Listening to the Universe.
Two nights ago I happened upon Patrice, a LA guy riding the bus to and from Boston as a stop on his world tour. With an oversized square backpack sitting snugly on his shoulders I had a sense he was up to something good. Sure enough, the sought after dream turned out to be a documentary about the power of art.
Patrice told me about his adventures in Thailand, Japan, South America, San Jose, and New York; of chance encounters with communities painting murals on buildings and a sit down with Noam Chomsky.
After we exchanged stories of future travel dreams and discussed serendipitous events I waved farewell to Patrice. In reply he called back, "I hope our paths cross again someday." And a part of me believes that they will.
Believing that many of our trials and tribulations take place for a reason, even in our darkest days where are hearts cannot search long enough for the answer to the things that are happening around us, I try to pay attention to the universe. I try to listen more - to people's stories and to questions from strangers, even as earbuds so intentionally command our attention. I try to shut off my phone and look around at people's expressions and at the person sitting quietly at the bar next to me. Heart propped up with a drink, eager to tell their story.
What if we all listened more? If we showed up in each moment and let go long enough to hear the whispers the world sent along, tapping us on the shoulder, and hoping that we'll stay tuned into our surroundings long enough to perk up.
This week I challenge you to do just that. For one day. Or just one hour. Pay attention. Listen. Talk to a stranger. And notice what the people around you are saying. Perhaps if you let go long enough to hear her whispering, the universe might gift you with a new friend, a new partner, or simply a new story.