Here is your educational mission: (1) Find the very best in you each day and use it; (2) Show the world your beauty, your courage, your understanding, your awareness, your creativity, your love. … If we are to live in joy and in accomplishment, we must release our cells from self-imposed restrictions so they can sense, interpret and move with us in the changing times. We need to be ready to respond, and to use experiences to our advantage. … there must be a willingness to let your cellular structure respond to the immediate event. Each day should be looked upon as the entrance to an adventure … Gregge Tiffen (What You Should Get From Education – September, 2007)
This week a deeper understanding and appreciation of my willingness to respond to what’s in front of me to is unfolding. I’m experiencing the joy and satisfaction of having responded to the flow of life in the moment rather than putting it off for a ‘more convenient’ time. And, I’m examining some habitual responses to life’s daily events.
Since closing the B&B, I often answer the phone only if I know who’s calling, and if it’s convenient, and if I want to engage. The unanswered calls go to voicemail to be checked later … sometimes much later. When I’m engaged in a focused project or conversation with someone else, this approach is great for maintaining flow, focus and concentration – necessary elements in business and life.
But, an event this week has me questioning my approach other than when it’s absolutely necessary.
A missed phone call on Monday morning – I didn’t reach the phone until the call had rolled to voicemail – and, not recognizing the number, I finished the task I was engaged in before checking to see if the caller left a message.
Yes, they did. “Hi, it’s ____ (a friend whom I’ve known for 10+ years). I’m in jail and … . Please call this number and let the sheriff know you got this message and whether you can help. Thanks!”
It took a few moments to get my head around what I’d heard. My heart kicked in as well. “Yes, I can bring money for your bond …” I said when I quickly returned the call and the sheriff brought my friend to the phone. I moved into action – calmly and clearly much to my surprise – transferring funds and stopping at the bank to withdraw cash (filled with gratitude that I was able to do so and knowing that I’d be repaid immediately). Cash in hand, I drove across the county, feeling calm, curious and aware of the opportunity to embrace and learn from a totally new experience. No, I’d never bailed someone out of jail before.
I had no idea what to expect in the process, why my friend was there, or what their state of mind would be. The process was straightforward and the sheriff on duty was one of the kindest, most professional public servants I’ve ever met. In sharing what had happened my friend said, “well, that’s an experience I’ve never had!” showing calm and courage in the midst of stressful conditions coupled with recognizing the event as a learning opportunity.
The day unfolded with several related events and adventures. In reflecting later I wondered ‘what if I’d not listened to that voicemail and responded fairly quickly?’ How would I feel and what opportunities might I have missed? What if the situation was reversed and I was the one in need of assistance? In these reflections, I concluded that ‘it’s good to answer the call’.
My willingness to go with the flow, to “let my cellular structure respond to the immediate event” was reinforced as I recognized that a chance introduction on a morning walk several months back when I’d taken time to engage in a brief conversation manifested a friendship that expanded into a collaborative business opportunity taking shape just this week.
With our daily routines, our habits, jobs, responsibilities, etc. etc. it’s challenging to embrace each day as an adventure, an opportunity to “find the best in ourselves and use it” to show the world (and ourselves) our beauty, our courage, our understanding, our awareness, our creativity and our love. But in this week of surprising events and new awareness, I’m deepening my commitment to do just that.
What/Who is calling you right now? Pick up the call!