This story could be titled many ways: “Huh?”, “You Got To be Kidding!”, “This Doesn’t Make Any Sense?” As you can see, it’s a story of surprise and bafflement! Here’s what happened: Two months ago, I am driving up to Sedona from Phoenix on Interstate 17. As I was approaching the Cottonwood Exit which is the exit before the Sedona Exit, I had this feeling I was suppose to get off and take the long way home. This feeling was so big that I went clairvoyant and asked, “Should I get off?” I heard a resounding, “Yes!” So I followed orders and veered onto the exit ramp.
I went through the green light at the end of the ramp and made a left turn, swinging into the left lane. I saw a Cadillac up ahead of me in my lane. I knew that further up the road the two lanes narrowed into one lane for 15 miles. So I got behind the Caddy and passed him on the right and then sped up as the road transitioned into one lane. Suddenly, I see “the lights” behind me! We all know what the “the lights” are! A county cop pulls me over. I am totally baffled at what this could be about.
He walks up and says he’s got me on four violations! What! And he doesn’t seem too happy. I’m stunned and really don’t what to say. He rattles off the four violations which I’m really not following, other that he paced me doing 64mph in 55mph zone (I’m not so sure about this). He heads back to his patrol car. I try and relax, of course, wondering why I was directed to get off the exit and get stopped!
He finally comes back and says he is only going to site me for two violations and that in the state of Arizona, he could actually site me for reckless driving and arrest me and impound the car! What! Actually it was another word less dramatic then reckless. I asked him to please explain to me exactly what I did because I’m not following him. He says, he saw me come off the exit; get behind the Cadillac, not adhering to the two second rule (which means tail-gating). Then I turned into the right lane without a turn signal, coming to close to car coming up in the right lane, thus making a dangerous turn and then sped up to 64mph! WOW! Let me say right here, that I consider myself a pretty safe driver and haven’t had a ticket in many years and an accident in over 25 years. And honestly, I am not so sure I agree with the policeman’s observations other than not making a turn signal.
I didn’t know what to say to him. So just kept my mouth shut and collected my two tickets and got back on the road home. You can imagine my thinking and feelings at this point! What could all this be about? Why would I be directed to get two tickets! What’s even funnier is that on the way down to Phoenix that day, I was writing a story in my head about the dangers of tail-gating, something I’m stickler about! And during the trip, a hummer came up on me doing over 100mph, tail-gating me within ten feet for half mile!
I get home and look up the fines on the tickets. $300! What! Of course, in the back of mind I’m aware there has to be a reason for all this because I know did not misinterpret the very clear message to get off the exit. Interpreting these messages is what I do for a living! I decide to just let it go and let whatever reason this happened reveal itself. This is important, brothers and sisters. I just let it go and invited my wisdom to offer me an insight.
After a few days, I did make a call to an attorney about fighting the tickets because as I said I really did not agree with the cop. And, as the attorney said to me, the police can be wrong. I once again let it go and just invited my wisdom to give me an insight about what action to take. Walking the talk here, my friends!
In a week, it comes clear to me to go traffic school to delete one ticket and pay the other ticket. Then as I am signing up for the school, I think maybe I will meet someone there who will turn out to be important to me. I let it go and noted the date in my calendar, certainly not looking forward to it! Who does! I’ve never been to traffic school by the way which I’ve actually felt a little proud of to be honest! Maybe this is to shatter my self-important about this!
The day of traffic school comes which is only a few blocks from my house—cool! As I walk in the room, I am glancing around to see if I vibe anyone! How funny when you think about it. No one is “shining”! Now, the instructor is actually the head guy for all of Arizona. This guy is really good at his job and I am enjoying his way of handling over 100 people and getting and keeping their attention.
Somewhere mid-morning, he says these words —”situational awareness” and a bell goes off inside my head. There is something about the combination of those two words that resonate with me deeply. I begin to listen very closely to the instructor who goes onto to explain that it’s the lack of this that causes accidents along with being distracted. He describes how jet fighter pilots are drilled into becoming very aware of their situation and processing many different things happening at once. He explains many specific situations while driving where we could be much more aware. Areas I hadn’t thought of.
I knew in that moment that’s why I got these tickets. That understanding this idea deeper of becoming more aware or spreading out my awareness while driving would perhaps save my life or someone else in the future. My guides were seeing the big picture. Learning this took my caution level or awareness level while driving to a much higher level. Bottom-line: it was worth the tickets and the money to learn this in deeper way. Situational awareness—isn’t this really what I do in the vortex with clients? Yes! I am in a place of deep quiet and, as a result, spread my awareness out.
Of course, brothers and sisters, I am sure you see the even bigger picture to this story. How many times in your life do things happen to you which initially feel unfair, baffling, etc..and then somewhere in the future you get why it happened. My challenge in my own life is to accept and let go and not suffer the mind-tripping or pain that comes between when the seemingly unfair experience happens and when we learn from it. Get what I mean? In the end, it really didn’t matter whether the policeman was right or not. It was a very important learning experience.
On a post script, two days ago an accident happened right in front of me. I can tell you with total certainty that I would’ve been part of that accident if I didn’t go to the school. Trust life, my friends—it’s a win win!
PS. See I am writing again! Much less painful this time! Accept the rule!