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Expecting the Universe's Elevator

by Cassendre Xavier

I performed recently at the National Constitution Center.

It was a benefit for Women Organized Against Rape and a surprise for me (though I don’t think it was a surprise to the organizers) was Philadelphia Mayor Nutter’s appearance and subsequent speech.

In one of the emails I received from the organizers just prior to the event, I was given directions to the venue’s exact location in the building. Upon finding the Constitution Center, and entering, I was to “look for stairs” in a certain area. “Stairs?” I thought. In a huge building like the Constitution Center? With my guitar and suitcase full of CDs and credit card swiper, and flyers, that weighs a ton? Stairs? Oh, I don’t think so.

Immediately, I discarded the concept that rudimentary, exercisatory (yes, I made that word up), laborious “stairs” were going to lead me to my destination. I immediately replaced the word in my mind with “elevator”. And sure enough, when the time came to apply this expectation that an elevator would be there for me in all its glory, when I walked into the main lobby of the C. Center, I went into the first store I found and asked a very helpful man who told me where the elevator was --- a mere few feet from the store’s front entrance.

Stairs? Why would I want to take stairs when a building this new and of this size and importance would likely have several passenger elevators and a few freight ones, too?

I got to thinking about how easily I was able to navigate that, simply because I expected and felt entitled to a comfortable, smooth, and easy situation and experience. Wouldn’t I love to do that in every area of my life?

In practicing learning my lessons through joy and not struggle, I’ve been trying to take the gentle route whenever possible.

I’ve also begun to notice others’ behaviors, where proverbial and literal “elevators” are involved.

For instance, when I’m singing in Suburban Station, which thankfully is becoming a rarer and rarer experience, I’ve noticed people lugging heavy suitcases or struggling physically up the stairs, when there’s an elevator right behind the stairs. Sometimes a mother with a stroller and two other children will automatically seek out, find, and use the elevator – most people don’t even look for the elevator – even folks who use canes. It’s heart-wrenching to watch someone begin to struggle up stairs, when there’s an elevator so close by. (I do tell folks where the elevator is, and sometimes, for their own reasons, they refuse it.)

Now, when I remember to, I ask the universe to show me the simplest, most direct way to accomplish a goal.

I’m learning to expect an elevator everywhere I go.

Is there something you’re working on?

Try imagining that there’s a smoother road to accomplishing it, and opt to take that one. Ask the universe (or who/whatever you have these kinds of conversations with) to show you the simplest, most direct, yet effective way to do it. It can even be the best way, just expect it to be a pleasant experience, and it will make the work a little easier, the journey a little more pleasant.

The universe is grand, full of all sorts of tricks and smooth entrances for you to travel. There’s always an easier way – all you have to do is expect it and when necessary, ask.

Cassendre Xavier is a “renaissance negresse” known mainly for her music and writing. Her latest CD Capable of Love and book The Opposite of Fear as well as her Affirmations for Survivors guided meditation recordings and upcoming appearances are all available through her website. Based in Philadelphia, she is founder & director of that city’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003). Visit www.cassEndrExavier.com.

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