“Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems. If I cannot accept every person, place and thing as exactly as it is, I will not have peace.” paraphrased from AA Big Book. Acceptance is about letting go and trusting God.
I had the opportunity to practice accepting “what is” this week and saw powerful results. It could have easily turned out to be a negative event, but instead turned out to be glorious and better than I had ever expected.
For Christmas my friend Kati and I bought tickets for a ferry boat ride to the island of Lanai. Lanai is a small quaint island which is only 1 hour away from Maui by ferry. We both love the ocean and were excited as we anticipated watching the whales jumping out of the water as we crossed the ocean to Lanai. We planned our trip for after Christmas.
The day began at 7:30 a.m. with the sun shining brightly. We arrived on time to take the 9:15 a.m. ferry and our return ferry was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. We decided to count the miracles as they happened during the day. The ferry ride over to Lanai was fun as we chatted with interesting people and watched the whales jumping out of the water in front of us.
When we arrived in Lanai and walked to the Four Seasons hotel from the ferry, we were surprised to see construction going on at the hotel and it was quite noisy-not what we were expecting. “Our plan” was to take the free shuttle into Lanai City to have lunch, shop and walk around to see the sights and then come back and swim in the Four Seasons pool. When we asked the man at the desk, “When is the shuttle leaving?” He said, “There aren’t any shuttles until late this afternoon, but I would be happy to call you a taxi. “How much does the taxi cost?” I asked. He said, “It costs $10 per person each way.” Kati and I just looked at one another and said, “No way.” This was only a short ride to Lanai City and we didn’t want to pay that kind of money. Kati said, “Well, we can just stick around the lobby and see if we can catch a ride with someone going into Lanai City.” I answered, “Yes, that sounds like a great idea and I am up for an adventure.”
After ½ hour of waiting and praying for direction, we realized “our plan” wasn’t working and we needed to go back to the drawing board and decide what we wanted to do next. Although we each expressed our disappointment with how the day was going so far, we both agreed to accept “what is” and not complain. It was getting close to lunch time and we were getting hungry so instead of going into Lanai City, we decided to have lunch at the hotel and then spend a leisurely afternoon at the pool.
As the waitress led us to our table, we felt like “queens” and were thrilled to be seated at a table overlooking the ocean. We ordered our food and were sitting quietly when all of a sudden we noticed some activity in the ocean that didn’t look like whales. As we looked closer, we realized it was dolphins playing and jumping out of the water right in front of us. We were amazed because there had to be hundreds of dolphins giving us a spectacular show that lasted for over an hour. Kati and I just looked at one other with such gratitude in our hearts because if we had gone into Lanai City as we planned we would have missed this amazing gift of nature.
We finished our lunch and shared a delicious chocolate dessert together. We were now ready to relax and go for a swim in the beautiful pool. We found two lounge chairs with umbrellas to keep us cool. When the attendant brought us over our towels, he asked, “What is your name?” Not expecting any problems because we have been enjoying Maui’s pools since we have been here, I smiled and said, “Hastings.” He then said, “Are you staying at the hotel because the pool is only for guests.” Kati said, “No, but we just spent a lot of money for lunch at the hotel and we thought it would be o.k. to swim in the pool.” Wrong, we were told that we had to leave NOW.
Can you see it? The “queens” were being kicked out of the Four Seasons hotel because we weren’t guests. We felt indignant at first because this had never happened to us before (perhaps a bit of denial on our part.) He took our towels back as we dried off and walked away.
We were being offered another opportunity to accept “what is” and change directions. We decided to take an earlier ferry back to Maui which we thought was leaving at 2:30 p.m. We walked back to the ferry and were shocked when there was no ferry waiting for us. It had left at 2:00 p.m. and we now had 2 ½ hours with nothing to do.
This was getting more difficult to accept “what is” but we knew it was another opportunity to stay in gratitude and not complain. Kati looked on the ground and found a penny and then another penny and then a dime. We laughed and said, “We are rich because we are receiving pennies from heaven.”
Then the miracle happened. We turned around and noticed a shady area with trees and colored chairs that looked very inviting. We quickly made our way to the chairs and “bumped” into the Captain of the Triology. The Triology is considered one of Maui’s best snorkeling boats. As we chatted with Captain Ryan and told him our plight of missing the ferry back and being kicked out of the Four Seasons, he smiled and said, “Would you like to come back on the Trilogy with us?” Not only did we travel in style, but we were invited to have supper with the folks on the boat and were served free drinks and ice-cream Sundays. And the whales and dolphins were incredible. How much better can it get than this? Here are the lessons we learned:
- We kept laughing and going within to ask Spirit to lead and guide us.
- We were willing to change directions, change our perspective, be flexible, go with the flow and not push “Our plan.” We knew there was a “Divine Plan” that was unfolding.
- We allowed ourselves to feel the disappointment and then let it go.
- We chose not to complain, to stay in gratitude and accept “What is.”
- We asked for what we wanted and were willing to receive.
- We knew that when we missed the ferry, there would be a better opportunity for us and there was- the Trilogy.
- We asked to be aware of miracles and expected miracles before we started the day..
When we change our perspective, stay positive and trust, the Universe mirrors back to us what is inside of us. What if everything that looks negative or not what we want can be turned around for our good? What looks like a setback can actually be a set up by God.
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