What Can Happen When You Have Your Mouth Full
I met an incredible woman. I was at a small business awards event as a guest judge and someone stopped me to chat. I had a mouthful of canapés and I could not actually respond. She kept on asking me questions that I could sign the answer to. I must admit it was a little strange. Eventually (when I had finished my sausage roll) she asked me what I do.
Occasionally I find these situations tough.
DON’T ASK ME
Honestly, sometimes I don’t want people to ask me what I do because when I’m socializing I don’t want to be working. Too often people hear what I do and see me as a person they can tell their deepest troubles to. It can be annoying – I just want to clock off… yes I know, ridiculous considering where I was and yes I am aware I sound like an ungrateful brat, read on.
TELL ME ABOUT YOU
To deflect I asked her about herself. The answer she gave made me humble, inspired, and frankly embarrassed at my attitude. It re-awakened my sense of awe in the human spirit and our capacity to overcome not only life’s circumstances but also our own limiting beliefs.
Put simply my new friend was in a very successful business with her husband. He died unexpectedly. She was left without her life partner, running a business that she was familiar with but that was not her passion, warehouses of product, teams of employees, suppliers waiting, no exit strategy and no time for grief.
IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK
She’s writing a book about it and here is why I found her inspiring. The book is not about the part of her journey I just described. That’s just the backdrop. It simply sets the scene for what comes next, the real story.
The real story is about her deciding to activate the person she already was internally but was not living. In her words she ‘simply brought who she really was to the moment that transformed the landscape of her life’.
She realized her life was being lived as though nothing could disturb it, as though there would always be tomorrow, as though all the things that she REALLY wanted to do with her life and her relationship could wait because there would always be time.
And then time dropped away and life happened.
NO TIME… LIKE THE PRESENT
I have to say I was stopped in my tracks. I had to gauge my arrogant attitudes about time being my servant and my sometimes reckless squandering of it against the finality of her experience. I had to reconcile my lack of appreciation against my wonderful life, relationships and business. Was I wasting time not being all I could be, playing safe, prioritizing the mundane and then moaning about it? Where was my gratitude?
Why do we believe we are in control of LIFE and that we will always have time when it’s obvious that’s impossible?
It was an incredibly challenging notion – if it all stopped tomorrow could I look back and be satisfied that the things I did, said and made so important were actually meaningful? Did they make me and others happy? Would my life have expressed accurately who I was? Would my business have been the one I really wanted it to be? Had I shown enough love?
Life can be transformed and unrecognizable in an instant.
What she learnt was her own incredible capacity to overcome.
What I learnt was that true perspective can come unexpectedly. It can be a blessing. You just never know who you might meet when your mouth is full and you don’t feel like talking; but so glad I asked and listened.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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