Saturday, November 10, 2007

More Random Positive Energy

In my post "Happy Heart," I wrote about strangers approaching me positively and my friend predicted this would happen to me more. I have to jot 3 separate incidents. First of all, it's important to understand my personality, which is hard to convey virtually. I'm an extroverted Introvert. I can be very animated, super friendly and chatty among small groups or one-on-one. However, I don't reach out to people if I don't have a reason or context. I am happy to stay within my own boundaries. There are time when I have to psyche myself to take a step outside.

An interesting example is that I've been a member of my gym for 4 years, going up to 3x a week. I go in, work out, and leave. I say hi to the receptionist, but I don't talk to anyone, especially avoiding eye contact with trainers lest they try to loop me into some promotional deal. My husband joined the gym 6 months ago. We went to lunch at Baja Fresh and the gym people had a promotional table set up there. My husband approached them with a "Yo, man, how's it going!?", laughing and shaking hands with the manager. Then they asked me if I wanted to be a member!!

Anyway, these are the three situations of random positive energy that have come my way.

1. A few weeks ago I was walking around the neighborhood where my daughter takes her dance class. I found a thrift store and looked for some books. I chatted with another customer about a whole range of topics. A few hours later, I ran into her again at the Indian store, which I had recommended to her, since she was interested in all-things-Indian. We ended up chatting for good bit of time, exchanged emails, etc. Very positive experience meeting someone randomly!

2. Yesterday at the gym, I had some extra time to indulge in the sauna. I noticed a cell phone and eyeglasses were left on the bench. I thought the cell phone would get damaged in there, so I placed it on the counter in the locker room.

An older woman came out and asked me "Did you lose an earring?"

"No, I'm good," I said as I checked my ears.

"It's a shame to lose such a pretty earring. I found it by the shower."

"I know.. you know, I found that cell phone and glasses in the sauna." pointing to the counter.

"Oh my God! that's mine!" she said. "I can't see a thing without these. Oh my God, thank you so much!" as she grabbed the glasses and cell phone.

She was extremely relieved and we chatted a bit more. She ended it by saying, "The world needs more people like you."

Really? I thought that was such a generous compliment for something so ordinary and intuitive. Would another person just take the cell phone?

3. After the gym, I went shopping. At the store, there were two lines to purchase. The first line had 4 people with medium quantity of items and the second line had 1 person with a lot of items. I decided to take the line with 1 person. I knew I'd have to wait as she had many items that needed to be hand-wrapped up.

My sister called and I spoke with her for a minute or two. I browsed the sunglass display. I took off the hangers on my items. I looked at the woman's purchases and wondered who she was buying all these things for? Grandchildren? Daughter-in-law?

When the salesgirl rang up the other customer's order, the customer fell short in cash. So, she had to write a check. Sales girl is ringing this up. I'm just hanging out. I checked the other line and people were still waiting. So, I would've been waiting regardless of the line I chose.

Finally the woman was done with the packing and paying. She said to me, "I am so sorry.. thank you so much for your patience. You deserve a medal!"

Really? I'm just waiting here. However, I can imagine more anxious people pacing up and down, loud sighing, making noises of exasperation, calling someone on their cell phone to complain "omg, this line is taking foreeeeeverrrr!"

Maybe I'm just starting to notice these compliments and interactions. Life is freeing my attention to look externally, outside of my own space. Maybe they are coming my way for some other reason.

Either way, I'm happy that I could make someone's day a little nicer in an ordinary way, and they made my day extraordinary!

These moments are like sparklers - brief flashes of light that delight and amaze. Happy Diwali!


Anonymous said...

I am also,mostly like that, never get worked up over small things, except of late :), did you read my cardinal sins post, i trampled on all the people that were in my way and out !!

ZenDenizen said...

I can't stand waiting on line, I'll actually abandon a cart full of stuff if it means waiting, lol.

I liked your first story because meeting people on the internet is cool but I wish I could connect with more people in real life.

Anonymous said...

TAAMom - I read your Cardinal Sins post and I think that's a good example of the importance of paying attn to what we're doing. If that lady did not confront you, you wouldn't have written that post - forcing you to rethink your behavior. And, hopefully you'll be more attentive even when you're in a rush.

To be "bold" doesn't mean you have to walk over people, and to be "nice" doesn't mean you're laying yourself down as a rug ("walk over me please!).

Zen - I think an element of self-confidence is involved here, looking at people in the eye. For example, I read that when you shake hands with someone, make a note of their eye color. That forces you to look directly at them for a second or two longer. And, YOU will notice when they shrink from you. :-)

mermaid said...

Haapy Diwali IB. BTW, how did you name yourself Indigo Bubbles?

The Universe is magical, isn't it? I think I understand extroverted introvert.

I will rememeber that story of the man and the waves for some time to come.

Jennyk said...

I think it is a wonderful gift to meet people so naturally, without effort. My husband and girls always comment because I tend to meet people so easily and always have an interesting story that follows.
We live in such a fast past world. The majority of people are surprised when you offer to lend a helping hand. Just today while shopping at Macy's I had an extra 15% off coupon. I offered the coupon to people standing in line. A woman approached me and thanked me for the coupon. She was awe struck by my genorosity:)