She messaged me on Facebook, out of the blue, last week, and all she said is that she wanted to share with me an “AMAZING” moment that had just happened to her. I thought, wow, what might this be? My friend is happily married, with lovely children and with a business that is thriving. I knew this moment would not be what some might describe as an “amazing” moment in mundane life – yeah, you know like, “I’ve won last night’s Euromillions!”. As it turned out, she was about to move into a workshop that morning and I was on my way to Paris to do the same. So, we didn’t talk. It is only the following week that I dropped her a note about it. I was curious. Mostly by the fact that she had felt compelled to message me about it, and wanted to share it with me. I knew there was something in the story for me.
And maybe, so it is with most of the stories we feel the need to share – or we have the courage to share – with others. That we share them because we know there will be something in them for them. Whatever that is, for each of them – in my experience, there is rarely a way to know what that will be.
So, earlier this week, I remembered the note and messaged her again, asking her about that moment. There was a matter of seconds between my message and her call. My note seemed to have re-ignited the sense of momentum, the need to share that moment. And yes, the moment was amazing. Amazing in its simple beauty, in the synchronicity it depended on: in the way in which people happened to connect, and share or bump into each other… It was one of those moments of wonder when everything falls into place and one understands an aspect of the journey wandered so far, its broader meaning and its initially unknown purpose.
It was also one of those moments when life seems to be closing a loop: my friend ended up meeting again, “accidentally”, someone who had been very influential in her youth, after the completion of a major and related project that day. This was one of those moments when you suddenly understand or are reminded that most things are connected, if we can take the time to observe, notice and remember. And that the more we take notice, the more aware we become of those “fortuitous” connections, and the more grateful to life’s everyday little gifts one becomes.
I so cherish those moments. They have become what I call the most meaningful and memorable “acts” in the play of my daily life. I have learnt to welcome each of them, as they happen. Even, or especially, when they challenge me. I know that when they come, I will be nourished, satiated with where I am and prepared for the next stage of the journey – which of course is always an unknown. We are truly brave when we accept to live our lives without a script.
And those moments always remind me that I am loved, that somehow I am cared for. That life is full of wonder, and that I don’t need Disney or any fairytale to experience it. Because it’s real. I am loved. Not by Mickey, but by the source of goodness in life – call it what you wish, if you feel drawn towards religion or spirituality.
And here I am, writing all this on a rainy day. It’s only mid-morning. And it has been a wonder-full day already. I woke up after a full night sleep and some intriguing dreams. I felt good. A ladybird started flying around the light on my bedside table a short time after I switched it on. I marvelled at its presence. Still in bed, I looked at my day ahead, so full of commitments and opportunities. Most importantly, it was full of commitments to myself. Because today, I care about myself more than anyone else. So that I can care for others as best I can. It’s the most important lesson I have learnt over the last five years, finally.
I cleared the dirty plates and cups from last night’s dinner and caught the squirrel springing onto the wet lawn outside my kitchen window. I wondered where the neighbour’s cats were, how safe it was for him to play and hunt on the wet grass seemingly so carefree. Then I remembered that it was his life of possible wonders.
I then sat at my desk and went through all the pages left opened on my screen waiting for my attention. I ordered my first rowing racing kit – the opportunity of a first race has suddenly re-emerged – and was looking at the Playmobil Advent Calendar sets when my friend called.
Yeah, I know… Bear with me one more moment. Buying a Playmobil Advent Calendar set is the best thing I have done so far for myself this morning. It symbolises how much I appreciate being who I am today and how I understand the need to celebrate that, regularly – yeah, of course, it doesn’t involve the purchase of Playmobil figures each time… Those who have worked with me in the creative or innovation fields will know that I have a collection of Playmobil figures and objects which I use in my workshops. Like the Lego sets, they are always a hit. Because they take us back to an aspect of who we really are at the moment we choose and pick one. I loved it when that Vice-President picked that cowboy once at the end of a strategy workshop and talked about feeling so excited at the prospect of crossing “new frontiers”… I am so excited at the prospect of opening a new window and gifting myself with a new Playmobil item for my collection, every morning for three weeks before Christmas. I used to buy Advent calendars with chocolates for my son, until not so long ago. It’s the first time I have bought one for myself. I just don’t need the chocolates. I just want more Playmobils.
I told my friend how difficult it was too choose, how I was discovering there were so many different Playmobil Advent calendar sets to choose from and she joyfully laughed, when she realised I was buying one for myself . So, we talked about her moment of wonder and shared stories. Then suddenly she told me how much she loved me, how she “truly loved me” – her own words – and how she hoped I knew how much I was loved, that others also told me how much they loved me. My heart skipped a beat and immediately filled with gratitude. It’s so, so special to be told you are loved in this way: to be loved for who you are, not because you have anything to give or because something is needed from you, just because you ARE.
Maybe one should never stop saying thanks in those moments. Nurturing gratitude for the openness, the honesty, the authenticity, the goodness that these moments bring – when we allow ourselves to care, and take notice. And it always starts with me – and you. It’s all to do with how much I care for myself, appreciate myself, embrace who I am, with my foibles – I love that word -, and well, my so many contradictions. The wonder of being human.
And so came my own moment of wonder. The realisation that I am loved. And I do believe that I really understood its gift, its depth and meaning, only because I have learnt to really appreciate who I am, to actually love myself – picture me bowing, with thanks, for all the blessings life keeps bestowing upon me these days (when I take notice).
So, go on, how many moments of wonder have you had lately?
Or maybe, how well will you care for yourself or have you cared for yourself today? – please, don’t feel you have to buy any Playmobil…