Thankfully, I wasn’t lost. Well, maybe going around up and down a couple of times in the terminal until I asked for help.
And that was the key to the beginning of my adventure for a Vinyasa Intensive at Kripalu. Ask.
The last leg of my flight to Albany was delayed – eventually getting canceled – leading to rebooking to another carrier – and moving to another airport. Obviously, my check in bag would not make it. But there I was, riding in the shuttle carrying us from Dulles to Reagan airport… marveling at the chance to see The Monument.
A man from Florida, who looked like Martin Lawrence, was very ticked off with our canceled flight. I asked him whether we can walk together to the shuttle since I don’t friggin know my way. I was told by the agents to head to Gate 6. Dulles airport has gates from A to F. Do I translate that as A meaning 1 and F is to 6? Such marvelous instructions…
Martin Lawrence completely blew me off. And it’s why I went looping around the terminal up and down… Until an angel I asked offered to walk with me to wherever Gate 6 is. We had to take the train. Why wasn’t that part of the friggin instructions??
Martin Lawrence and I ended up seating together at the end row. And he bitched endlessly about being given bad seats, how he’s constantly calling his office to call their traveling agency and do something to change what’s happening. I stared at him and wondered whether there really is a head under his jazz hat… maybe it’s only a neck with a talking hat. As the plane taxied away from the gate, I said, “Look, the opposite aisle is vacant. I’m going to move my tush over there and we can both have extra room. Then you’ll order your drink you’ve been craving, even when you don’t want to pay for it, but need to, and then you can relax. Just friggin relax”.
He stared back for a few seconds that seemed like a hundred years… Cliffhanger… Then he smiled with sunshine under his hat. “I don’t know how you do it. But you have been awfully patient with me. Do you want a drink too?”
Laughing, I offered my thanks and I said I’ll be passed out soon. I know now there’s sunshine under that talking hat.
I met Bob, the Kripalu’s chauffeur with his sign at the Albany airport. “I think I’ll wait for my bag, Bob. They said it’s coming in on the next flight (two hours away)”.
“Oh no you’re not, missy! I’m taking you to Kripalu right now”, leading my arm to the baggage claim desk to file for my missing luggage.
I literally harassed the beautiful front desk staff at Kripalu – Henry, Shawn, Sean. I laughed at the irony of it all… coming to a magical place… in the fervent hopes to unwind but get my butt kicked in Vinyasa… with no change of clothes?? I arrived wearing a dress. Awesome. “What do I do?”, I asked. The staff offered me a shroud ;)
The first session was the night I arrived. Running to my room, then to the lunch room. I was famished. I slept most of the time during the flights. The plane hasn’t even taken off and I was passed out every single time. Rushed to class and met the love of Todd Norian and Rolf Gates. Their aura is almost eerie, sending goosebumps all over my need-to-shower skin. Told them about my missing bag and I said I’d just wing it.
Well, no amount of beauty of any kind of wings can make me do a down dog in my sundress. I tried to do the other poses, wearing my game face on… but my dress limited my game. Ben, one of the class aides offered to have the aides stand on the sides of the room instead at the back.
“Ben, as I read his name tag, my dress will simply mushroom over my head like a parachute. Now unless we change the theme of the class to naked yoga, I am not doing my dog”.
Some girls learned of my predicament and offered clothes. Next morning, I was in yoga clothes. If I was worried about my tush the night before?? My concern now was focused on my chest as the sports bra lent to me is literally not holding me. But hey! It’s another friggin game!
And grateful for Bob’s wisdom, my bag only arrived at Kripalu the next day. Each chance I get, I’d check at the front desk. And ta-da! By noon, I saw my luggage. I hugged the front desk staff and had the other guests wonder what was going on. Their faces read – Do we all need to hug? It’s like the scene from Notting Hill when Hugh Grant gratefully kissed the hotel concierge… and the Japanese guest, being smaller, pushed his palms up the desk to do the same. It was simply a wonderful moment. For both the Notting Hill scene and at Kripalu. ;)
Lots of people empathize and felt sorry. I had to shush them because… strangely, I feel okay. I feel alright about it. It’s not like dumb luck it happened. Each journey becomes more meaningful when something unexpected happens. This is what it is all about! There is a lesson here in this adventure…
It humbled me. A lot. To ask for help. To keep asking for help. To the point I keep laughing with my steady breeze in asking for help.
And you know the saying about appreciating what you have and not what you don’t have…?
I didn’t have my luggage. But I did not dwell on not having it. I felt the love other people have given me… I humbly took it and multiplied it a hundred times… … and my heart has this huge smile… causing me to keep laughing… sharing my story to anyone I meet along the way…
My luggage was lost.
Yet I asked for an adventure, an intention.
And I found joy.