A modern guardian angel
How changing my car led to confirmation that I’m going in the right direction
It was Spring 2014, I was separating from my husband and I needed to buy a car. I wanted something I could confidently drive for long distances, in all weathers and with room for my parents’ two large dogs as well as my own small terrier. I briefly considered an electric vehicle but soon realised that the technology was not yet in line with my needs or budget, so put that dream away for ‘next time’. Instead, I settled on a Toyota Rav4, a small 4×4 which boasted a devoted band of long-term fans including my own mother. I knew I wanted a manual gearbox and, like so many of us at the time, I believed that diesel was the more eco-friendly option. The search was on!
A few weeks later my step-father and I set off on a 100-mile round trip to view, and hopefully buy, a second-hand Rav that we’d found online. Arriving at the back-street dealership at the appointed hour we found the owner deep in conversation with another customer. When he finally emerged from his portacabin a good 20 minutes later it was to tell us that we’d been watching him sell the car we had travelled all this way to see! Clearly wanting to get rid of us, he directed us to another, equally grotty car lot further down the road. As promised, this too had a Rav on the forecourt, but it was beyond my budget. “We do have a cheaper one”, we were told, “round at the back…”
A pause here, for a brief, but important, diversion. A few weeks before I found myself squeezing past used cars in a dingy back-street warehouse, I’d read Pam Grout’s E-Squared. This brilliant (and very funny) book had introduced me to a totally new way of looking at the world. Its subtitle (9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality) says it all. If you haven’t read it, and if you have yet to be convinced that that statement is true, I highly recommend it. One of the nine experiments involved choosing a random every day object and tracking how often it appears in your life over the following 24 hours. The object I chose happened to be a green car and the results of the experiment had both astonished and impressed me. Even now, every time I unexpectedly see a green car it reminds me that “the Universe has your back”.
Needless to say, the dusty, diesel powered Rav4 with the manual gearbox that we found at the back of that warehouse was green.
That car was my trusted companion and guardian over the next five years as I gradually transformed my life. The day I drove it home I was barely two years into a diagnosis of ME/CFS and still anticipating a part-time return to my corporate job. A couple of years later it transported me (and many of my possessions) away from my rented house to start a new life in a new home in a new town. It waited patiently for me as I headed up to London for a week at a time to do my hypnotherapy training. It transported me and two companions almost 2,500 miles over three years for our yoga teacher training. It took me to Wales (twice), to Cornwall and to many less-distant locations. It broke down twice, but never left me stranded: the first time the cam belt went, stopping it dead half a mile from home one sunny day when I had nothing else to do. The second and final time was in February 2019 when, after carrying me 250 miles in three days, it started belching white smoke 10 minutes from home. We limped on in the dark, and it deposited me safely at my front door, never to start again.
To be honest, I should have got many more years of use out of it. Ravs are real workhorses and 100k, even 200k miles on the clock is not unusual. Mine died at 85k. A message from the Universe that it was now time for me to go electric.
And it was so easy! The cost of recovering my car to a trusted mechanic was covered by my insurance. Travelling plans in my extended family aligned to ensure that there was always a car available for me to borrow. A single Facebook post revealed numerous people in my immediate circle with direct experience of EVs and a handful of extremely useful contacts. Two weeks later, armed with my newfound knowledge I eventually decided on a Renault Zoe. A brand new Renault Zoe.
I’ve never even considered buying a brand new car before, but the technology is advancing so rapidly – and the deals available right now are so good – that it made sense. At least, it made sense given that I was absolutely determined to go electric! Financially of course, given that I’m still building my business, the ‘sensible option’ would have been to buy another second hand fossil-fuel car and put the decision off for another few years. But somehow I knew that wasn’t what I was meant to do. This decision is about so much more than buying a new car. Yes, it’s about aligning another aspect of my life with my personal ethics – in this case, a desire to step more lightly on the planet. But it’s also about showing the Universe that I trust myself. That I have faith in my own ability to generate financial abundance through my work. And it’s about taking another step towards realising the life that I’ve already created for myself in my mind’s eye.
So, here I am, test drives and negotiations complete, sitting in the Renault dealership having just taken a deep breath and shaken hands on the deal. Just a few weeks and my new car will arrive! But first, I get to choose my number plate. I’m handed a sheet of paper with a couple of dozen numbers on, three or four of which have already been allocated. I cast my eye down the page and suddenly burst out laughing. If I was looking for a sign that I’m doing the right thing, I’ve just got it.
All the numbers on the sheet begin with the same two letters and numbers, the only difference is the final three letters. The last available registration number on the sheet ends in the letters AUM.
“That one’s mine”, I say, and I sign on the dotted line.
The word Ôm is the Imperishable; all this its manifestation.
Past, present, future – everything is Ôm.
Whatever transcends the three divisions of time, that too is Ôm.
[…] The Self, though beyond words; is that supreme word Ôm;
though indivisible it can be divided in three letters
corresponding to the three conditions of the Self, the letter A*, the letter U and the letter M.
The waking condition, called the material condition corresponds to the letter A…
The dreaming condition, called the mental condition, corresponds to the second letter U…
Undreaming sleep, called the intellectual condition corresponds to the third letter, M.
The fourth condition of the Self corresponds to Ôm as One, indivisible Word… Thus Ôm is nothing but Self.
*‘A’ is pronounced short like the sound of ‘e’ in ‘her’, ‘U’ as in ‘put’ and ‘M’ as ‘Me’ in ‘Merchant’.
Source: Mandookya Upanishad (translation Shree Purohit Swami & WB Yeats)