After 24+ hours of travel from San Francisco through China to New Delhi, eyes blurry with sleep, and all brain cells primed to lay my head down on clean sheets, if only for 6 hours, there was a glitch when I arrived at my hotel.
As I stood at the hotel counter, legs still water logged from flying, and Summit asked me for my passport, I reached down into my secret pant pocket to find it empty.
I quickly patted down my other pockets, took a peek in my money belt and felt my heart begin to race. I was going to be here in India for a month, but was flashing on new possibilities for my trip – endless waits at the American Embassy in New Delhi, being sent home – or perhaps they WOULD accept the digital copy of my passport photo I’d scanned into my phone the day before.
Knowing how much Indians love their paper forms, I had big doubts about the latter possibility.
“Summit, I have a problem. I don’t have my passport.” I told him. He bobbed his head left and right, flashed a big smile and told me I had a problem.
“Yes! I do! And I’m going to need your help to solve it.”
Just to make sure it wasn’t tucked somewhere else, I dumped out all contents of my carry on backpack, to make sure I hadn’t accidentally stuck it in with a book or in between my important papers.
Nope. Not there.
That’s when I began the positive self-talk to mitigate a melt-down.
“This is going to be ok, Diane. Think. Think. Where did you have it last?” My mind scurried down all the alleyways of where I’d been and what I’d done since I got off the plane just a short one and a half hours ago. I back tracked to standing in line at the Pre-Paid cab outside of the airport. Dark thoughts of someone ripping me off in line flashed on screen, but I hadn’t felt anyone bump me, push me or nudge me.
No, that wasn’t it.
Back in time to the SIM card booth, inside the airport. That’s when I heard the man’s voice in my head, “Passport!” He had commanded me.
“Summit, I left my passport at the SIM card place.” I was thrilled that there was a thread of hope. I handed him the number of the place and he called.
“Yes, it’s there.”
Hearing those words I felt like I’d won the lottery. But the deal wasn’t done yet. More self-talk and now I started visualizing the passport in my hands. “See it in your hands, Diane,” I told myself.
“OK, how are we going to get it back?” I asked Summit.
“I will have my driver get it, but it’s going to take some time. He’s picking up a large group now. You will have to wait.”
A small price to pay at this point. Though I longed for the sweetness of sleep, I relaxed into the new reality and surrendered.”
“Perfect,” I said. “I am so grateful. Thank you.”
As I sat on the couch in the reception area, my mind came up with all sorts of ideas about how my passport could be sold and by whom. Until it was in my hands, there were any number of outcomes.
I dropped into more positive self-talk and visualization and kept seeing and feeling it. Then I started a gratitude practice for Summit and his help, to the guy at the SIM counter for being honest and for the driver who would be bringing my passport back to me.
After about an hour and a huge group of Indian men had checked in, it was 1:30 in the morning and the lithe driver came in, passport in hand and gave it to me. Never have I felt so grateful, patient and relaxed.
I heavily tipped both the driver and Summit as an offering of gratitude. He checked me into my room and I lay myself down on those bed sheets and had the best sleep I’ve had in years!