Tuesday 7th January 2014
I have been thinking that everyone is going to die before midnight for a week now.
I know, it’s all a bit morbid and a little gothic.
But the thought has led me to feel extraordinarily alive. Perhaps that sounds a little odd, but I am finding that the thought of having very little time left with every person I meet or interact with somehow focuses everything down to what is really important right now.
If the person is a complete stranger, my actions are usually around what might be needed, or what I can give to that person in the few minutes I may have with them. It may be as simple as smiling at someone with genuine warmth, saying hello, or donating some coins to a busker or someone begging. If I have a bit more time, it may be a conversation. I have had so many interesting conversations this week, that I now get really excited if I have fifteen minutes to spare for a chat. I look forward to the possibility of what I may discover, or uncover!
If the person is someone I know or have a relationship with then it’s a bit different. In some ways it’s really difficult considering that the person I care about or work with may not be in this world by midnight, but it also makes me focus on what really matters and gets rid of the distracting crap that seems to take up so much of our time. Mostly this has meant being truly present. Giving each person my full attention and energy. Consciously listening. Letting go of my own stuff.
I have also started to approach any interaction with the belief that I am meant to be in this person’s life right now, and they are meant to be in mine, and this interaction or conversation is meant to happen. I feel like I’m exploring a new world. It’s as if I am walking through a town in a new country, and everything seems unfamiliar and exotic. Every time I turn around a corner, I find new colours, new fabric, different languages, and people.
Pam Grout, the author of E Squared, talks about how we only see what we focus on. She gives a great analogy in her book, of walking into a darkened warehouse with a flash light. We only see what we focus the flash light on, and we often believe that that is all there is to see. The old chair and the wooden box in front of us is all there is. But if we shift the light, we find there is more to see; beautiful paintings, a chest full of antiques and endless shelves of books. And if we turn on the light it’s like a scene out of a movie, where we uncover endless treasure. The point is that we see what we choose to see and our experience of the world and those around us is a reflection of this.
This past week I have been surprised that I have never really seen the people that are in my life on a daily basis. These are people that I have known for at least four years! I have also been happily surprised with the kinds of relationships I am creating, and where my energy is going. And that’s another thing, my energy is completely different. I am full of wonder and excitement. It’s as if I’m in this life for the first time.
One week, seven gold stars and a few posts later, I’m still at the every beginning of my journey, but surprisingly I seem to already be in a whole new world.
“Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso