“I should feel joy.” “I should feel excited.” “I should feel inspired.” The voice in my head whispers. My children are healthy and have happily returned to school. I have some time to write and create and do yoga. The swirl of Autumn, my favourite season, is in the air. I am nearing completion of my studio and will finally have space to facilitate the sessions and workshops that have been floating around in my mind’s eye for some time. But the truth is, I awoke yesterday morning and did not feel any of these.
In the past few days waves of grief and sadness have crashed down around me, tears have flowed and I have cried - hard. I feel the ache in my heart for my cousin and his wife, knowing they are only walking one son to school and knowing the pain they feel. I feel the uncertainty of this time as I embark on a new beginning in my career. I feel anxious about the transformational shifts that are occurring in my life. And as my new path unfolds, I see the doubt and questioning that wants to take control.
Instead of being swallowed up by this constricting space, after my meditation, I pulled out my notes and immediately wrote two questions. What inspires me today? And how can I pass that along? I left my house with these two lingering questions in my subconscious and the reminder to be open to what came. I wanted to believe that no matter how I felt, inspiration could still be found.
I followed my intuition and went to one of my favourite coffee shops- the Woodrack Cafe to work. I ordered a latte and was about to sit down when one of the owner’s, Kristy who was busily baking in the back, waved hello and gave one of her signature beaming bright smiles (as I first shared in Inspired Reciprocity) before coming over to chat.
When she asked how my summer was I paused before muttering it was good. However, feeling I could share the whole truth of my summer, I shook my head and stated in fact it was not so. As I let out some of my grief she listened attentively. And when I finished sharing she gave me a warm hug.
For the second time, I handed her a live inspired card and this time I asked her if I could take a photo for my blog. Dressed in her apron and not expecting to be photographed today, she paused and asked hesitantly, “uh now?” Immediately I started to laugh as I recalled another memory of a similar encounter with a stranger (see A Boy Named Carl). The laughter infectious, she too began to laugh. I shared with her the story of "Carl" and the two of us laughed out loud among the morning crowd of coffee goers. I felt her presence and that beautiful shared space of being witnessed and making a connection. And I knew in that moment, inspiration had found me. I snapped a selfie of the two of us and gave her a hug goodbye.
As I turned to walk to my table, all feelings of grief, uncertainty, and anxiousness disappeared and I felt waves of joy and lightness. This experience reinforced questions I posed earlier that morning: how can you, whatever state you are in, be open to the inspiration that is flowing in and all around? Can you, even for a moment, allow the feeling that something good can come your way. And most importantly how can you pass the energy of connection, inspiration, and joy along. It may be as simple as smiling at a stranger or giving your full presence to someone who really needs it. However you choose to express yourself, mark it with your own signature style and then continue the rest of the day riding the waves of inspiration.
Thank-you again for your presence Kristy. Your bright smile and beautiful, open heart are truly felt in the world.