One of the most wonderful people I know, a true Soul Sister, is full of wisdom. We hike together on Tuesday mornings each week. We share our thoughts, our ideas, our lives. We partake in fascinating conversations about our personal journeys and the state of our world. Our spiritual beliefs are in alignment, and our world view, our philosophies of life, are in sync. We have known each other for well over two decades and the level of ease and comfort we feel is sublime. She is someone to whom I can say anything, someone I go to when there is something I need to work through. I cherish her. The world needs more friendships like ours- uplifting, fulfilling, delightful. Our Tuesday morning hikes on the gorgeous trail where we meet have been renamed Tuesday Trail Therapy. Post-hike I feel refreshed, filled with new wisdom, encouraged, enlightened, inspired. I love Tuesday mornings!
This friend has a wonderful way of looking at difficult situations, and has helped me see my challenges at work from a new perspective. She states that we are Agents of Change. She has had several experiences in business and other engagements where there was conflict, negativity, cattiness, backstabbing, lack of leadership, mismanagement. We have that in common, the frustration of having been a manager who creates by empowering, bringing out the very best in our teams, making a real difference by sifting through the rough to find each person’s pearl. We have each found ourselves in situations where the seeming opposite is the style. She helps me work through my irritations and disappointments in my current circumstances. Yesterday, I had another encounter that sent me fuming, and fortunately, once I stopped spewing about how upset the attack on my character made me feel, I remembered what Janice often states: “I am an Agent of Change.” She calls our placement in these predicaments “A Divine Assignment”.
Sometimes we are placed in an environment to impact that environment in the most positive way possible merely by showing up as our best selves, by being an Influencer, an Uplifter, a Light that shines to remind others of their light. Sometimes we put ourselves in a place where we learn by growing, where we encounter struggle and difficulty so we can become stronger, more resilient, wiser, develop a tougher skin. Both describe my current role of employment. When one of the management team verbally attacked me yesterday with her words of disempowerment and criticism of my social nature, I wanted to take her down. She is young and green and has no idea what it means to lead people, and although I know this, it drives me to intense frustration. I realize I should not share my heart with someone like that, but every once in awhile I forget and hear myself saying something that I can’t rewind and undo.
Yesterday I was upset about something that happens on a regular basis where I work. We have a large and loyal wine club whose members come in often to partake of the incredible wines and environment. They happily bring their family and friends, and love to stay for a couple of hours. They naturally expect to be treated like royalty and we honor that, as they are the foundation and main support of the winery. Yesterday I took immaculate, well above-and-beyond-care of a large group of wine club members who had brought in their kids for the first time. A lot of my day involves teaching, story telling, sharing details and interesting facts about the history, the family, and the wines. It means I put out a huge amount of energy, effort and time with each group. It is typical for a group to stay for two hours as they experience an elevated exposure to this high level of wine tasting and education. Nearly every party tells me how much they loved their time with me and how much they appreciate all I share and the generosity I show them. This particular party was very happy, acknowledged that I had given them the royal treatment as they remained in their section for at least two hours. They left without leaving a dime. Many people don’t know that in the service industry, at least in this part of the world, our wages are barely above the minimum. At this winery there is no commission on sales, so our income is our tips. Many people are under the false belief that we are well paid, compensated in commissions, or somehow make our living without their generosity – and this confounds me and my colleagues. It would be wonderful if the company supported us by somehow expressing how much we depend on and appreciate tips, but I guess they see that as unprofessional. It is somewhat devastating to receive nothing in return for giving exceptional service. I know that one of the great lessons I need to learn further is to not take anything personally, to let irritants roll off my back like water off a duck. Not easy for this highly sensitive soul! And not easy when tips are how I pay my bills.
I made the mistake of sharing (with the wrong person) my sadness and irritation about being left with nothing by this group, as they were most of my afternoon potential for income. I lamented that they didn’t even leave me a penny-and I shared this with a person who turned it all around as an opportunity to criticize me for expressing myself. This is typical of her, she is insensitive and has a tendency to offend. I see it now as yet another example that I am there as an Agent of Change. I can learn to stay happy and bright even with the negative energy I receive. I can also learn to keep my mouth shut! There are a few people I can honestly share with, a select few, and I need to remember to only share my frustrations in private with them. The Universe always puts people in our paths who are our greatest teachers, and I suppose it would behoove me greatly to say THANK YOU to each and every one of these teachers but dangit, sometimes growth isn’t any fun at all.
I came home from my work day to drink several delicious mocktails and was treated to a wonderful dinner out, my first since all of COVID. In conversation and sharing about my day, I received unconditional support, compassion, and empathy concerning the aforementioned situation. Not everyone in my world likes me, or cares about me, or sees me as I want to be seen, but I am beyond grateful to have those in my life who do see me, know me, understand me, love me. Waking up early this morning I felt inspired, hopeful, eager, filled with the joy of vitality. Sober living has brought me to new heights of awareness of who I am, what makes me tick, my purpose in life. Maybe I am in the “Pink Cloud” of early sober-euphoria, but that doesn’t mean I have to worry and fret that it will end. I am learning the meaning of mindfulness on a whole new level, and I choose to appreciate this moment- right here, right now, to the fullest. Let’s have a mocktail toast to living the good life! We Agents of Change are needed to heal our hurting world. When we show up as the best version of ourselves in each of our relationships, when we are able to share our love, our hearts, at the highest level, we have an exponentially positive affect on the entire world. As we live our best lives, we influence others to do the same. Here’s to the sweet life: may we live it, feel it, appreciate it, create it!