Thriving Women: It is magical full moon night...
Posted on Dec. 20, 2005 at 10:25 a.m.
Hello Wonderful iTHRiVE Women,
It is a magical full moon night….the stars are glimmering and the chill in the air is a perfect container for holiday spirit. There is peacefulness to this time of night that lends itself to reflection and restoration. Tonight, I am thinking of this ‘Season of Giving” and what that means to me. I am thinking of various forms of giving and what has impacted me most in this arena. Many examples have floated across my mind, and yet one in particular seems to me to embody the power of giving that I would like to share tonight. A second story, equally wonderful will be shared in a future newsletter about “paying it forward”.
This is not a Christmas/Chanukah story perse, but to me gives us so many choices of how to respond to the theme of this season. Over a decade ago, I was a newly divorced single mother and just starting my private psychotherapy practice. It was an incredibly challenging time for me – money was very scant, responsibilities were, at times, overwhelmingly immense, and I could literally feel the “wolf breathing on my neck”. It was too scary to look back, and I had to focus on looking straight ahead and taking one tentative step at a time. It was a time for “sticking to the basics”, with little room for extravagance. One of the luxuries that I did afford to myself was occasional trips to Starbucks. One afternoon, I found myself with a break in my schedule and a sag in my spirit, so I decided to make a “Starbucks run”. When I got there, it was uncharacteristically uncrowded. I ordered my drink and just stood there in a kind of weary contemplation. I was awakened from my reverie with the young man behind the counter letting me know that my drink was ready. I paid him and was about to take my drink and leave when he said to me, “Come over here, to this other side of the counter.” He indicated a spot where there was a shorter distance between the customer and server sides of the counter. He had such a kind and gentle demeanor that I did not question this strange request at all, but rather complied and walked to the place he had indicated. He leaned across the counter, put his hands on my shoulders and turned me around so my back was to him. He then proceeded to give me a neck and shoulder massage for several minutes. His touch was firm and yet gentle as I let myself completely surrender to this gesture of kindness. When he was finished, he patted my shoulders, turned me back around, and said, “You just looked like you needed that.” He smiled at me and then turned and went about his business. I took my coffee and returned to my car where I sat for a few moments letting the experience wash over me. Somehow, this angel in man form had sensed my need for nurturing touch. It was a time in my life where very little of that was coming my way, and a lot of energy was coming outward from me to others.
In less than five minutes, this human being changed my world. I left his presence feeling seen, loved and cared for by someone that I knew I would never see again. I felt a hopefulness and lightness of being that carried me forward into my life. This gift is one that I will never, ever forget. It was a powerful, loving and transformative experience for me.
Before you head out to the mall this year, please think about this story. Your loving presence and mindful actions are gifts that pack a huge spiritual punch for others. Your kindness and nurturing compassion can perhaps touch someone in your life and set them in a direction that feels hopeful and promising. At the very least, the connection you will both feel will create that magic sparkle that this time of year is truly all about!
Yours for a lovingly mindful holiday,
Randi and Daniela