be of help and discovered that the woman was not thrilled with her accommodations. “But Madame, you have not even seen your room!” And that’s how it went straight across Europe, from one fine hotel to another. I watched as this musician’s wife with whom I was traveling, insisted upon an upgrade to every room that she was assigned. Some suites she ventured to look at, while others she refused to give even the slightest glance. I was fascinated.
A friend of mine is a studio musician and we were on tour with a well know English rock star and his entourage. We were treated like royalty all across Europe and England and the trip was memorable in many ways, but it was this woman that held my attention. The reason that I was captivated by her had nothing to do with her seemingly unreasonable requests. I was not judging her. No, the grip that she had on me was much more insidious. It was a yearning that seemed primal, a wanting so deep and so buried that when confronted with a glimpse of it, I was stopped in my tracks.
As irrational as her demands may have seemed at the time, she was in her own way searching for something that was eluding her. It was not about the perfect room with the perfect shade of light pink that matched the even more perfect chartreuse green silk embroidered curtains. It ran much deeper than that and I understood. How many times had I experienced moments that took me out of my heart? How many times had I let problems and anxieties define me rather than releasing them and reframing a situation so that I was free to feel inspired and in awe? It seemed that she had set herself up for failure. Nothing would satisfy her except a main line to a vein called Nirvana.
I could feel her longing and I found it intriguing, but at the same time I thought, how exhausting and fruitless for her. She was setting up expectations and demanding that life flow only within a particular framework and specific parameters, discarding anything that did not fit into her preconceived image and quite honestly, we’ve all done this. Insisting “how” and “when” we would finally allow ourselves to be happy, usually followed by the “if this would only happen” and “only in this particular way” framework.
I think that it’s finally time to throw away all frames or at the very least, start to “reframe”.
I realize now that I was witnessing a limited belief system at play. I watched as this person defined herself and her happiness through the outer world and her interpretation was within the framework of “lack”. There simply is no lack in this neutral universe, unless of course, that’s the game you want to play. In which case, the universe will happily oblige. In this instance, the hotels and rooms changed, but her belief system did not.
Even though I felt for her like I would a mouse in a maze, I knew that she needed to find her own way out as we all eventually do. In reality, we are always just one instantaneous shift away from unlocking our own jail house doors and flying free. Remembering our true nature … that’s the key. However long it takes, months, years, lifetimes, we eventually remember ourselves, sinking into the heart space and stepping free from the mind. In the moment of present awareness there is the opportunity for awe and inspiration, a delightful invitation to be who we truly are and we all know that feeling. It starts with our shoulders relaxing, sinking slowly down and away from our ears while our heart is saying “Welcome back.” So how do we get there and stay? How do we release ourselves from the aspects of illusion that are not working for us anymore or not bringing us joy?
Well, that’s the journey, isn’t it? Being present and finding our balance in this shifting, pulsing vibration called Earth. It may be an excellent time to learn the fine art of “Reframing”, shifting to another perception, another timeline of opportunity and choosing something more joyful and satisfying to our spirits. This is not about sticking our collective heads in the sand but rather about gaining a perspective that will serve our greatest good. It’s a matter of choice.
Now as I look back, I understand what this woman was looking for when she demanded an “upgrade”. I think that she wanted someone to help her to shift … to see things not so much as how they seemingly appeared, but rather to be given the opportunity to see what was in her heart, the desire of her soul. She wanted to be consumed and overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and satisfaction and every room held that potential.
We all have those rooms filled with potential and now the time is upon us to make choices as to how we observe and how we “judge” the events of the day. Our framing will either fast track us to a place of a more illuminated understanding or we could discover ourselves in turmoil as the structures of the world slowly get stripped away. Sometimes it’s a little of both before true understanding is reached. Right now, I choose to look at this time period of experience as an opportunity for growth, my “upgrade”, so to speak. How are you framing it?