I'd arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris from Pisa to discover that of the two bottles of wine I had packed had cracked and broken in my (over)packed luggage. It was July and I had just finished leading one of my Manifestation Yoga Retreats® to Italy, and I was sick as a dog.
I sat on the floor of the airport in Paris in my long white dress and new Italian boots as I opened the suitcase to check the damage. Immediately glass and red wine exploded. People stared. Everything in the suitcase was drenched in red wine.
My new clothes.
My white clothes.
My white bras.
I was upset, naturally, but I actually sort of laughed. (My number one rule in my yoga class is "if you fall, you must laugh.")
I tried to laugh, despite having no audible voice from being sick. I had been sick for ten days and knew I was being tested in some way.
“Ok,” I thought, “it’s just stuff. Just stuff. Things and stuff. And broken glass. And red wine. A lot of red wine.”
I was frustrated because I hadn’t listened to my intuition, which strongly whispered to me as I packed in Tuscany Jen, give those bottles of wine away as a gift. You do not have room. It’s dangerous putting wine in your suitcase. Plus, if one was to break, you know it will be end up being the red one.
I ignored my intuition, and it came back laughing at me. Wearing a burgundy and Chianti broken glass-colored shade, it snickered at me for being such a fool.
A few hours later, I arrived at Le Bristol, the fanciest hotel I've ever set foot in. I asked the concierge in my I-sound-like-I-have-smoked-fourteen-packs-of-cigarettes-from-being-sick voice if they could take the clothes to their in-house dry cleaner because a bottle of red wine cracked open inside my luggage.
He assured me in a lovely French accent that red wine is very hard to remove, but they would do their best.
I wish I'd had the voice to say Merci but didn't.
As a sidenote, I'd been traveling with my childhood babysitter with whom I had reunited with after her only son was killed in a drunk driving accident. He was only 19 years old. I'd invited her on my yoga retreat and then on to Paris in hopes of helping her heal in some small way or at least find something to make her smile once or twice.
This put my dilemma in a file called IRRELEVANT very quickly.
I let it go.
It’s just stuff. Stuff and things.
The dry cleaners got almost all of the wine out for a small (big) fortune, and I was happy.
I had made peace with the whole wine debacle.
The few stains that remain will remind me of my trip; this moment in the not-so-straight line of my life.
As I was searching the internet for ways to get red wine out, I stumbled across a stain-remover Wine-Away.
So I invented something called Guilt-Away.
Would you like a spritz? A bottle? Or a case?
I have spent many years of my life feeling guilty. My brain goes to the path of guilt because it's the path of least resistance. Just as our bodies take the path of least resistance, so do our brains.
The last words I spoke to my father before he died were I hate you, so naturally I have spent much of my life feeling as if I caused his death or, at the very least, should be punished.
So there I was, returning from Italy with that same familiar pull of guilt.
I thought about how, as I led my 25-person Italian yoga retreat, I had gotten very ill. Sicker than I have been in years. So sick that I couldn’t speak. So sick that at one point I thought I was dying. That kind of sick.
At first, the guilt I felt was insurmountable. How could I have brought all these people here and let them down? How could I let this happen?
So heavy, it weighs down your boat and sinks it before you can even get out to sea and observe the horizon in the distance to allow you some clarity.
In Paris, I realized that, along with Wine-Away, I would like to always carry Guilt-Away, so whether wine spills or Guilt starts to call me, I have my defense. I'll spray it away like it never existed. Maybe there will be a slight remnant, but it will be so faint that it will just be a memory rather than a reality.
(Iyanla Vanzant taught me that.)
Fact: I got very very sick. Very very very sick.
Truth: My retreat was an amazing time, and Kylee Lehe (whom I have been mentoring) taught three beautiful classes and was given an opportunity to rise to the occasion. I had been overworking and was run down.
Story: I should feel badly because I got sick and let everyone down. They had a miserable time because I couldn’t babysit them. I was boring. Things always go wrong. I got sick because I was being punished.
Guilt-Away: I take my bottle of Guilt-Away and rid myself of any of the story. The story is what keeps us stuck in the dry Desert of Guilt with no water or air.
I can breathe again now.
As I write this, I am sitting in my overpriced hotel room in Paris and using my Guilt-Away to clean up any remorse I have over not feeling 100% and not being able to go out and explore the city.
I use my Guilt-Away to get out any guilt stains I have over spending an absurd amount of money at a silent auction for Prader Willi Syndrome Research to stay at the overpriced hotel.
I sprayed away any guilt I had about sitting around and staring out of expensive French windows.
Any guilt I had about doing anything other than what I was doing at that very moment.
For what will you use your Guilt-Away? Share below anything you need Guilt-Away to remove or clean up.