Do you sometimes look back and marvel at how your whole life changed in a moment and a door to authentic happiness opened because of some small, apparently insignificant action that you took?
JoAnn and I celebrated July 4, America’s birthday, like everyone else, but we also had something very personal to celebrate.
16 years ago, on July 4 1995, I was living in a senior citizens apartment block in Vancouver, British Columbia, devastated and demoralized by the sudden death of my wife, and the collapse of the spiritual community that had been my home for 36 years.
I had a nudge to give JoAnn a call
I decided to visit Colorado and stay for a few days at a community near Loveland where I knew I could find some friendship and support in the midst of my grieving.
But shortly before I was due to leave Vancouver for Denver a memory triggered in my brain.
I remembered how a couple of years previously, a Denver woman had applied to attend a small writing workshop I was putting on. Her name was JoAnn Workman, and she had written me a nice note of apology saying she wouldn't be able to attend the event because her plans had changed.
"Why don't you give her a call?" said an inner voice. "Be brave. Ask her if she would like to meet for a coffee sometime while you're in Colorado?"
So that's what I did. I looked up her phone number in the Denver white pages and gave her a call.
“Is this all I’m supposed to be doing with my life?”
JoAnn was alone in her town house when I called. We had never met. She remembers vividly what she was doing just before the call came through. "I was sitting in my chair asking myself, ‘Is this all I'm supposed to be doing with my life?'
"Then two things happened almost simultaneously. I don't really know which came first. The phone went, and at the same time I felt a presence sitting in the chair just across the room from me.
“It was all so surreal and unexpected that I was totally flustered when I picked up the phone.
“It was like another special moment in my life when I was sitting at my desk in a Shell office in Houston. My Dad had just died, and I felt him come by my desk and say goodbye."
Listen to the little nudges within
JoAnn and I talked for a little bit and agreed to meet while I was in Colorado. And now here we are, 16 years later, sitting together in our new town home in Denver. Cracking a champagne because it’s July 4 – and celebrating a strong, loving relationship born in that awkward, but magical little phone call long ago.
Listen to the little nudges that life brings to you. We live increasingly busy lives and that busyness can easily distract us from the wisdom inherent within us.
Never doubt that there is a hand of grace upon your life. It is the hand of love, and its vision is not limited in the same way that the vision of our own human mind is limited.
Some thoughts about Boomers
I’ve been thinking about Boomers lately, now turning 65 at the rate of some 10,000 people a day, and the challenges that this segment of the population faces. And (talking about nudges) I’m feeling I would like to include Boomers a bit more directly in the focus of my blog.
I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have on this, and on a proposed new tagline for The Happy Seeker. It goes like this: “Helping Boomers and others find authentic happiness.”
Do you have any thoughts or experiences regarding “life’s little nudges” that you'd like to share? Please do write and join the conversation.
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