I’ve just returned from a two-week tour of Australia and New Zealand. It was a powerful and magical journey, a tapestry of experiences that left an indelible impression on me. What I found most rewarding was the people and friends I met up with in both countries. I was humbled by the support so many offered and pleased that all my workshops and private sessions were filled long before I got there.
One experience that set the theme for the entire tour stands out. I had already presented a talk at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival in Sydney and was prepared to go to Mysterys Bookstore in Penrith for two days of private sessions and a workshop. My friend Peter had already offered to drive from their home in Penrith, which was one hour away, pick me up in Sydney where I was staying, and take me to Penrith. Up until he offered I had not been sure how I would get there, though I had considered taking either the train or a taxi as I decided not to rent a car for the trip. In addition he offered that I could stay at his house (with the gracious blessing of his wife) rather than return to Sydney only to come back the next day.
Since he’d arrived somewhat early I asked him if he wanted a “long black” before we headed to Penrith, which is hot water added to a double shot of espresso, He agreed, so we went to the little café next to the hotel where I stayed. I approached the counter to order breakfast—Peter had already eaten on the way here—and stood in line behind one fellow. This man walked away, slightly limping, holding onto a cane.
I noted a $20 bill on the counter and pushed it towards the clerk. She pushed it back toward me saying the man just before left it and said to pay for the next person’s order! I was rather stunned, quickly going through all of my reasons why I shouldn’t accept it. It didn’t take me long to surrender to the fact that this truly was a gift, an offering that I needed to receive gracefully and with gratitude. I ordered my meal and two long blacks and sat down at a table with Peter.
I told him what happened, both of us nodding in amazement and amusement, and wondered what was the message from Spirit. I then heard my Inner Voice: “Receive and pay it forward.” This confirmed what already had been happening evidenced by Peter’s willingness to drive me to the bookstore and his offer to stay at his place, amongst other gifts I’d received already.
I recognized it was important to maintain these principles and the attitude of gratitude for whatever gifts Life had to offer, in whatever form they were given. Following that experience at the café there were many other wonderful gifts from others, both tangible and intangible. From that day on throughout the entire trip and even now while I sit at this computer I do my best to maintain these principles and attitudes. Even a simple thank you when anyone does a small favor is important, such as waving a “thank you” to the driver that stopped to let me cross the street yesterday.
It occurred to me that by being willing to open heartedly receive from other people that it is truly a gift to the giver. I know that when someone expresses their gratitude for whatever I give them, it makes me feel appreciated and respected. When I turn that around I realize that when we receive something from someone and openly acknowledge our appreciation, the giver in turn is rewarded.
I encourage you to try this: for one day, look for every opportunity to express your gratitude and appreciation for what is offered to you, in word or in deed, whether it’s the food you eat, the sunshine you bask in, or a hug from someone you love. Especially thank the Creator of All for your life and all that you have in your life.