Cinderella Moment, Important Bucket and Change

(Composed; 2017-Dec-10 )

Damn? I have no clue where to start. Where am I? Where have I been? At the moment I’m on a KLM flight from Helsinki to Amsterdam. I can finally manage to say, we have been to HELsinki. Passing through the aisle at the moment, the young female KLM flight attendant. I extended a genuine thank you and shared how her smile is nothing but infectious and she is beautiful. Of course, only made her smile more.

A genuine compliment can go so far, a smile lasts, laughter can make things lighter in almost any situation. Wondering earth, exploring one take off at a time, isn’t it about creating a human connection to the world around us, not foregoing the opportunities to; connect, make an impact, even if small? I believe that it is not we should, rather we must, leverage each and every opportunity to do just that.

Why haven’t I posted in a while, or over a year? I realize that I sacrificed my time to collect my thoughts for other things in life, reflecting back, some trivial in nature, others just a full distraction to what is in my ‘important bucket‘. Tasks for the HOA board, neighbors, and some work activities. I never stopped yearning to express my ramblings, even if zero people ever read these words. Accepting I had no time to read a book, yet a clear opportunity for mindful growth before me in a list of novels; placing so many other things in life before those of importance to me when shouldn’t I do something that expands my mind? Reward my efforts, help me find calm, learn myself better and share along the way?

What has been going on in the past year. Travel has been a blessing, venturing into so many places around the globe. Connecting to people along the journeys, glued to the window like a child for each take off, the twinkle of stars in the darkness of night crossing the ocean, and that single moment where the jet touches down on the runway. Realizing, I’ve arrived. My weekend, a trip for 36 hours to Helsinki, exhausting, but wouldn’t change the trajectory. See as much, learn as much, share when I can. Sharing, I have transitioned my thoughts to what content I post on Instagram (Instagram: the.humanelement) . Compared to the monotony of Facebook. Scrolling through photos on Instagram, seeing the world, emotion, creating, rather yet, evoking feeling from others shared moments. Avoiding the endless selfie people, striking a pose, gym bunnies, torsos, the same pose, oversharing and using the platform to live life through likes. Moving away from Facebook has provided an opportunity to opt out of most of the political swirl, hurtful words, misunderstanding of reality and lack of depth which continues to grow within humanity around us. People accept word as truth, gospel, when all too often, it’s false. Easier to accept versus validate.

Giving thought to moments, all too often people spend seconds trying to create the illusion of a moment in a photo, whereas the photo should be capturing only but a second of the moment. One could say sharing the photos of my travels is an some way a means to make others jealous, conversely, so many appreciate seeing the adventure, understanding the focus on connection in the captions of recent. Asking, answering, why did I capture the photo? What was the second in that moment.

Change… the thought to my ramblings continues to reinforce my focus, The Human Element ( Post: A journey to define The Human Element (THE) ) Why? When I reflect on a journey, the greatest moments in life, good or sad, they all are underpinned by The Human Element. In life, we have a choice of which side of the bed to get up from. We have a choice in our career path, too often people share excuses of why they can’t change their own course. Key word, their course, no one can change it, not a right, rather a series of choices. Choices; my sister shared words of wisdom on a journey home. We are all three choices away from being homeless. Give thought to that? A small choice, a big choice. Should a choice limit consideration to exploring a different path? Should we avoid change in our lives which for so many have been entrenched in repetitive routines, bringing us minimal feeling of contribution and satisfaction, the mere drive for us to get out of bed? Should it make us feel in that small moment, I didn’t make it to the gym and feel guilty, I enjoyed time with friends over laundry – choices.

Change, living, humanity, what is around us? Do we even see what is around us? What we have? What we need versus what we feel we need? Nick looked over at me a few minutes ago with concern during our take off from Helsinki. Why was I staring out the window? Why did I have tears in my eyes? Watching us accelerate along the runway, passing the lights below, the moment of rotation and our journey takes towards the sky. Two things, when we take flight we are closer to those in heaven, second, our life is like a takeoff, the plane needs the runway, has to accelerate, and the pilot has to make a decision to rotate. It requires a commitment. I am so fortunate to have explored the world one take off at a time. Candidly, my childhood was not easy, I made tough trade offs in life, my father played the role of two parents balancing out four children. Why tears? As a child, I never would have imagined I would be looking out the window in darkness, returning home from another trip to Europe this year with Nicholas by my side.

I’ve been fortunate through means I often cannot comprehend. Over the past few months I connected to a person that relocated to the “ATL” from SF. Those coming from west coast or north east, yes… ‘the’ is required. While I have only been in this persons presence once in person, we manage to check-in throughout the week via text. At times, it allows me to check out, re-calibrate and reset. Over the short time, I have felt a genuine connection to someone that faced similar life obstacles and recognizes it’s the choices we make that can allow a different outcome, versus the outcome dictated by the cards that we use as an excuse, “being dealt”. I ask questions on leadership, philosophy on life, balancing, family, coping, celebrating; one takeaway – pick one thing that gives you personal satisfaction and pursue it. Thus, this post at 8am. Cliche, we say don’t judge someone by their shoes unless you have walked in them. For this individual, don’t judge someone by their shoes they wear today for you most likely cannot fathom the sacrifices they have made not only for themselves but others in their ‘important bucket‘. Cinderella went to the ball with a glass slipper, a shoe of envy, the audience around her showed no compassion prior to the ball, nor would they at 12 once she reverted back. She took a chance, she had, was has become, a Cinderella moment. For a few moments her life was surreal. Do people realize when they have one? Does it have to be of great magnitude?

Illustration of an original glass slipper design fit for capturing a prince

No, a simple connection to those around us, that can be a Cinderella moment not for me, rather for others. A true moment is genuine with no expectation of personal gain. You could say the satisfaction one gets is personal gain, perhaps, but as long as we continue to seek out ways to make one person’s day better, one moment better, one second better, the tide will reflect well on us, it always comes back ten fold.

The Dalai Lama has an incredible philosophy on when we wake up. ( Post: How One Restless Night Changed My Life )

Put the effort into making the world a little better, I assure you, it can be the most empowering feeling, calm, and connection.

Be humble, be grateful, be true to you.

– Douglas

Photo: Zurich, 2017-11-26

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