A Holiday Story: Against the Odds
by Marilyn Jenett
From Marilyn's online memoir, Feel Free to Prosper: An Entrepreneurial Memoir of Synchronicity and Guidance...
Taking Care of Business
My prosperity teachings and spiritual philosophy champion the use of positive words and ideas only. However, in an apparently negative situation usually lies the seed of a
valuable lesson and I decided to share this story with you, hoping that
you, also, will appreciate the lesson.
mentioned that I had been contracted by my client, Michelin North
America, to produce a gala New Year’s Eve event in celebration of the
100th Anniversary of Bibendum, the Michelin Man.
event was to be held at the spectacular Petersen Automotive Museum in
Los Angeles and the client was flying in 250 of their best dealers from
the East Coast to celebrate the New Year with this formal event and a
float in the Rose Parade the following day. I started preparation
many months before. We received the deposit payment at that time
and the balance was due about two weeks before the holiday. Well,
not unusual for that time of year, the check had not been put through
their accounting department on schedule and the client had to Fed Ex it
to me, so that I would be able to pay all of my vendors before the
The overnight package arrived at my office the day before
Christmas. I was concerned about getting payment to my vendors in
time, so I decided that early on Christmas morning I would drive to my
office, pick up the check, prepare and drop the vendors’ checks in the
mail, then deposit Michelin’s check in my bank the day after
Christmas. Michelin’s check for the balance was $60,000. At
around 7:00 a.m. Christmas morning I carried out these plans, and
pulled the car over to mail the vendors’ checks in a mailbox, as our
office building and its mail service would be closed the following day
(Friday) and through the weekend.
mentioned earlier, my office was in Century City, the business
community bordering Beverly Hills, a very good area, and the streets
were empty that holiday morning. I pulled over to a local mailbox
and while sorting the payment envelopes in my car, I noticed that a
rather trashy looking automobile passed and continued down the street
and out of sight. I didn’t pay heed and went back to my sorting
until a few minutes later I was distracted by that same car blocking
mine and a young man was pointing an automatic weapon at me through my
car’s closed window. My first reaction was to lock the door and
then realizing that that certainly wouldn’t do any good, I unlocked it
and opened the car door to get out as the gunman beckoned. I
could see that the male passenger in his car was lying back looking
very drugged. I remember being amazingly calm through this whole
ordeal. The robber said only one thing to me: “Give me your
wallet or I’ll shoot your ass.”
Now follow me on
this...I happened to be in a rental car that day while my car was being
serviced, so I had placed all of my belongings in the back seat in a
large tote bag, so I wouldn’t have them scattered and wouldn’t forget
anything when I picked up my own car the following day. The tote
bag contents included my purse with wallet, credit cards, etc., the
$60,000 Michelin check and some other business papers.
man nervously repeated the sentence above and his eyes were darting
around the car looking for my purse, not knowing it was in the
tote. So as I started to reach in the tote to get my purse, he
leaned forward and quickly grabbed the whole tote bag.
believe you will find the next part interesting…or bizarre! This
was the test of a true entrepreneur. Here was this young
tortured-looking man aiming an automatic weapon straight at me,
grabbing my tote bag, and the only thing I could instinctively do was
say, “Please don’t take the business items.” I was negotiating
with my gunman for the return of my business items! And I was
cool as a cucumber, as they say (or so I thought)…
had I asked that question than an SUV with a couple of guys came
speeding down Olympic Boulevard and what did I do then? I ran
away from the car and the gun and stood in the middle of the street
waving my arms like a madwoman for the driver to stop. The men in
the SUV sped past me while looking stunned, then slowed down, made a
U-turn and stayed at a distance with their motor running watching the
scene. In the meantime, the robber sped away, tote bag and
all. And of course, I never did get his answer to my
plea. The men in the SUV approached, asked if I was all right and
them to stick around until I started my car. At that point, after
it was all over, my hands were shaking so violently that I couldn’t get
the key in the ignition. Cool? Sure. Delayed
The Show Must Go On…
drove to the Beverly Hills Police Department and was told that the
witnesses in the SUV had already called in from their cell phone and
the police were already searching for the car. I spent the next
couple of hours at the police station.
I remember two things
very distinctly: First, the officer in charge explained how lucky
I was. I asked him if I did the right thing by running away from
the gunman. He said that everything I did was right because I was
standing there telling him about it. Made sense. However,
he then told me that many times a person on drugs will do crazy things
when they get nervous and that when you make a move like that, they
could “lose it” and shoot you in the back. He also said that I
was very fortunate because many times they will hit you with the gun
and cause bodily damage. The second thing that was important was
what he said about the Michelin check. I told him I needed the
check for the corporate event to take place and didn’t know if I could
get it replaced in time. The officer told me I would never see
the check or my belongings again — he said the robbers would take the
money and trash everything else in a dumpster.
was the major issue: Michelin North America’s offices were closed
until after the first of the year — there was no possibility of getting
a replacement check in time for the New Year’s gala. I didn’t
have a line of credit for my business because I never required
one. I was always paid in advance for events, so I just
maintained my regular business account. Most of my vendors had
worked for me for many years and many of them could have waited until
after the first of the year to get paid, but some of these vendors
could not carry the larger costs until after the event — the balance on
the catering food costs alone was about $35,000.
So I was shaken but alive and unhurt, and in a major dilemma.
was exhausted. I needed rest. I drove home and couldn’t
wait to just crawl into bed and rest. I left a message for
friends I was to see later that day to cancel and said I would tell
them why after the holiday. I told them that I could guarantee my
holiday was more exciting than theirs. And then something came
Almost like being on automatic pilot, I had a
compelling feeling to just sit quietly. I gave in to this
intuitive feeling. I closed my eyes and all I could see was the
young gunman’s face.
