One thing you will know about me is that what you see is what you get. Unlike most writers, I’m an extrovert. Although I have a fair amount of emotional intelligence, my behavior quickly tells others when I’m happy or not so much.
The story I’m about to tell you it’s very transparent, and it will show you that we, authors, are learning what we have to teach.
My second book was about to come out, and I had a to-do list the size of Alaska. I printed a clean copy of my to-do list and crossed out the things that have been done to be less overwhelmed with the things I need to do. I took a week’s vacation to get most of those things done. By Wednesday, I realized that I didn’t have enough time to get my list completed and carve some relaxation time.
In addition to my book launch list, I also had a doctor’s appointment for my left foot that bothered me for quite some time. On Thursday morning, I learned there was nothing wrong with my foot except that I need to put it to rest, but I also learned that my blood pressure was high. That was the third time I was dealing with putting so much unnecessary pressure on my body.
That day I correlated the blood pressure with the pressures I was putting on myself to get a perfect book out. I meditated. I walked. I practiced gratitude, but my blood pressure wouldn’t go down, so I reverted to taking the medication by Friday morning. Taking medication again let me feeling disappointed and sad that I couldn’t shake that off.
That same morning, I had a brief encounter with a young manager named Barry, who was part of my team for about two years. My first one-on-one conversation with Barry was about his performance. I told him that he was an “A+” Manager with a “B-“average that sometimes went down to a “D” when he got mad. Barry was an extremely smart and creative young man that didn’t belong in the industry he worked for, but he felt stack because of the money.
After a short hello, Barry shared his plans for a vacation in the following week. His wife was having their second child, and he had planned lots of pampering for her and time alone with his son so his wife could relax. Barry was so excited, nervous, and enthusiastic with the upcoming birth of his baby girl that the room around him was not big enough to contain his happiness. He also shared his dreams of running a bed-and-breakfast with his wife, and how lucky he was.
By the end of that 20 minutes conversation, my feelings about myself had disappeared entirely. I was actually feeling very happy for no reason that I could pinpoint at that time. I left that afternoon to drive to Walden Pond. I was in drawing in joy, thinking about how the ordinary people in your life can have an extraordinary impact on the direction of your hour, your day, or even a lifetime.
As I sat on the grounds in which Thoreau walked his thoughts many years before, I sent Mike a silent thank-you note from Universe. I was feeling blessed, just recalling the happiness that he exuded around him. People’s happiness puts your life into perspective. Usually, I’m the one who brings a new perspective, and that day, I got rewarded.
I am eternally grateful to Barry for sharing a little moment of his life with me.
Happiness releases resistance. I gratefully accepted that I was back taking medication for blood pressure. Once again, I renewed my commitment to eating healthier, getting my behind to walk often, and not skipping Monday’s night volleyball for no reason.
Happiness changes names all the time.
When I left Walden Pond, I learned that our commitment to being happy allows us to be the guiding light to the people around us just as Barry guided me out of my self-judgment into acceptance, love, and happiness. We just need to be in the vicinity of joy, and it gets a hold of us, our space, and our relationships. Happiness is like an unexpected hug from the Universe that lingers.
Plan to be hugged today.
PS.: Barry left the company and started his own business.