My mind was racing ninety miles an hour, as it normally did, always so many things running around inside my brain, the kids schedules, meals, the dog, my husband, extended family, events, and todays added frustration: job interview. The company I worked for had sadly closed after many years of operation and now I was looking for a new job. I stepped into the elevator and held the door open for the little old lady with the walker, while thinking ‘come on come on, lets move it’ when she was in I asked which floor she needed, pressed both our buttons, 6th for her, 5th for me the doors closed and up we went. As we were approaching the fifth floor, a loud grinding sound happened and then with a jerk we stopped. We looked at each other, my face must have shown the fear and frustration because she reached out and touched my shoulder “No worries dear, as all things are, this too is temporary.” What a strange thing to say I thought, she moved her walker to the back corner on an angle, flopped the seat part down, and sat. I push the speaker button to inform whoever was at the other end, of our situation, she responded with “Yes we are aware that both elevators have stopped and I have called the elevator company, could you tell me if you are in A or B and how many people are in there and if anyone is in distress?” “Elevator A, two women,” I replied and paused looking over at her, she was smiling and called to the speaker “No distress dear, we are both fine” I turned back “I guess we are both fine”
“We will get to asap” the voice said.
I put my hands over my face and took a deep breath and muttered “Dam.”
“Well we might as well introduce ourselves; we could be here awhile, I am Lily” she said with an outstretched arm. I stepped forward shook her hand “Hi Lily, Tessa” we both smiled. “Have a seat Tessa, standing won’t make them come any faster” Suddenly glad I had chosen a pantsuit instead of a dress, I took my place on the floor.
“This is such horrible timing, I have a job interview” looking at my watch “In fifteen minutes, I guess I can kiss this job goodbye” I said defeatedly. Lily giggled “Maybe it’s a good thing.”
“How could it be a good thing, I’m stuck here, I’m missing my interview, my whole day has stopped”
“Not really Tessa, nothing ever stops, everything in life is in constant motion, but at different speeds and ways, so we don’t always see it moving” she said smiling again
“Well I am pretty sure this job has stopped”
“That may not mean it’s a bad thing though” Lily said
I looked at her “I really wanted to work here, now my opportunity is gone.”
“Tessa, you don’t know that, you are assuming what the interviewer will do, but do you know for sure?”
“If I miss the interview…” I paused and reached in my purse, grabbed my phone and smiled at Lily, I opened my folder and dialed the reception desk “Hello, This is Tessa Miller, I am scheduled for an interview with Mrs. Taylor in ten minutes, but I am stuck in the elevator of your building, could you please give her a message for me?... Thank her for the opportunity and apologize to her for me missing it, sorry to have wasted her time.” I thanked the receptionist, put my things away and looked up at Lily who winked and said “There, now that’s what I call good motion.” Still a little confused by her optimism but intrigued with it at the same I said, “How is stopping something motion?”
“You didn’t stop it; you altered the speed and direction of the intention”
“But how can I get the job if I don’t do the interview?”
“You took the time to inform and thank them, that says a lot about you. If I were interviewing you, that would count for something”
“I wish you were Mrs. Taylor.” I laughed
“If I was, then I would give you the job.” She giggled, then went on with more ‘Lily wisdom’, “Tessa, in all my years the most important things I learned are; that life is in constant motion, nothing happens by coincidence, there is good in every situation and every situation is temporary.”
“Could you explain this a little more, it sounds optimistically simple to work for everything.” I asked
“That is it exactly!” she smiled “Life is simple and interconnected, it’s humans that make it disconnected and see it as difficult.”
“Now you have confused me again” I said
“Okay, we may not have choice in a situation happening, but we have the choice of which motion to handle it with, either positively or negatively. Let’s use our present situation. Right now you and I are here, the rest of the building is in motion, physically we can not go anywhere else, but you reached out to the repair people and the company you were meeting with, right?”
“Your actions, or motion, caused a chain reaction of or ocean of motion, or like a ripple in the pond.” She paused and let me absorb the thought for a moment.
