Is any encounter with a stranger ever random or is it a deliberate piece of a much larger puzzle with answers to the never ending riddle that is life? Are we being tested every time we have a chance meeting with someone we do not know? Do we engage with the stranger, or simply walk away with our own agendas to fulfill? We live such busy lives and we are more tuned in thanks to technology, but does that keep us from face to face interactions with others? Inspiration sometimes comes from unlikely sources, but if we walk around with blinders on our eyes and earplugs tuning out all outside noise how will we ever hear? We are blind and deaf and therefore missing out on the greatest messages of life. Listen to the wind whispering secrets of the trees, hear the harp of the birdsong up above. It is all there for the taking, you just have to look up from the screen that has held hostage of your time and make eye contact with someone who may mesmerize your life. You never know who is walking in your direct path if you do not look up every once in a while and smile. You may find the loveliest gifts from sharing hellos with your fellow creatures of the universe.
Today I felt compelled to go to the pool and change my daily workout routine. I was meant to be there at that time and place. The minute I stepped my foot into the pool my eyes caught the eyes of Maggie, the subject of the essay I wrote months ago. Maggie was one of the last survivors of the Holocaust, and her stories had me spellbound. I also had the privilege of meeting Joseph her husband, and today he was at the pool as well. They wondered where I have been, and what I was up to these last few months. Maggie was telling me stories about Budapest and Europe once again. We were speaking of height and I complained I am too short, and Maggie reminded me that the best things in the world come small, like diamonds. I consider them my friends and I was very happy to see them and I promised I would see them again soon. My essay inspired by Maggie was recently picked for publication by Elephant Journal, so seeing her and her husband was kismet.
After they left I did my water workout, and I found that water is a great medium to stretch in. My dancer’s pose comes with more ease in the water. When I was a ballet dancer the teachers would tell us to practice our leaps in water. Water is great for fitness, and it is completely cleansing as well. When in water this serenity washes over me and all of my thoughts become as clear as the pool water. Peace personified, swimming does that for me. Blue sky above as I float away with my cares of the day.
I had an encounter with another elderly lady, this poor soul seemed so troubled and picked me to talk to. Her 100 year old Mother had passed away recently and she was devastated and told me she felt alone in the world. My heart bled for her, and I tried to comfort her to the best of my ability. She was an eccentric artist and a painter and she had some interesting stories to share. I looked into her crystal blue eyes and wished her peace and happiness, feeling bad that I could not do more for her. There was such a lost look in those eyes, and I cannot forget the look she gave me when I had to leave. She actually apologized to me for chatting my ears off and questioned if I would ever talk to her again. I reassured her that I truly enjoyed conversing with her and I would look for her next time.
I often wonder if we are tested from above. To see how we will react, to see if we choose to do good with our time or walk along in our own narcissistic path of self indulgence. I have had many encounters in my life, which make me think we are being tested from a higher power. I pay attention always though, because I just see and feel too much. The aftermath of these encounters sometimes leaves me feeling melancholic and a little confused about the struggles of life. No one should ever feel as if they are alone in the world. I cannot imagine what that feels like, and I weep for those who wake daily feeling like there is no one that is there for them. I can only hope I made Marianne smile even if it was for a fleeting moment. This is one reason I feel the need to volunteer my time for those who need it most.
Life is a vulnerable experience, you are born naked into a world of chaos and uncertainty but I love every minute of it. We are all meant to be here for each other, to make a difference in the lives of others and then pass it on to the next. There is more to life than our own ego and we are here for a lesson and a reason. Make a difference as you are out making a name for yourself. You may find someone will pay it forward and make you smile when you need it most.
Love and Light to all
|Kristen and Milo|
The last few days my heart has been heavy, my friend Kristen in Pittsburgh PA lost her cat Milo last week. She searched endlessly, posting fliers, sharing his photo on the Internet and searching for him on foot. The one thing she did not do, she never ever gave up hope. Finding her beautiful cat Milo was her number one mission and today I am happy to say I woke up to the happy news that he is finally back by her side.
To never give up hope, that can be a hard one. Yes, sometimes in life problems seem to big to tackle and it is easier to admit defeat. This is a lesson to me as I continue My Change For A Ten that hope is never lost. To persevere even when things are difficult or downright impossible. Another thing I have learned is we are never in it alone. People are truly amazing. Kristen had the whole community at her side helping her find her beloved Milo.
Yesterday I was on the bus and I glanced at my hand mirror, and thought I have so much weight to lose as I looked at my refection. A few seconds later an elderly woman sat next to me and smiled. She literally touched my face and told me in broken English I had a beautiful face. I thanked her and told her she did as well. We smiled at each other as I exited the bus and I was shamed that I had a moment of self doubt again. She gave me a life lesson at the very moment it was needed. Beauty is not measured by age, or size, just heart.
I made my way to my weigh in at Weight Watchers, and I lost three more pounds making the total four pounds. I also went to buy new work pants and I went down a size from a 16 to a 14. I was very, very happy and pleased with myself. I was so grateful to the elderly lady and her message I am beautiful regardless of my size. From here on out I will try not to succumb to such negative self banter.
I could not go this distance by myself, and I am blessed to have so many supportive people in my corner. I know I have a long journey ahead of me, to sponsor a charity with every ten pounds I lose and to keep the weight off for good, but kind words from a stranger and today’s news about Milo returning home reminded me I will never give up hope either and I am not in this alone. Thanks Kristen!! 🙂
Love and Light