ashland.news
July 14, 2024

Inner Peace: Intuition and not being judgmental saved my day

Image by Susanne Weitzhofer from Pixabay
June 14, 2024

Lost in New York — until two seemingly unhoused men came to help

By Janai “Grandma Boom” Mestrovich

In 1966, my Kansas City Washington High School class took a trip to Washington and New York City to see the historical sights. While in New York, we had some designated free time, were given maps, and could explore on our own. Being geographically challenged, I think I followed the map backwards and became totally lost. I kept walking, hoping to find my way.

Janai “Grandma Boom” Mestrovich

Somehow I wound up in what was referred to back then as the “wino district.” (Sorry if not politically correct at this time, but I’m bringing the reality of my experience here.) It was a broken-down part of the city with many homeless and inebriated individuals.

Coming from a very sheltered life in rural Kansas City (I believed in the stork until sixth grade, when peers educated me to unlearn the stork view), I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. There I was, in a part of human reality I did not even know existed. At first, fear grabbed my stomach. I needed help but saw no one who looked like an official police person or anyone else that I might ask for help. I kept looking at my map, but I clearly could not figure out where I was, how I got there, and how to return to the hotel.

Two inebriated men, probably in their late 50s, approached me asking if I needed help. It was such a surprise that I felt relief, not fear. Looking into people’s eyes has always been a great tool for me. They were sincere even though they were staggering a bit. I had no choice but to accept their help and intuitively it felt “right.”

They asked where I needed to go and I shared the name of the hotel. They knew where it was, and we began walking in a direction I would not have known to go. After many blocks of walking and talking, the hotel appeared, with fellow high school students putting together a search team to go find me! I was embarrassed and deeply touched at the same time.

The two unhoused older men said goodbye to me with a look of pride in their smiles. They wished me a great adventure. At that second, it felt like I was saying goodbye to two long lost … drunk … uncles. Isn’t it funny how we can feel related to people we’ve just met!

The epiphany that came to me when they dropped me off at the hotel was that if I had been judgmental because of their appearance and where they lived, I would still be lost and the search party would be marching around New York City to find me. Of course, intuition also is a saving grace that guided me with its inner voice. When it gave me the “feeling” that it was okay to let the two men help me, I had no fear, just trust and gratitude.

There was a beautiful wave of inner peace that soothed my soul, mind, heart and body from that experience. And the lifelong lesson took hold to not be judgmental of others. I wondered what happened to cause them to be living in their circumstances. The second layer of insight was that there is always something underneath, and to not just pay attention to the surface.

In my present life stage, I have a hobby of helping unhoused people and those experiencing poverty when I can. I attribute this “calling” to those two uncle-type men who saved my day when I was lost. They extended a caring hand that still has impact in how I view others and lend my own caring hand without judgment. True goodwill cannot exist in being judgmental because its spirit is unconditional and brings an inner peace to anyone who ventures into its loving arms.

Janai “Grandma Boom” Mestrovich is executive director of Superkid Power Inc. and author, speaker/trainer, pioneer; she teaches human potential skills beginning at age 3 with creative experiences. www.superkidpower.org or janailow@gmail.com.

Want to contribute? Send 600–to–700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (rcarey009@gmail.com).

Picture of Jim

Jim


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