Watch Loose Change

Several years ago I was living from paycheck to paycheck, wasn’t really that excited about my job, and felt somewhat trapped in existential fear tied to money… At the time, I was working in two separate office buildings a block away from each other and going back and forth between the two a lot. One day, right about half-way between the two buildings, meandering about money and how I felt about it, I looked down to see a penny right in front of my feet. In the past, I would have not cared, left it for someone who needed it more than I did. But that day, I decided to pick it up, in honor of the money the universe was providing me with (literally laying in the streets). Grateful, my thoughts shifted to a more positive stance, a new but familiar sense of possibility arose as if from a deep slumber.
The next day, I found another penny in pretty much the same place. Maybe I had missed it the day before. I looked around closely to see if there were any others. None in sight. When I found another one the next day, I was feeling an eerie, but curious sense of delight. This continued for several weeks on a nearly daily basis. The universe was shouting at me…

Since, throughout many ups and downs and apparent chaos in my life, I have found a whole ton of change in many moments that were utterly delightful and let me know that everything was perfectly fine, that I would always be taken care of and that I did not need to worry about anything – ever. They have shown up in the wildest places at times, making me giggle on more than one occasion. I have also found other change, one day I found thirty something cents splattered in front of my bank and I have even found change in dreams. One of my favorites so far was a dollar coin in the crack of a street in Silver Lake that looked like it had been there for a while but was at the same time still curiously shiny.

Today, I decided to take the day off; it had been a tumultuous few weeks and I had not had much rest. When I awoke this morning, I knew I needed some sunshine. Following the guidance I went to Los Feliz to have lunch, bought a book (VALIS, which my lovely friend Stosh just raved about last night), and had a wonderful sidewalk experience eating delicious pizza while watching a little boy next to me giggling, bubbling and screaming out in total joy of sensory experience as he was observing the street life. As I am walking down the street afterwards thinking about how grateful I am for this life, breathing in the air, listening to the ocean of sounds, delighted by the plethora of colors underneath the blue sky and feeling the warmth of the sun on my back, there is a penny on the floor… love these kinds of confirmations…
Continuing my journey with a big smile on my face, and after a short stop over at my amazing friend Barry‘s, I started on my way home. Took the train downtown to Disney Hall, but then, instead of taking the bus decided to walk home from there instead. As I am walking down the street I slip into a walking meditation, consciously rolling my feet on every step, thinking “now” each time I touch the ground (a nice way of keeping the left hemisphere busy so that you can connect to the world around you through your right one). I could feel my amygdala popping as a delicious pressure arose in my forehead, my watch loose changebrain giggled and I began to lose my boundaries, connecting to the world around me. In that moment I looked down and… another penny…
Feeling the joy completely engulfing my body at this point, I continued on my way home, though not in a straight line, but instead purely following my intuition and the traffic lights. In the very moment that I was thinking about how I appreciated the path my intuition was laying out before me, I looked up and saw the sign in the photo (which apparently advocates a 9/11 movie, but that’s a whole other story).
With all the complications life can offer, with all the frustrations, road blocks, disappointments, all the strife and struggle, it is nice to be reminded that everything is just the way it is supposed to be, that it does not matter what happens around us, that what matters is what we choose to perceive and how we choose to respond to it… the kingdom of heaven is right in front of us at all times…
Religens, in Latin, antonym to negligence, means paying careful attention to the archetypal experience around us.
There are signs everywhere. Each of us can find ours, for each of us they might be different. For me it’s loose change. For me, to watch loose change is part and parcel of the practice of my religion.

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