Every week . . . no, make that every day . . . random people cross my path who amaze me.
If I take a moment to step out of the fast lane long enough to pause and notice, I see them making their lives happen in simple, but purposeful ways.
Just the other day, my sons and I took a road trip to Venice Beach.
Spend a mere 15 minutes walking the boardwalk on an early spring day, and you’ll find yourself steeped in the whole spectrum of humanity:
We smiled at one guy who played a solo game of street hockey with an old stick and a puck made out of a broken bicycle pedal.
My day-to-day life is not as colorful, but you get the point.
There are people all around us who seem to engage fully in life against all odds. I bet you’ve noticed too.
A while back, I began to play a game around these momentary gifts of wellness. It goes like this:
I see an older gentleman, bundled up against the breeze, with a cane and a limp, walking around the park in my neighborhood.
His TENACITY inspires me to take my own walk on days when I feel overwhelmed by my life and responsibilities.
I listen to my hairstylist, with four kids and a full-time job, tell me about the Tater Tot Chili Casserole she whipped together at the end of a long day.
Her RESOURCEFULNESS inspires me to stop at the grocery story instead of the drive-thru window, and throw together dinner for my family when we all arrive home after chasing real hockey pucks late into the evening on a school night.
I hear my mom on the other end of the phone remembering, with crystal clarity, the long list of everything she’s grateful for in her life these days, even when she can’t remember what she had for breakfast.
Her COURAGE and CHEERFULNESS inspire me to be cheerful about my own life, when all my reasons to smile seem to have headed south to Cabo for spring break without me.
I’ve found “If they can do it, so can I,” to be a transformative mindfulness practice that gives me the compassionate kick in the butt I need, at times, to engage in life against all odds.
Sure the PERSPECTIVE piece in this simple game is of value. Observing people who seemingly struggle more than we do, can make us count our blessings yada, yada, yada . . .
But if we simply smile and scroll past the opportunity like it’s a warm and fuzzy Facebook post, we miss the real wellness gold. Attached to the moment, there’s a fleeting BOOST of positive “I can do this!” ENERGY we can use to get us over the “I have no time, energy, or motivation” hump.
But you must be PRESENT to win . . . and you must be willing to ACT! . . . or the opportunity is lost and you’re back on your cozy couch with your feet up, stuck in the same old groove that never gets you anywhere. (Tough love time, my friends 🙂 )
So, who’s up for a friendly game of WELLNESS WATCHING this week?
I’d love to hear in the comments below, who inspired you to take action, and what you did with that boost of feel-good energy!
Feel good. Be well. Meg