Messages from the Heart

Joy After Shopping

Yesterday I decided to get some wine at Safeway because Safeway has the best prices. My local Safeway, affectionately known as the Zoo by locals, has always been an interesting place to visit. So, I was prepared for some craziness, but not prepared enough.

Something to know about me is I experience shopping anxiety. I don’t like stores. I don’t like the music, the smell, the other shoppers who seem to know where they’re going. I have many times needed to leave a store before I find what I came there to get. I grab something cheap off a rack, pay for it and leave, only finding out what it is when I get to the parking lot. Last summer I left Big 5 with a pair of on-sale boys basketball shorts!

When I got to Safeway I parked, went to the door, but the door had disappeared! And so had all the windows. The windows had become huge signs that said, “NO CUSTOMER DOORS HERE.” I walked around the store, past the empty shopping cart alcove, and found a door leading IN. I couldn’t find a cart, so I thought I was going to be carrying my purchases, however once inside I found some carts that had four-foot poles attached to one corner like a mast on a ship. I got one of them and negotiated my way through the aisles, got my groceries (of course I bought more than a bottle of wine), paid for it all, and then I realized I didn’t know where to find the OUT door.

I turned left at the end of the checkout counter, made my way along through the crowd past the empty place that had been Wells Fargo Bank and reached a series of gates. EMPLOYEES ONLY. I reversed course and after a while, I reached the OUT door. I wheeled my cart out, but I couldn’t get the pole through the door! An angel who worked at Safeway said, “Ma’am, that cart won’t fit through.” Yes, I had realized that. I turned around ready to carry everything to my car. But…there was nothing in my cart! Where were my groceries? Did they get stolen right under my nose while I was wandering around? Impossible! I wandered around some more, pushing the empty pole cart contemplating buying everything twice. I’d come to Safeway to save money and now I was going to spend twice as much. Grrr. I wasn’t balanced and centered or present in any sense of the word.

Out of the fog of my predicament came a loud “MA’AM!” The angel gentleman who checked me out had put my groceries on a nearby shelf! I was so grateful! I wanted to gush my thanks; however, he was very busy so I didn’t. Once again, I put my purchases in the pole cart. I planned to carry them through the parking lot. There came out of the masses of people another angel Safeway worker who asked me if I wanted an “OUTSIDE” shopping cart. Yea!

I returned to my car and sat for a while. Environments are important. And strange ones can throw you off your game. For a time, I was a crazy old lady wandering around Safeway. I realized those three employees had connected with me and cared for me even though I’m sure they had countless other responsibilities. In my ITP practice, one of my current Affirmations is “I open my being to evolutionary love and gratitude.” I sent all the “Zoo” employees, especially my three angels, evolutionary love and gratitude. They were there for me! And my gratitude extended to the universe for once more having my back at a time when I had no faith at all that would happen.

These moments of “evo-love” and gratitude are new to me this year. I’ve felt them separately before. However, together they lift my mood, ground me, and renew my joy. I feel fortunate to have an ITP practice!