The other day when I went to the grocery store I had a lot on my mind and I was deep in thought. I had recently made a decision to live more consciously, to be present in my life, awake and aware, and I suddenly remembered that decision and snapped myself out of the complete daze I found myself in.
It was as though I had awakened from a dream.
I stood at the front of the grocery store and looked around. There were about 10 long check out lines. It was an extremely busy place. I could see from where I was standing that almost everyone was asleep. Not one person was truly conscious. They were all lost in their own thoughts, daydreaming about something else or someplace else, reflecting on today’s tribulations or tomorrows obligations. I couldn’t help but notice one young man talking on his cell phone during the entire payment process. He never once acknowledged the cashier, it was as though she didn’t even exist, was simply a robot. I am sure that if I had gone up to him on his way out the door and asked him what the cashier looked like, he would not have been able to tell me whether it was a man or a woman who had served him.
The other cashiers were going through the same motions as well, meeting the requirements of their jobs in order to ensure a paycheck at the end of the week or month, but they were not really there. It was as if they sent their bodies to work while their souls stayed at home. Most of the customers didn’t really notice either because they were in that same place, lost, present in body but absent in mind.
But there in lane number 3 stood a tall lanky young man who seemed to really be enjoying himself. It was as if I was watching a black and white movie and his check out line was in glorious living colour. After I picked up my groceries, I decided to wait in his cue. As I approached him, he greeted me as though I were his long lost friend. His smile warmed my heart and his eyes looked deeply into mine. I felt for those moments as though I really mattered to him and when he asked me how I was doing, he really meant it. I felt visible, valuable, like I mattered. An ordinary day at the grocery store became an extraordinary encounter. A deep connection with another human being.
I left that store feeling uplifted and alive, and vowing to myself to always remember to BE HERE NOW!
Life is now. And then I remembered something Marianne Williamson had said to me in an interview. “No one is more important than the person in front of you right now.”
When you live your life from this place, everything changes. You stop rushing through it and really begin to enjoy the process of living. Each moment matters and the everyday mundane things of your life take on a new dimension. Every email you write is written from a more gentle and loving place as if you are writing to a real person and of course you are. Every telephone call is an opportunity to connect with someone else who is walking with you on this journey and has encountered you on their path. What will you say to them that perhaps they have been waiting to hear, longing to hear?
So many people are walking around dead in jobs they hate. I remembered reading a story of a fellow who worked in a nursing home who truly hated his job. One morning he was assigned to an older gentleman who was very frail and weak. He was washing his chest when the old man looked up at him with tears in his eyes and said “You are such a kind man” The fellow suddenly realized how important his job was. He may have been washing that man’s body but he was really tending to his soul. From then on he started loving his job. Where his eyes had been closed and his heart shut, now they were opened.
The next person, place or thing you encounter may be the most important in your life so far. Will you remember to BE HERE NOW?
Stay tuned for more inspirational words to come…