|Photo courtesy of|
Of course, nothing life threatening happened. Life didn't stop; I wasn't affected beyond having to scramble to make sure monthly bills had, indeed, been paid during the fallout period of the hacking event. What happened was that I was forced to go back to using my check book for purchases. Remember that? It used to be the commonplace manner of commerce for all of us. We wrote checks and we realized that big purchases might sometimes take longer to process, so we were more mindful of our purchasing activity. I readily admit that the convenience of having a debit card allows me to be less responsible with my spending habits. Debit cards post purchases so quickly to our banking accounts, and those accounts are immediately accessible via the internet that we all tend to whip that card out with very little thought these days.
So, in the midst of all this cleaning up of the multiple hacking events, what I recognized was that perhaps this series of events occurred as a wake up call for me. I am not suggesting that I zip around, madly spending with that debit card, or that I'm irresponsible with the money that I have. To the contrary, I'm probably one of the more financially responsible people you're likely to meet. That being said, I do know that that debit card encouraged me to be a bit more blithe with my finances than was necessary.
In the approximate ten days that I waited on my new debit card to be processed and mailed to me, I immediately became more aware of how I behaved with my money. Writing a check to purchase something takes longer than swiping a credit card; as a result, it forces you to move more methodically, more slowly, and to be more aware of what you're doing. As is my habit, when something of this nature occurs and grabs my conscious attention, I look for the deeper message.
Around the time all of this was happening to me, we were approaching Easter week. This high holy week is one that causes the whole world to slow down, to ponder very deep concepts, and to be appreciative on myriad levels. As is common of spiritual holidays, many people choose to release from their physical bodies around Easter (and Christmas and several other holy days). In my own personal sphere, two people close to me passed away. Both were unexpected deaths, as both people were vital, active individuals that no one would have expected to have to say that final goodbye to with such abruptness. Consequently, yet more moments demanded that I stop going through life on a bit of an auto-pilot status. Two beautiful Souls left this earth in an unexpected manner, reminding us all of the capriciousness of Life in general. There is Divine Order to the moment each of us quits this life, and there are also lessons to be learned when someone near us passes over.
Why am I weaving these occurrences together? Is it absurd to see a common thread in my life between being multiply hacked and the passing of two special people? What I am focusing on is that all of these events jarred me. They stripped my life down to some very bare bones, to a very elemental, quiet state. I was forced to go back to a more simple method of commerce, and I found that it wasn't necessarily a bad experience. It gave me clarity on some of my habits that had become sloppy and slightly unconscious with finances. We also become lazy with relationships. It isn't a harsh, condemning statement that I make here....it is human nature for us all to get distracted, to coast through life occasionally and to take a wide range of people and things for granted. We all do it. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
It is only when an abrupt change hits our personal horizon that we wake up from our auto-pilot journey. The image above has the text:
Autopilot Off....Make A SoundI found that to be a very profound example of what has been running through my mind as I contemplated writing this article. When we're existing in auto-pilot mode, or in car terms, in cruise control, we're doing so much less than we're capable of. In effect, we're muffling our unique sound. While every second of every day shouldn't necessarily be jam packed with mindful activity, there is definitely merit in identifying lazy behavior, or lack of attention to those areas, people and experiences that truly matter. Yes, I have days where I don't want the weight of the world on my shoulders and I want to simply exist, but for the most part, I admit that I want to be making sound. I want to be making a difference, and I want to be living my life out loud.
Therefore, as I continue to tidy up the detritus of this multiple hacking experience, I also give a nod of recognition and thanks to God/Universe/Spirit to the lesson contained therein. I got it. I saw it. I absorbed it and I made some necessary changes and adjustments in my personal life. The two beloved souls that crossed over during this time period are not ones that can be replaced. This is obvious. The loss of both of them leaves this world irrevocably changed, stripping multiple hearts of their presence, their smiles, their laughter and their unique energy. I was fundamentally reminded of how brief and fleeting this Life is, and these two losses, combined with the mechanical failure of being hacked, presented me with a strong opportunity to grow. These occurrences might seem to have no overlapping energy to those reading this blog, but for me, they had a penetrating effect on how I look at the world.
Will I go back to that old, familiar, convenient and comfortable auto-pilot method with my finances? Most likely, I will....to a degree. We do all embrace convenience readily, if we're honest. This lesson, however, went much deeper for me than simple financial responsibility. I do believe that from this point forward, I will have a much more conscious approach each time I swipe that convenient little card. To those who know me well, I am a proponent of living consciously. Of being responsible for our actions, thoughts and words on an immediate level.
I believe that every single thing we do has dramatic impact on those around us, and that this impact is far reaching. Science proves to us that we react on a cellular level to everything that bombards our physical and emotional bodies. The events of the past two weeks gave me several powerful nudges and reminded me that I've slipped a bit, here and there. These events were a clear indicator that I had been on a bit more of an auto-pilot journey than I would prefer. As a result, I've made adjustments accordingly, and I've taken time to put my ensuing thoughts on screen here. It is my goal to always be mindful, to always be engaged, to always be aware and to always be consciously interacting with my own personal experience and with those who weave in and out of my personal experience.
Sometimes the reminder comes in electronic format, and is a general annoyance to process. Sometimes the reminder is more extreme, and touches the heart with ragged claws, rending and waking us up dramatically. The multi-fold reminder, for me, is that living Life on an auto-pilot journey is not my preference. Instead, I will take the general annoyances as a wake-up call. And I will also take the deeper, painful personal losses and retain the stripe given. One experience nudged me to be more personally accountable on a financial level; two other experiences reminded me to be more present in personal relationships. And Logic tells me that each of these experiences cannot be successfully lived on autopilot status. When we turn our personal autopilot off, I daresay that Life does make a sound.