I have had a shake-your-soul couple of weeks. Last week I attended the Brave Girls Symposium in Boise, Idaho. There were so many aha moments that I can’t sit still or sleep; but I am going to save my symposium story for another day. In the meantime, if you aren’t familiar with Melody Ross or Brave Girls Club; hop over to their site for a glimpse of their pioneering work.
Today I have to open a conversation. I am praying for comments! I have had a perspective-shifting experience that began during a reluctant session volunteering as a weed-slugging kayaker in mid-June. A soul-stirring conversation ensued with a fellow volunteer (a neighbor; but this was our first time meeting). Our 3-hour conversation left me pondering a.) how did that magical encounter fall into my summer path? and b.) how can soulful connection and conversation become the norm, versus the exception?
Perhaps you have heart-to-heart conversations with random people everyday. That has not been my day-to-day experience; at least recently. I honor the sacred of ordinary quiet moments in the cracks. A rhythm of: explore, notice, honor (with the shutter) and repeat. This generally unfolds when I am enveloped in nature and in perfect solitude.
But Mary, nestled inside her yellow kayak, ignited my confidence to initiate more discussion, to build laughter bridges and to show up to listen to the story of others. Isn’t that ultimate proof that sacred is in the ordinary? A year ago I told you about ordinary magical encounters with… toads. Today I am marveling at the sacred threads of connection with those that come into our path (the friends, family, neighbors and strangers).
I just might be ready to open my lens and expand my view.
Six years ago I read a pivotal book: Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings. In it, author and artist Kelly Rae Roberts talks about finding the sacred in the ordinary, which she says “not only expands our personal gratitude for every ounce of the world’s offerings, but it fuels our creative expression.”
Last week I had a magical conversation with Kelly Rae Roberts after her courageous and inspiring presentation at the Brave Girls Symposium. I was humbly star-struck because… well, obviously she is my creative idol. We had a short conversation and tiny thread of connection.
Before my hug from Kelly Rae I had a soulful encounters here, there, and everywhere after meeting Mary in the kayak. One such encounter occurred at the drive-up window of the bank. Don’t believe me? Ask my teen daughter who asked when we drove away, “Did that just happen? That was so weird, mom!” During a pedicure in Philadelphia, I was totally engrossed in editing photos on my laptop when Angie insisted we talk. Our discussion ebbed and flowed with the depth of the ocean. It ended with a hug (#truth) and my declaring she simply must write a book. She responded with a laugh, explaining she was leaving the salon to meet her agent to discuss her first book’s distribution. Angie Griffin – I will be watching for your book to land in the world. Then there was Arlene in seat 11C and our soul-to-soul conversation of family, birth order (she is number 2 of 13), grief, the Bronx, her work with Homeland Security and passion for communication as a bridge.
Over and over, I have been tuning into the evidence that the sacred things you hold dear may be in the eyes of the beholder. What you see as sacred becomes sacred, what creates awe and wonder through your lens is what will hold your attention and help you to find it everyday.
My wish for you? That you have a soul-stirring heart-to-heart conversation with someone along your path this week: a friend, a neighbor, a family member or a random stranger. I would love to hear from you on what is currently making your days blessed…. and sacred.