“Open the Door!”
I heard this message inside of me as I stood in front of the boarded up window of the barber shop.
Yumi needed a shave. And so for the first time ever I Googled to find a barber. The first places I found needed an appointment, which these days is challenging. I found a place where you could just walk in, and we Ubered over there. The barber shop was hard to find, and when we finally stopped in front of it, we realized that it was hidden because the whole front window was boarded up with wooden panels. The window was shattered. I looked around and realized that we had landed in an African-American neighborhood. Fear gripped me, and before I knew it I was submerged in classism and racism. I wanted to leave.
But something inside of me said: “Open the Door!”
I told the Uber driver: “Please wait for me.” As I opened the door I found a darkened place because of the boarded up windows. I looked to my left. And there, at the cash register, sat a big woman wrapped in a yellow blanket. She smiled her toothless smile at me, and asked: “Are you the one who called?” And in that moment we locked eyes. I felt her warmth and her welcome, and everything in me relaxed. I went out to get Yumi, and told the driver that we are staying.
What followed was precious and unforgettable. As soon as I came in with Yumi the woman got up to assist him to the barber chair. She did it with so much compassion, and looked back at me saying: “I am a nurse.” Indeed I could see that she knew exactly how to maneuver with tender care. While I was sitting waiting for Yumi, the woman looked at me and asked: “Are you a model?” “No,” I said smiling. “You are very beautiful!” she said. We both smiled at each other, woman to woman.
Yumi got a good shave.
But what happened next was unexpected. The whole group of four people from the shop wouldn’t let us go. They hugged us. They kissed us. They took pictures of us. They embraced us so completely that it felt like we were long lost family. And then when our Uber car arrived, they accompanied us outside. They hugged and kissed and embraced us some more. They put Yumi’s Rollator into the trunk of the car. A few more hugs and kisses. Then they waved us good bye, and stayed outside waving at us until we disappeared.
As I reflected on this story with the friend who introduced me to David Hawkins’ “Power vs Force chart,” I realized that when I saw the boarded up window and the neighborhood, I had automatically and reactively entered Fear “under the courage line.” It was not just Fear I encountered. I also felt Guilt and Shame.
And then an inspiration came: “Open the door!” I stepped “above the courage line”: Willingness turned into Acceptance, and then into Love and Joy and Peace.
When Yumi and I left we had spent an eternal moment of human connection with fellow human beings.
I am learning again and again about what allows me to function in my true essential power, in the Upward Trend, and what drains my energy in the Downward Pull. I am always amazed at how when I dare to go “above the courage line” from Fear to Neutrality, I already see Possibility.
This reminds me of the Jane Hirshfeld poem A Cedar Fragrance:
I wash my face with cold water
Not for discipline,
nor the icy awakening slap,
but to practice
to make the unwanted wanted.
What I want to leave you with is this: “Open the Door!” As the saying goes: “Our lives are not defined by what we let go of, but by what we let in.”