Fooling Me Twice

The first time it happened, the situation seemed innocent enough.

But since it happened again last weekend, I now detect a pattern.

It begins with an effortless experience.

Namely, reserving an Uber to get to a venue, in this case for a mountaintop wedding.

In fact, our driver arrived five minutes early and told us not to rush.

Therefore, I assumed it would be equally easy to reserve another one to take us back to the hotel.

That proved a grave miscalculation.

This time, I was in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but flashing back to a few years ago I had the exact same experience in a scenic Texas landscape:

Dressed in formalwear…but stranded.

This month I’ve been exploring Asking––latest Meditation HERE––and I realize I generally assume that asking means requesting something both directly and verbally.

But as Amanda Palmer writes:

“Sometimes asking gracefully means saying less.
Or saying nothing.”

My favorite subtle example of asking without words involves my terrace’s now two story-tall maple tree.

Since it switched gender two years ago (I wrote about that HERE), each spring it’s produced scads of helicopters. 

One of last year’s helicopters has produced a toddler, a 3-foot sapling growing in the pot in which it landed (which I guess technically makes me a grandfather.)

Beyond this, there’s a dose of irony in this season’s helicopter progeny. 

I’ve written before (HERE) about how the image that comes up if you goggle “Resilience” is most often some sprig of green growing against all odds in the crack in the pavement.

And now, it’s literally happening in my own urban backyard, a maple tree sprouting between the tiles of my terrace. 

Also, just FYI I may write more about this soon but if you’re curious,the Smithsonian reportedrecently on a controversial German forester who wrote a bestseller about how trees communicate.

(If you’ve ever really loved a tree, it’s clear where you’ll stand.)

Waiting a bit longer before I transplant this one!

When he dropped us off last weekend, the Uber driver did suggest we reserve our departure ride in advance.

After thanking him, the moment we exited the vehicle I tried to do just that, only to discover that Uber wouldn’t take reservations for the return trip.

When the time to depart arrived, the app told me, you’d simply have to try your luck and hope someone was available and willing to drive uphill.

I was relieved, however to find that Lyft was more than happy to take a reservation for us, and “transportation problem solved,” I could wholeheartedly enjoy the festivities.

Unfortunately, as things were winding down and the time of our Lyft reservation approached, we rapidly descended into Seinfeld skit territory.

Just as Jerry and Elaine experienced at their rental car pickup, our “reservation” proved to be meaningless.

Nothing was actually guaranteed or committed to, as for over 45 minutes, Lyft kept texting me that they were looking for a driver. 

Despite its monumental New Age success, apparently the concept of “Ask and It Is Given” does not yet apply to rideshare apps.

Speaking of which…

I’m still processing (and reprocessing) Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

There are moments where its all-encompassing simplicity feels like Occam’s razor.

Echoing what Amanda and my maple sapling have each experienced and shared, this passage about silent asking generally rings true:

Your ‘asking’ is sometimes spoken with your words, but more often it emanates from you vibrationally as a constant stream of personally honed preferences, each building on the next, and each one respected and answered.

The perpetual question, of course, is why so many things on our Cosmic Wish List remain undelivered, lost in the mail, or, like our “reserved” Lyft ride, despite the corporate promises, nowhere to be found.

A few hours earlier, as the wedding toasts were unfolding––way before I was contemplating what my new life would be like trapped forever atop the Blue Ridge Mountains––I realized how surprised I was by the bulk of my interactions over the weekend.

Amongst the guests, to borrow from reality tv’s parlance, I had correctly anticipated several roses and one thorn.

Yet I had not anticipated the overflow of other positive, very surprising bouquets that came my way.

In fact, somewhat astonishingly, I truly felt seen.

It was much more than I had hoped for, even unnervingly so.

Had the fog simply lifted over past misconnections?

Or perhaps everyone had grown through the years, and most importantly, everyone’s vision––including mine––had somehow dramatically improved…

As everyone clinked glasses, I couldn’t help but that think that somehow, like the mountaintop trees, my wordlessly asking for a kind of quiet recognition was finally being heard.

Following the Abraham-Hicks model, it would appear that someone––namely me––was not a vibrational match to an Uber ride back to the hotel.

Alas, the silent asking of the trees wasn’t going to cut it.

Some asking––of the direct and not purely vibrational type––was definitely required.

Bizarrely, when I went to her for suggestions, the wedding planner simply shrugged and walked away.

Astonishingly, she seemed to believe that everything that happened past the wedding’s scheduled events and curfew was outside her purview. 

The event space staff, however, proved far more helpful, offering me the card of Joel, a driver who’d recently created his own ride service just for this specialized “bait and switch” travel scenario.

Joel was terrific, and as he dropped us back at our lodging, informed us that even though they were originating from our downtown hotel, the reservations for the 5 am airport trip were in actuality equally “unreserved.”

Forewarned is forearmed.

With Joel re-hired and behind the wheel for those trips, we all

returned to our respective destinations not only safe and sound, but also a little bit wiser, too.

It does indeed seem that sometimes asking via Vibration is enough.

As Emerson wrote:

“What you do speaks so loudly
that I cannot hear what you say.”

Or, in the echoing words of Maya Angelou:

“People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We ask so much simply by and through our being…

And yet, at the same, there are those moments when even our most explicit requests are not fulfilled.

Straightforward as our agreements are, sometimes Lyft and Uber either won’t commit or blatantly break their non-promises.

And, apparently, once the check has cleared, not every wedding planner cares about whether or not the guests get home safely.

Sometimes, as I wrote about last week HERE, you really do have to call Elvis’ manager every day for more than a year….

Or at least try to find a supportive ally amongst the catering waitstaff.

Indeed, Asking takes many forms.

In all of them, more and more, I see the layers of truth in Amanda Palmer’s title, The Art of Asking.

Whether it’s silent or direct, as she reminds us, we must always ask “with a sense of trust and graciousness.

In the end, maybe that’s the only way off the mountain.

Namaste for Now,

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