“So, you are saying that a single action, or motion as you call it, is connected to more than the present situation. Like a row of domino’s, you push the first one and the rest fall in sequence.”
“Exactly, no motion is singular. Now just for fun, use your imagination and tell me all the possible things that can happen for the rest of the day, ummm regarding the repair call.” Lily said
I was a little stumped, “I don’t know.”
Lily laughed, “Okay let me start you off, the voice on the elevator, for fun lets call her Ellie” she laughed “Okay, Ellie got your call, immediately handled the situation, came to our rescue. This caused her to feel proud and helpful. Later in the day her boss came to her and…….your turn.”
“And told her what a good job she did, making her even happier.” I said
“Good, now how is she going to treat everyone else she encounters for the rest of the day?”
“She will be nicer?” I hesitated, “I don’t know anything about her day.”
“Its okay, we don’t have to know exact details about people, all we need to remember is our connected emotion motion, will repeat through out the day and multiply with every encounter. Which is why we should do our best to make them positive ones.”
“So everyone she encounters will somehow benefit from her happiness?”
“Yes, exactly; multiple rows of dominos. Now rethink it from the beginning, what if you had yelled at her, blamed her for the elevator breaking, what might have happened?”
I suddenly felt sad “She might not have helped right away.”
“You are still looking at how this effects only you, how would this have effected her should be your first thought. You might have set her on a path for a horrible day, and domino negativity to everyone she encounters; and who knows, she could have children.”
My eyes widened “So instead of greeting them with a cheery hug, she may have yelled at them for a silly thing.”
“YES, now you got it!”
“You are right, it is simple, I just never really thought about it.” I smiled then giggled.
“What’s the giggle about?” Lily asked with a smile
“I was just thinking that I was glad I wasn’t stuck in here with a smelly guy.”
“Me too.” We both laughed out loud
“Tell me more Lily”
“Well Tessa, I guess I would have to say that hindsight has taught me to be grateful, sometimes even the things that appear to be negative, turn out to be a blessing, and thoughts become things.”
“Thoughts becomes things, is that like- you are what you eat?”
“Very much the same thing, but thoughts are the food of our life, what we think becomes who we are, how we live. It sets our environment around us and those close to us.”
“Wow, I just never looked at it this way.”
“Don’t be to hard on yourself, most people don’t, and I was about your age when I learned it. I am so happy I did.”
“In what way?”
“Before I learned it, my life was a busy, crazy mess of going no where fast. Then I learned that by changing my thoughts and actions, by taking time to really see how important my life and actions were to the world in a domino effect, that I was important to the big picture, and I could make my life turn out how ever I wanted. I am the author of my own story and I wanted it to read like a positive adventure.”
Just then the elevator jerked, it was back on, I looked at my watch, 90 minutes had flown by. “Lily you are an amazing woman. Thank you for making this situation enjoyable.”
“You are welcome and thank you for being a wonderful fellow captive.” She smiled “Remember for whatever reason, this was meant to happen. Good luck and be positive, it was great meeting you.” Lily said holding my hand as her eyes twinkled with true joy.
Two weeks later I re-entered that same elevator, this time going down. To my surprise standing in there was Lily.
“Tessa! What a lovely surprise. How are you dear?”
“Oh Lily, it is so great to see you, I am great, how are you?”
“I THINK- I’m great!” she giggled “Were you here for a second chance at the interview?”
I hugged her and said “Nope, I just finished my first day working here!” I said excitedly
“Congratulations Tessa, tell me what happened.”
We exited the elevator and sat down on the lobby couch, I told her how a man stuck in elevator B was also scheduled for an interview, but he never called to explain his delay, and when he got finally got out he treated the receptionist rudely demanding to reschedule, as Mrs. Taylor put it ‘with an attitude of entitled’ but my favorite interconnected part about the situation was the fact that his resume was more qualified than mine, had the elevators not broke, he would have gotten the job.