Paying Attention to Life's Teachers


Often, our teachers come to us under unusual circumstances. They can be found in subtle interactions, but we must have our eyes open, ready to see these teachers at any moment. Yesterday was one of those days; it was a rough day, but a day where I choose to learn from the teachers the Universe brought to me. My day started out normal enough: running to the gym and listening to a podcast as I got ready for work. My podcast listen was an archived episode from my great teacher, Dr. Wayne Dyer. As I often do, I paused the cast to write down something he shared: “The teachers are always there. The question is, are you ready?” I made a mental note to take better care to look for those teachers more closely in everyday events.

Later that day, while driving from a meeting back to my office, I received the opportunity. My opportunity to learn came in the form of an obstacle: I was in a car accident. Luckily, it wasn’t my fault and no one was seriously injured, but it was still a scary, shocking event; an event that brought an important lesson: slow down. Under the circumstances, you might think my lesson was directly related to driving, but my reminder actually came in the form of an angel. My angel was a good samaritan who stopped at the scene of the accident to make sure everyone was okay. Plenty of people passed without bothering to stop. However, she not only stopped, but stayed with me even after she was assured everyone was okay, after my co-worker arrived to calm me, after the police and emergency responders arrived. She selflessly took time out of her day to slow down and hold space in a time of chaos and fear. She didn’t rush us or tell us she had to get going, she was simply there, a kind gesture I am tremendously grateful for.

While I could have gone without being in a car accident, I am thankful I was able to recognize this as reminder for me to slow down, to look around, to breathe, to keep my eyes open for a small kindness I might perform for others. Sometimes it is difficult to slow down in the midst of these times, but it’s in slowing down that we are able to be of true service to ourselves and others.