A tremendous feeling of compassion
came over me and at the same time heartfelt gratitude. All I
could think of was to thank him. I thanked him for not hurting
me. He certainly shook me up, but he didn’t hurt me. He
never touched me. He made me realize instead how precious life
is. How it could all be gone in an instant.
realized how much he must be hurting. Here it was Christmas
morning and he could have made a move that could have ruined him for
life, all for the sake of a little drug money. That’s pain. I
thanked him over and over again until I knew I had to get some sleep…
Lost and Found Department — The Universe, Upper Level
awakened hours later with a very strong feeling to call my office and
check the voice mail. Remember this was Christmas Day, offices
were closed, no one would be calling. But I called and there was
a message on the voice mail.
A woman in Hawthorne, a city some
distance from Los Angeles, said in the voice mail message that she
thought she had my belongings. I called her immediately.
She said she found the phone number on either a card or business
letterhead that was with the items. She said she had nine
children and she had driven to the mall with a couple of her kids and
the thirteen-year-old saw the large envelope lying in the parking
lot. When she found the phone number she called.
discussed what was in the envelope, which was one of my large
presentation package envelopes that I had put all my paperwork
Everything was there except for my casual purse,
wallet and the $25 or so that I had carried. Everything! My
credit cards (which I had cancelled, of course, after the robbery), my
license, all of the vendor checks that were to be taken to the event
that weren’t mailed, the business papers, and the $60,000 Michelin
check! What relief!
I asked her if she would be
available the next day and she said she was going Christmas shopping
(the day after Christmas) because of the sales. I asked her not
to go until I came down and saw her (I intended to give her a
reward). I called the Beverly Hills Police Department and told
them what happened and they warned me not to go. What? They
said it could be a setup — to let the Hawthorne Police handle it and get
my things. No way. I was picking up my Michelin check that
next day and giving the woman her reward. I did, however, call
the Hawthorne Police and they said they should escort me to her
When I arrived in Hawthorne the next
day, the police asked quite a few questions. They told me that
the automatic weapon used in my robbery was real, as there were a lot
of them floating around that area, so the robber was most likely from
that area. They said what didn’t make sense was that the
Hawthorne Mall was closed on Christmas Day, so there was no reason for
the woman to be there to find my things. She didn’t have a
record, but they suggested that she might know the young robber and
perhaps he gave her my things for the purpose of getting a
reward. They agreed with me that she had earned her reward anyway
just for getting that important check back to me.
me to the woman’s home. She was very nervous when she saw the
police car, but I explained to her that I was advised to have them
escort me. She calmed down, gave me my belongings and thanked me
profusely for the reward.
Now, What Do You Think?
want to believe that at some soul level, the young robber, even in his
agitated state, had heard my plea to return my business items and
couldn’t trash them. I believe that when I had later meditated on
his face and expressed compassion and gratitude to him for not having
harmed me, that he had felt the connection, as we are all one in
Spirit, and had found a way to get my things back to me.
original police officer in Beverly Hills who said I would never see my
things again had a colder view of things (I called to let them know I
had retrieved my things). He said the gunman didn’t care, that he
just figured he could get something more out of it. When someone
is on drugs, robbing at gunpoint, do they really have the presence of
mind to calculate and think about these things? Wouldn’t the
instinct be to take the money and trash the evidence as quickly as
possible in case you were caught, stopped by the police, etc.? Trust me, that car was a police magnet.
One thing I do
know for sure…the Universe protected me and the Universe returned my
items to me because of my faith and because I blessed and looked for
the good in the situation. This was spiritual law in action
regardless of whether the young man planned this or not. He was
under the law of right action and was acting under divine guidance
responding to my call, whether conscious of it or not.
was the lesson for me? At that moment in time, we were the only
two entities on one of the most traveled streets in all of Los
Angeles. Why did that happen? Perhaps for me to learn more
compassion, forgiveness, gratitude? Or to increase my faith that
all things are possible, even in the face of opposing odds? To
appreciate the gift of life more? To increase my conviction in
the universal laws I believed in?
Now, what do you think?
in the evening on Christmas Day, after speaking with the woman in
Hawthorne on the phone, and since I had decided not to meet with
friends, I went to the only supermarket that was open to pick up a few
things. There was only one other person in the whole market at
that time — a very attractive man who was eyeing me, and who finally
spoke. He had just come from visiting his father and had stopped
to also get a few things on the way home. George became the man
in my life for a while. Go figure. Held up in the
morning. Picked up in the evening.
memoir was written online from September 2006 to February 2007. It has
attracted over 70,000 readers, countless rave reviews and extraordinary
public attention. The online version is free to read but will soon be
The book based on Marilyn's teachings, Feel Free to Prosper: Two Weeks to Unexpected Income with the Simplest Prosperity Laws Available, published by Penguin Random House, is available at Amazon and booksellers worldwide.
You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print,
as long as the following text is included and the article appears in
its entirety and unchanged.
© Copyright 2009 Marilyn
Jenett, Feel Free to Prosper
Jenett is a renowned prosperity mentor, speaker and Penguin Random
House author. An accomplished business owner in the corporate arena,
the Feel Free to Prosper® program to mentor and teach others to become
aligned with Universal laws and accept their right to prosper. For more
information and her free gift, visit www.FeelFreetoProsper.com.
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Copyright © 2003-2017 Marilyn
Jenett, Feel Free to Prosper
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