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Thursday, April 3, 2014

It’s Not What it looks Like: My Zen Experience at Whole Foods

Long before James Allen wrote the book, “As a Man Thinketh,” in the King James Bible Proverbs 23:7 states, ”As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he...” Although I was raised Christian, it wasn’t until I was recently faced with an unpleasant experience that I got the significance of the meaning of this verse.

On Saturday, March 29th, 2014, I went to Whole Foods Market in Potrero Hill in SF to eat organic salad, like I often do after working late with clients. The store, located in the hub of some of the top technology companies, is one of my favorites. I was so happy to go there because I could use a gift card given to me from a previous time when I was dissatisfied with the rough fish I'd consumed from the salad bar. After purchasing the salad from the salad bar using the card, I still had to pay $1.39 cents because the food cost a little more than what was on the card. I took the food downstairs and I really enjoyed it. I was happy. I departed the store and as I was walking to my car in the garage, a plainclothes security guard approached me. He identified himself by showing his badge and told me to accompany him back into the store. I had no idea what this encounter was about so I asked him to please explain what was going on. He told me that it was about the food that I got that I didn't pay for. He continued to escort me to the rear corner of the store up the stairs into a dark room, which I perceived to be an interrogation room. He calmly asked me if I had the receipt and I couldn't find it, but I still had the gift card so I showed him the gift card and explained that I had paid for the food with the card and some change. He told me that I was banned from the store. He then asked me to tell him who the cashier was and I described her and told him that he could verify with her. He said he had to talk with the manager, who came into the room and said that he didn't recognize that card. I kept telling him that he needed to talk with the cashier and the plainclothes security guard went back out to talk with the manager. Moments later he came back in and told me that the manager was letting me go. I told him that this was not about him or his manager, but about "me" because I had created this experience for my own growth and it was an opportunity for me to step into who I want to be. “I know what I know,” I told him, "Thank you for playing out your role in this physical experience for my growth and evolvement." He was a little perplexed, but directed me to the entrance of the store.  

Call it synchronicity or coincidence, but, the day before this happened, I had just read a book by Jamillah Shabazz, “It’s Not What it looks Like: Your Challenges are Your Gifts.” The book provides a look at the life challenges we face and how and why they are brought to us. Rather than becoming a victim, we rejoice in self-empowerment. As I have also been following Ester Hicks (Abraham), author of “The Law of Attraction” and practicing hypnotherapy, I understand the workings of the subconscious mind, which provided me with an extra buffer from external perception. I began to reflect inwardly on this experience, feeling my body flood with anxiety. I thought about the uncomfortable feeling and the many times I’ve been falsely accused of something. Several years ago, the same thing happened in another convenience store, but as I look back on my life, it has been an energetic pattern (to be falsely accused of something) since junior high school and college when a professor mistakenly declared that I had not taken a final exam and was about to give me a failing grade. My mind continued to reflect on other times at work and other relationships. I know now that I must break this pattern by choosing to do something different or the pattern will continue and the gift will get bigger the next time. I’m beginning to look at things from a soul perspective and not from the more limited lens of the personality. I know what I know, and I'm not a victim. I'm happy to open up the gift in the present moment, to look at the energetic patterns I have been creating in my life without blaming someone else. It's time for me to take responsibility for what I‘ve been creating.

This defining moment was an emotional turning point in my life when the light was finally turned on and I began to see the truth without pointing a finger at another. Suddenly, I felt compassion for all the innocent convicts and the people who are falsely accused but don’t have a voice to express themselves. Yet, in looking at myself, I realized how sometimes I didn't feel worthy, didn't stand up for myself, and avoided confrontation. Now the universe brought me a situation that allowed me the opportunity to "know what I know." I am worthy. I stand up for myself and I can confront others in a peaceful and noncombative way, standing my groud and firmly stating my position. By using my voice and honoring myself in the process I'm assisting myself and others to evolve.

Since I’m an African American woman, some have viewed this incident as “racial profiling,” however; self-realization is a key factor if civilization is to evolve to a higher awareness. Yes, it may look like racial profiling, but if we are creating everything in our lives with our thoughts, Whole Foods and their employees involved with this have nothing to do with the way I'm feeling. Furthermore, I don't know what their store policy is around security measures or why they have adopted it to be the way that it is and without seeing the other side, I prefer to look at myself and find out why I've created it. It's much more self-empowering. It is my intention, however, by sharing how I feel about how I was treated by a couple of employees, will help them look at treating others who are falsely accused and judged with much more respect.
Whether by applying the law of attraction or staying in the zone of love, when we rise above our challenges by perceiving them as profound opportunities to grow and evolve into our highest potential, there is a shift in energy. Perceiving from the viewpoint that we created them and understanding that the hurt and pain that derive from adversities are our indicators of the gift we are receiving allows us to neutralize old patterns that limit us from stepping into our greatness. In an interview on Inner Light Radio, Sophia Stewart (the writer of the Matrix and Terminator), eluded to the fact that “Nothing appears as it is.”  In the search for truth, one has to look very deeply as what appears on the surface is never the truth. On the top of the entrance to the Egyptian Mystery schools was the saying, "Man Know Thyself." If we all know that we are Divine Intelligence, pure positive energy, infinite and immortal, why is it so difficult for us to align with the higher part of our being? This is where all the power is to heal anything in the physical.

I will most likely continue to shop and eat at Whole Foods Market in Potrero Hill, enjoy an organic salad from the salad bar and only think on the wonderful experiences that I’ve encountered there including the time when a customer service representative so graciously gave me a gift card to change my dining experience and a cashier flashed a contagious smile that made my day brighter. I realize that the only way to create positive change in moving humanity forward in the Age of Aquarius is through a heart connection that aligns us all as one. It begins with each of us. Once this occurs, we will be able to live harmoniously with more joy and peace and without judgement, blame, shame and guilt.

Wanda Whitaker is a visionary artist, holistic coach, and certified hypnotherapist and author/illustrator of "Angels and Spirit Guides Activity and Coloring Book" for ages 5+.