Where Emotions May Drive Us

Paula’s Mini-Cooper with her dog riding shotgun

On August 1, 2019, Paula, a yoga teacher, was driving home to West Palm Beach from Fort Lauderdale, where she worked as an outreach coordinator for a drug treatment center. She was in her Mini-Cooper on I-95, an insanely busy road.

“As I was driving along, I was feeling that I was living unconsciously, I was tired of the drive to and from Fort Lauderdale, nearly an hour in either direction, and I was feeling anxious about work. I felt unfulfilled, like I was just going through the motions.”

And suddenly, her Mini-Cooper died in the middle of the three-lane interstate, cars whizzing past all around her.

In a dramatic and potentially hazardous situation like this, a kind of shock seizes you. WTF just happened? Your brain slams into survival mode. Your heart pounds, your mouth goes desert dry, you look around frantically for a cop car, for someone to help. Paula kept turning the key in the ignition, pumped the accelerator, but the car refused to start.

She called 911 and for the next 10 minutes, waited for a state trooper to arrive. “It felt like an eternity. I was basically a sitting target.” Her car eventually was towed. The miraculous part is that she wasn’t injured. No one rear-ended her, she wasn’t run over. “I felt it was divine intervention because I was protected.”

But three weeks later, on August 21, she received her last paycheck from the treatment center. She wasn’t fired; she and twenty of her colleagues just weren’t paid after that. In late September, they met with an attorney, who filed a civil suit on their behalf against the owners of the center. Two months after that event, her car is still in the shop because of one snafu after another in getting parts, a new engine. She has been driving loaners.

That day on I-95, she was thinking about how much she wanted to leave her job, but the potential loss of income scared her, so she didn’t do it.  “So the universe did it for me,” she says. “It was a dramatic turning point for me. Lots of changes and internal introspection.”

The experience also proved to be precognitive – and a synchronicity.  Just look at the connections. Her car dies unexpectedly on a four-lane interstate – full stop, she can’t even pull to the shoulder of the road – while she’s thinking about how much she wants to leave her job and feeling so unfulfilled, like she’s just “going through the motions.” Full stop means no movement. No motion. Lots of movement around her, in front of her, behind her, but her car is dead.

The events were so in her face, so immediate – and such a reflection of her emotions at the time – that she was forced to change directions. She continues to teach yoga but  is now carving out a new direction for herself professionally. Interestingly, as of mid-October, she still has a loaner car, which changes periodically. “The universe is still having a field day with my car.  The shop called me yesterday to say they had received, yet again, another wrong part.”
It’s likely that when she gets her Mini-Cooper back, she’ll be on that new career path, wiser and more heart-coherent about where she’s headed.

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3 Responses to Where Emotions May Drive Us

  1. Stephanie says:

    Fun story! I love how life works sometimes. I would love to hear the second part of the story after she gets her car back.

  2. Dave says:

    The next time my car dies on a highway, I’ll think of this story!