Month: June 2015

solo gifts

As a solo traveller specific experiences unfold. For example, having a ‘table for one’ at a cafe might invite people to think you’re alone, lonely, or, they might view it as an opportunity to connect. In Byron I was at one of my favourite spots enjoying a turmeric tonic between the raindrops and a lovely dear woman turned up and asked if she could join my oversized table. I instantly made space and in true local fashion she revealed her knitting project while her coffee was being prepared. We shared a smile and pleasantries and were each happy with the quiet space we held until overhearing people moaning a bit of the rainy weather. “Well, I reckon its good weather for rainbows!” I offered. And my table mate quickly squealed with delight as she pointed to one emerging just over our shoulders. As her local crew arrived I made more space and eventually stood up to leave. As I departed my sweet new friend said rather loudly – “Keep helping folks find their rainbows!”

The next day I was frequenting another fave eatery and I enjoyed a truly connected and alive conversation with the girl taking my order. She was simply present and so real and warm that it was natural to feel our lengthy conversation unfold. She made me smile and my chai tasted extra rich knowing that some bond had been woven. Post yoga I found myself back at the raw food mecca, ravenous for lunch. Much to my delight the same girl was working and she immediately took her lunch break to join me in my meal. Again we spoke richly of life and crossroads and shared juicy bits of our own journeys. I left feeling like the planets had once again shifted in my favour and gratitude coulored my day.

And today the sun decided to shine for nearly two consecutive hours so I raced outside for a run and then a meandering beach walk. Along the way I noticed a joyful creature wading out into the waves, clothing held high to avoid the wet. She galloped along and our hour long walk seemed to both meet and diverge with our own early morning thoughts. As I reached the lighthouse at the headland I turned to retrace my steps. As I looked out to the sea and the sun she was standing tall amongst the waves and simply held her hand high so not to be missed and offered me a jubilant wave of knowing and greeting.

What gifts! For people to share your day – even a minute or a meal or a silent walk. We  can each approach others with the gift of kindness wrapped in nothing more than our precense. A smile, eye contact, a simple wave or invitation can equate to real JOY for not only yourself but others. So please, don’t hold back, offer a little act of kindness to the next solo traveller your meet.

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giving in

I’ve spent the last two days in a rain soaked paradise. Whenever the deluge lightened or a speck of blue burst through the clouds I would convince myself the wet was over. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans as my wet socks, shoes, pants and bags can attest to. Ever the optimist, I was living in denial that the rain had truly set in properly and wasn’t in a rush to leave. Surveying the soggy heap of my limited clothing options I final broke today. Yup, I bought an umbrella. I had to give in and admit that the skies still had more rain to release.

And then, a funny thing happened. That speck of blue sky grew and grew. The clouds were still heavy but the rain remaining barely fell – instead it turned to a light mist.

Surrender – such a powerful behavior and yet so hard to embrace! And yet I think giving in and giving up are two different things. Perhaps if we can soften, give in and surrender just a little bit more we can find a few rainbows of JOY.

holes

Sometimes, right in the middle of living an incredibly JOY filled life, we can fall into a hole. When we do so, its important to first check for injuries. Is there something that needs your immediate attention in order to move forward and out? If so, dive into it and reconfigure the layer that might be bringing you pain.

If not, don’t panic. Instead, start to consider your strategies for getting out. But don’t rush. Its OK to find yourself in the occasional hole. You might even find a friend or insightful shadow in that very same hole. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and sometimes the uneven earth can seem to swallow us up for a bit. Getting out can be a revealing and rewarding experience if we find the courage to look around and look inside.

Take time to consider what lifts you up in life. The company of others, a deep belly laugh with a friend, a piece of music, a walk on the beach, a soulful meditation session, the hand of a lover? Know yourself and seek out what fills you up – then see how much lighter you can feel. Soon enough you’ll be back to floating along in your very own JOY bubble.