DELRAY BEACH, FL, December 17, 2011 — Some call it luck, others find it amusing. Karma is one of those concepts that can remind us to stop and consider that every little thing we do has a corresponding ripple effect.
A few months ago I went to New York City on business, by myself, for the first time. I was there to meet with prospective clients regarding my wellness program for Mindful Body Productions. Regardless of the bitter, 50 degree, rainy conditions (much different from my sunny South Florida), I was prepared to suck it up. I planned a few meetings straight from the airport before I would make my way back to the East Village, where a college friend was hosting me for the weekend.
After a long cab ride from LaGuardia to Manhattan, I had to find my way, somehow, towards Hoboken, New Jersey on the PATH for my first meeting. I was on a time crunch, and a full cab ride would’ve taken much too long. Stepping out of the cab in my four-inch heels in a neighborhood (not one where Mr. Rogers would be spotted), I nearly tripped over the sidewalk.
“Where am I?” I inquired of the Indian cab driver, who spoke very little English or at least he put up a good front to avoid answering. Pretending I knew my way around, I proceeded to walk south until I saw the giant sign entitled: Subway.
“Now what?” I thought.
The subway seemed like an endless rabbit hole into a dark, bottomless pit. The clock was ticking and the pressure was on for my 11 a.m., well-planned business meeting. My savvy, entrepreneurial brain finally kicked into high gear and I felt motivated to (1) make it to my meeting (2) on time (3) somewhat put together.
Alas, however, I stood there, mustering up some inspiration at the top of the stairway, planning my attack. I felt like I was on a wild goose chase in a maze with a pack of well-dressed geese. Everyone was hustling.
One girl, who passed by nearly at a jogging pace, was devouring her sushi. All I could think was, “Thích Nhat Hanh says slow down and eat mindfully.” Who knows? Maybe she was at peace, shoveling the white rice tuna roll covered in wasabi down her mouth. I didn’t ask her, but I still offered a warm smile.
I was hoping for a genuine connection with one of these fashionable strangers but had yet to make an exchange of human contact.
I took a deep breath and pictured myself already down the four levels of stairs, determined to arrive there all in one piece. I plopped down a few steps with my rolling suitcase, quickly bringing the intensity and motivation with me as if I were in a barbell class.
I paused. Interestingly, a tall, stunning, blonde, Austrian boy with shiny blue eyes decided to offer a hand. He was so helpful, he even missed his own transfer train and had to go back upstairs.
“What kind of karma is that?” I questioned to myself.
After making it to Hoboken and having a very successful meeting, I found my way back to the station. A frazzled, salt and pepper-haired man in his 60’s wearing a neatly pressed corduroy blazer asked me, “How the hell do I do this?”
No one seemed to give him a half a second of their time, so I enchanted him with my assistance. He confessed that his driver was stuck in traffic and claimed that he never in his 20 years had taken the train. (And I thought I was spoiled.)
Like a gentleman, he offered to carry my suitcase down two flights of stairs. I felt blessed. I accepted. Was this karma?
Karma is funny like that, where every little decision that we make actually has an impact, not only on our lives but on all our lives. The now calm, distinguished man said if I hadn’t helped him get on the train, he would’ve been late for his meeting. He was grateful, and it felt good to be of service. All I had to do was to take a few moments out of my own life to assist someone in need.
Karma is a concept that can help us to stay mindful along our journey, to stop us on our paths, and question our own actions, perhaps to assist us along the way toward peace.
The next day, I went for a jog around Central Park. On the way back to my friend’s East Village apartment, I picked up some fresh fruit at Trader Joe’s. I decided to purchase two of their sturdy shopping totes for my trip to have an extra bag, just in case. I soon came to a crosswalk where an adorable young couple pulled up on bicycles right in front of a subway entrance.
Within two seconds, both of their bags broke. Apples went flying and rolling down the busy street. I immediately asked, without thinking, “Do you need an extra bag?” Some times when you are inspired to give, you’ve already received something back in return. Karma.
I wonder if we all were a little bit more observant with our actions, we might notice people’s suffering and actually help. I wonder what it would be like if we lived our lives with more purpose and intention.
Considering that you are one in 6.96 billion human beings sharing this planet, it’s amazing to know that you really do makes a difference since everything you do causes an altering effect. If it influences your life, it will have an effect on us all.
Be grateful. Live your purpose every day with everyone you meet, with everything you do. Who knows when it will return to you.
Robyn Linn is an internationally published writer, certified yoga instructor, healthy eating educator, spiritual advisor, and singer. She has created a Mindful Body program to provide the skills for college-aged students, children, and adults to attain optimal well-being. Her intention: to inspire others to live with compassion and live to their fullest potential and with a purpose. Find her at www.robynlinn.com.
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