Derailment Reversed

Green apples

The water spread rapidly across my laptop keyboard as I watched in horror. Acting quickly, my husband and I grabbed some cloth napkins and began blotting. He turned the computer over to drain it. We jumped on the internet to find out what to do next and propped the laptop upside down for the next several hours to dry it out, then followed up with Apple Support. 

For several days while I waited for the computer’s repair, I struggled to conduct my internet life on my phone. Texting is far from my best skill, so handling emails was slow and inconvenient. The whole experience threw me off. 

This was a troublesome technological mishap all by itself – but there were more to come.

When my laptop was finally back and working, I discovered that my website was down. Several more days followed to sort that out with my webmaster, only to have my professional email address have issues and need attention. 

Two days ago, my sweet, admittedly antiquated IPod went silent on me and seems to be unresponsive…perhaps its better days are gone. Another call to Apple Support is in my future. 

The writer’s “rule of three” suggests giving three examples (which you see above), so I won’t even start in on my fourth technological frustration with Venmo. I trust you’ve got the drift…

Any one of these difficulties is enough to unsettle me, but the accumulation of them has really challenged me. “Challenged,” frankly, is a polite way of describing how I’m feeling.  Derailed might be more accurate. 

“Derail – a term used when a train or trolley car leaves its tracks accidentally.” 

That’s the feeling – off-track. It shows up for me in feeling out of alignment with my Self, with my Essence. Like the derailed train, the track is right there, close at hand, but I’m not on it. 

We all experience this at times. Perhaps you’re experiencing it right now. 

What’s the path back? How do we get back on track, back in alignment?

My go-to is good-old Presence. Being Present is a classic pathway to alignment and these are a few practices that help me:

Notice the feeling of being “off.” Noticing helps de-tangle from the feeling so that you can observe it, ask it what its message is, begin to shift it. 

Gently invite yourself to shift and return to alignment, connection, to Essence. Do things that help you get there. Connecting with Nature – sitting outside, looking at the clouds, feeling the wind on my face helps me. Pausing, being silent, still, gives time to regroup and restart. 

Ask your Inner Guidance for help, information, insight. Respond to what you hear. The Universe gives us suggestions. Are we paying attention and trying them out? 

It’s a process to reverse derailment and return to presence. I have had some improvement. But I will admit that it seems to be in fits and starts. 

This morning while I was cutting apples for a cake I was preparing for houseguests, I caught myself thinking about something else, rather than the task at hand. “Ah!” I thought. A first step towards Being Present…notice that I’m not present! 

Step two: I brought myself into the moment by noticing the crisp texture of the apples I was peeling and slicing. I smelled their tangy aroma. I paid attention to the size of the pieces I was cutting and enjoyed their slight asymmetry. 

Suddenly, though, the knife slipped and I lightly nicked my pinky. Oops! Not so present, I guess. 

And then, five minutes later, my hand knocked over a cup of chopped pecans onto the kitchen counter. Here we go again with spills!


It doesn’t really surprise me that becoming more present, more aligned, is a continuous work-in-progress. Actually, being clumsy, distracted, and making errors is a part of our lives. 

The real point isn’t whether or not we ever get derailed, its whether we can notice where we are, get back on track and get back in connection with our best Self.  

Life is a work-in-progress. Let’s support each other and stay connected on the journey…

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