Joy at the DMV

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Emotional Well-being

I know you’re thinking, did I read that correctly? Did she really link joy with the Department of Motor Vehicles? The answer would be a resounding “yes!” Here’s my story.

I recently got a notice in the mail saying that it was time to renew my driver’s license. Ugh!!! I thought of the long lines, the cranky clerks behind the windows chewing on antacids because of the heartburn that seems to go with the job. And I wanted to put off the experience as long as possible. But another part of me said, “Oh—just get it over with.”

So on a picture perfect day, I decided to take a chance on the DMV!! I had all my paperwork completed and my check already made out. I drove my trusty 2002 white Mustang convertible, headed for the Maine Mall branch. I sang songs all the way there. And took a good book (Blue Horizon by Wilbur Smith—I love his rousing and romantic adventures). I also had a bottle of water. I was prepared to sit around well-hydrated and entertained for as long as it took.

I went in, got my number, and sat down. Lo and behold, a very congenial, smiling, and funny guy, who is the supervisor, came right over and said, “Here for a license renewal?” I said “yes.” He looked over my paperwork to be sure I had everything. Then two smiling women sat down beside me and we struck up a lively conversation about how much fun it was to have this man waiting on us at the DMV.

Within about 10 minutes my number came up. And I went over to the window. The clerk thought I looked familiar but couldn’t place me. When I told her who I was, she shared that she was working toward a degree in Naturopathic studies. Imagine that! Holistic thought at the DMV!!! Then she took my picture. For the first time EVER, I didn’t have to force a smile because the person behind the camera elicited a genuine one right from my heart.

And then I was finished. What? Wait! I didn’t even get to drink my water or read my book!! I went over to the friendly supervisor, thanked him, and floated out of there. My new license will be mailed to me. And I got it over a month ahead of time!

So here’s the take home message: it’s possible to create heaven on earth—even at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Give it a try. The way I see it, if it can happen there, it can happen ANYWHERE!!

Last Updated: October 7, 2008

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


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  1. Eileen D.
    11 years ago

    I too just renewed my license in California. I prepared myself with my water and knitting project, checked in and sat with my number waiting to be called. Before I had stitched 5 stitches, the women behind me struck up a conversation. She admired my project and mentioned that she worked in publishing for an author who happens to be one of my favorites for knitting books. She didn’t knit and I certainly don’t write, but it was fun to feel a sort of kinship with this perfect stranger. She appreciated seeing the product of some of the information she helps produce and I tried to encourage her to start knitting. Before you knew it, my number was called. Just today I received my new license and the smile on my face tells the story of the pleasant meeting that had just taken place!

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