“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
Imagine the last time that you were walking down a busy street…
The sidewalks filled with people of all ages, backgrounds and status.
What did you feel as you moved along inside the tide of bodies…all briskly walking so close together yet on completely different paths?
Did you keep to yourself? Keeping your head down and not talking to anyone that brushed past you?
Perhaps you put your headphones in so that you could listen to a podcast instead of listening to the noise on the street?
Did you avoid eye contact and pray that you wouldn’t catch the attention of the animated peddler on the corner?
I bet that as you walked through that sea of people, you didn’t pause to think of how connected you actually are to each and every one of them.
So, what would happen if the next time you walked down that busy street, you took your headphones out and you raised your head and looked at every person who passed you?
Do you think you would see something there, in those faces?
Some sort of ancient recognition?
Our minds do a really wonderful job of making us feel disconnected, separated and different from one another.
We spend our lives trying to fill that cracked space in our hearts.
That one that feels empty without the connection we’ve imagined isn’t there.
We actively work on building relationships and friendships with our closest people. Those who we refer to as our “tribe”.
We look for connection in our business. Trying to connect with the right partners and the right audience.
But what if we don’t need to find that connection with people?
I read something recently that settled in me like a seedling falling from its source, slowly moving its way toward the warm and safe center of my heart space.
“If there’s one thing worth doing, it’s discovering self-love. I say “discovering” instead of “learning” because learning implies you’re starting from zero; but the truth is, you already love yourself… you forget your magnificence and think you have to earn the right to be loved. How can you earn what already belongs to you?” – Annie Kagan
These words rolled around inside my head for days…
…not only because they felt authentic and true, but because I could feel there was more to it than that.
I kept thinking to myself, what if the same thing could be said for our connection to one another?
That connection isn’t something that we need to learn or find.
What if it’s something that we already have with everyone and we just need to discover it?
This made me think of an experience I had the other day.
I had just finished a workout at my local gym and I was waiting for my husband to meet me so that we could go home. As I sat there, an older gentleman walked over and sat down next to me.
He smiled at me and said hello, slightly nodding his head in my direction.
The warmth of genuine love and compassion washed over me and as we sat next to each other in silence, I realized that this old man and I had just had an energetic connection.
Aside from, “Have a nice day!” upon my departure, there were no other words exchanged between us.
It’s likely that I will never see that man again, but even still…he’s a part of my tribe.
That’s the beauty of love. It binds us together on more levels than we can ever imagine.
When we love, that soft energy will naturally expand outward. It will fill a room like the sweet scent of a lilac. It will surround others in an energetic blanket of affection.
Start paying attention to all of the interactions that you have throughout your day.
You are energetically connecting to people all day long and when you bring your awareness into the present, you can feel those connections.
You’ll notice just how vast your tribe truly expands.
It’s a stranger helping you with your groceries. Or the person in line ahead of you at Starbuck’s buying your coffee.
It’s every employee who has dedicated their time to helping your business and every colleague who trusts in your vision.
It’s the woman giving you a warm smile as you pass her on that busy street.
It’s the man who waves and nods as he lets you into his traffic lane.
It’s every person who shows you love.
It’s all of the small gestures that say, “I see you.”
When we’re present in this way, we can easily discover how far reaching our love and the love of others truly goes.
The more freely we share kindness and love with others the farther we’re spreading that blanket of compassion and affection across our community.
And you’ll find that doing so feels really good.
So, this month, the month of Valentine’s, the month of love… take some time to love yourself a little bit more.
Love your family and friends a little bit more.
Love the stranger next to you a little bit more.
Know that your love is affecting more than just them.
It’s also expanding outward into the collective, touching every other person in your tribe.