What we need is always there for us, and if we put out the intention that we are open to receive, the universe will deliver.
When my friend suggested I take a yoga class with her several years ago, I wasn’t even thinking of the spiritual benefits. It wasn’t so much that I was closed off to them, I was just unaware. Simply, I was in it for getting a good stretch. I was more determined to bend and twist my body into the various poses than I was to expand my mind. As our yogi guided us into the bow position, her soft, melodious voice speaking of a principle she referred to as “the open door,” someone’s door blew wide open: a loud burst of flatulence filled the room. The yogi was not thrown off her course, however, as clearly so many of us were, from the collective intake of breath as we struggled to maintain our posture while controlling the urge to laugh.
“We honor all noises in yoga,” she said, and I was so impressed with her ability to keep the room focused that once my inner giggling subsided, I was able to truly listen and let her words sink in as she spoke in terms of making our own opportunities – a sort of prodding of the universe – as opening a door.
She instructed us to close our eyes and visualize something we really wanted, something we were striving for, but couldn’t seem to get. When this happens to us, we may feel like we have come upon a door that is slammed shut, with what we desire being blocked from us on the other side. She encouraged us to imagine that although the door may be closed, it didn’t necessarily mean it was locked, and all we had to do is reach out and open it. Perhaps we won’t find what we want waiting for us there on the first try, but at least now the door is open, waiting for it to come and flow through, unimpeded.
Sometimes what we want is behind a succession of doors, not unlike a trip to the supermarket for a gallon of milk. You have to open your front door, open the door of your car, open the door to the grocery store, and open the refrigerated case before you finally get your hands on the milk. You had to open four doors to finally get what you wanted. Life is no different. Sometimes you may have to open only one door, sometimes many. Sometimes you may have to open the same doors over and over again, as what you want is right in front of you, hiding in plain sight. Much as you may have tossed your house looking for something only to find it tucked on a shelf in a closet you already searched four times. What we need is always there for us, and if we put out the intention that we are open to receive, the universe will deliver.
Because of this I now say out loud to myself, I’m opening a door, whenever I do something that is an important step towards getting what I want. When I moved to Las Vegas ten years ago, leaving my family and friends to brave it alone in the desert, I said, I’m opening a door. And when I applied for my dream job at a popular live music venue, I remember walking across the casino floor on wobbly legs with my heart pounding. Taking a deep breath, I whispered, I’m opening a door, not caring who might see me talking to myself. I thought that if that door opened, it would lead me to a steady paycheck, perhaps some free shows, and maybe I’d even get to meet that rock star who was my writing muse. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be right on all fronts, the most unbelievable of which had me – as Lead Auditor of the Accounting Department – cutting the royalty check of that very same rock star.
Each time I sit at my computer to write I say, I’m opening a door, and I let the words flow through me. Sometimes that door is only ajar, and I have to fight for every sentence. Sometimes it slams shut and I spend hours playing solitaire. Sometimes it’s open so wide that things get on the page that don’t belong and I’m left with an incomprehensible mess. I’ve discovered it’s not always up to me what comes through, but I am always there to receive it.
I said it before writing this, and I will say it again as I hit the send button that will make this essay land in the Sasee editor’s mailbox. Perhaps you will say it the next time you open a book or an email or when you call the number of that person you haven’t spoken to in so long. Perhaps you will say it each time you stand before the many barricades and perceived blocked passages you encounter as this year unfolds.
I’m opening a door.