A small book on meditation, a list of handwritten recommendations from a private session with my yoga teacher, and a few cherished notes from friends are the small bits of inspiration I chose to bring along on this journey. I knew there would be times I would want to read them, refer to them, and feel their encouragement. One night last week was one of those times. I was doubting my journey and questioning my purpose. Is finding myself and writing my story, more important than my work as a public servant, more important than my family? Had I done the right thing leaving home?
I took the small stack, climbed into bed and started to read them, one by one. There were words about grace and gratitude, silence and prayer, loneliness and peace. And then tucked between folded pages were these words, written specifically to me in a lovely card . . .
Thank you, for everything,
A warriors heart that is still willing to risk being vulnerable
Fierce and gentle honesty
Boundless (or almost boundless) energy
A generous smile
The ability to keep your council
I teared up and thought to myself, if this is all that is ever written of me in this life I have done something right. I immediately sent a message to the dear friend who wrote the words, someone I admire greatly, and I thanked her. I included a photograph of the card and told her how much I cherished her it, and that I carried it with me half way around the world. Her response was emotional, telling me my timing had been perfect. She had recently been taking stock of her own life, and upon receiving my message realized that she sometimes judged herself too harshly. I imagined her feeling the same sense of relief I felt. She had lifted me the first time I read those words, and each time I have read them since. Now, she too is comforted by her words.
There in the middle of the night, with a simple card, written from the heart, I found inspiration and confirmation to keep on going. There is purpose and meaningful work beyond public service. It’s okay to put myself first as I have put others before me plenty of times. I am exactly where I need to be right now.
I do my best to thank people for the support they have provided me with their words and gestures. I love when they are surprised by their impact on me and my life. Their intention was simply to be kind or show gratitude, never expecting to affect the course of one’s day or spirit.
I imagine as you read this post, right now, you are thinking of at least one person who has lifted you on one occasion or another, someone’s whose words or actions made you tear up and feel good, really good. I encourage you to reach out to that person and thank them, even if you haven’t spoken to them in years. See what happens.
Life, Love, Friendship, it’s a beautiful circle powered by our willingness to be vulnerable, to connect at the deepest levels, and always express our gratitude. It makes our world a better place.
Let’s keep it going.