A couple of weeks ago, I sent my friend Katie a note asking if she would like to get together for coffee. I had reached out to her back in January and she had said she was busy until March. It was the end of March and I thought I would try again. I got a message back from her that she loves our talks and really wishes she had time for a coffee but that she just doesn't--maybe it would have to be a chance meeting at Starbucks.
I didn't know what to think. I asked Mel what he thought and he said, "well, clearly, that's a brush off."
On the face of it, it sounded like a brush off, but I didn't think. I was confused and unclear how to respond. I felt sad that someone I really liked didn't have time for me. I felt sad that most of the people around me feel like they are moving really fast and I can't (or don't want to) keep up. I felt a bit lonely. I wondered how I can create relationships I want when we can't find time for coffee. But, what can I do? I resolved to blog about busy, fast paced lives. "Where are we really rushing to, anyway?" I gave up on coffee with Katie and even thought, "chance meeting...not a chance."
Well, about 3 days later I decided to run down to Locke Street to Goodness Me to get some potatoes for dinner. I am not happy with the organic potatoes at Fortino's and have been trying to support Goodness Me because they are genuinely trying to provide great organic produce I can almost afford. I found a great parking spot and was getting out of my car and walking to the meter to pay when I looked up and saw my friend Katie walking up. She held up her travel mug. "I'm going for a latte now. Do you have time?"
I was stunned. Here we were having the chance coffee she had dreamed up. It had happened 3 days after she suggested it. I fumbled around putting money in the meter box and managed to get the ticket on the dash as we both reiterated, "this is pretty unbelievable."
We walked into Starbucks, both of us feeling like we were walking a bit crooked from the surprise of the connection. We talked for about 2 hours. We sat side by side on the comfy couch in front of the fake fireplace and the world disappeared. She asked all the right questions and was so kind and caring that the ice around my heart started to melt. I talked about the last year and the pain I have had as I closed my business and have struggled to find the right work during the recession. I shared a story about a woman in the grocery store two days before who seemed to dislike my children on sight who glared at us and made rude comments every time we saw her. I talked about feeling violated and feeling like the world wasn't quite what I wanted it to be.
I let myself be open and honest and vulnerable. I cried--right there in Starbucks. Katie shared her stories and they were amazing and inspiring. If you want to know more about Katie, you can read her amazing blog at: www.katieg.ca
Most earth-shattering for me was the concept of intention and being able let the universe provide for me. I struggle with faith both generally and specifically. This meeting was such a clear example of intention--hers, not mine. It would have never occurred to me to ask for a chance encounter with Katie. I wasn't feeling like the universe had been giving me what I needed. I was feeling tired, raw and trying to recover from the last year.
At some point Katie said, "Right now, Melanie, there is no place in the world I would rather be than right here." The thought of this opened my heart. It was true for me to. In that moment, suddenly life was more than enough.
Then, I had a thought. Maybe I've been working too hard, trying to make things happen instead of setting some positive intentions and allowing them happen.
I shared some stories with Katie about my life and the amazing abundance. I told her about lying in bed in the middle of the night in the wee hours of the morning two years ago and thinking I would really like to start collecting art. I told her about the art that has started to arrive in my life in so many ways.
I told her about a friend who shared some amazing jewelry with me recently and how it has made me feel more beautiful and stylish.
I told her I had been wanting to go on vacation more and my father-in-law has offered to share his timeshare with us and we are going away in June.
I told her about thinking I would really like a new big piece of furniture in my dining room and how I found a Buffet on Free-cycle(http://www.freecycle.org/group/CA/Ontario) that I refinished and have in my dining room. It is beautiful.
I realized as I was talking that I seem to do well when I set intentions, hope for good, and ask for what I need. Then a really creepy thought came to me. What if I have been expecting the worst,too--summoning up the negative, seeing the glass as perpetually empty. What if I have expected crabby, mean people in my life and I have gotten what I expected? What if it really is up to me to change what the world is handing me by changing what I am asking for? What if I have been selling myself short?
I caught a glimmer of the idea of asking for a more fulfilling life for myself. I want to expect better, to intend better and to expect a better life. To live in gratitude rather than pain. It was a full feast to think about for my mind and spirit.
At some point, Katie and I stumbled outside, still a bit woozy from the power of the encounter.
As I am writing this, a few days later, I still have tears. I believe forgot to look for the best in my life and got stuck expecting the worst. I forgot to need, to hope, to desire, to dream. I forgot to ask for what I need. I got cranky and bitchy and full of expectations and left gratitude and wonder behind.
Now what? Look out..