So, my flight to Hong Kong got cancelled. That sucks, but there have been a few benefits.
Firstly, I got an overnight stay and full meals in the Rydges World Square in the centre of Sydney which led to a stroll through Hyde park while waiting for my rescheduled flight 24hrs later.
That led me to an interesting conversation with a busker. A conversation that has been coming up for me lately so I though I’d share it with you.
I noticed that although he was a wonderful guitarist and singer many people were walking right by him with out even such as a smile or acknowledgement. I sat down on the kerb for about 15 mins thoroughly enjoying his music and watching the reactions of various passers by. Many were virtually oblivious to him and others stayed and listened, others danced with their children and a few stopped to chat and lob a few dollars into his guitar case.
When he was finished his set he came over and we started chatting. I asked him how he feels when some pass by without acknowledging him. He described it like this.
“What I do is like a gift. Playing music is like offering anyone who wants to listen a gift. Whether they choose to take that gift and let the music into their soul, or simply let the sound pass them by in the wind is up to them. I doesn’t affect how I feel about playing unless I choose to. For example, if someone walks past and ignores me I choose not to allow their gifts of anxiety, stress or indifference into my space. I simple let them move through the air and dissipate. However, if someone comes up and talks with me and tells me how much they have enjoyed my songs, I take their gift of gratitude. If another is dancing, I take their gift of joy. I allow that to energise me. What energy I choose to allow as a gift is up to me”
We talked for a while. He was a pretty interesting dude. I thanked him for his gifts, and went along with my walk. The conversation I had with my son earlier in the week came straight to mind as another way of looking at gifts was my way of helping him manage a rough patch at school.
He was talking to me about some comments another student had made to him. He felt embarrassed, and offended. I started the conversation by handing him the only thing I had close by - a tube of hand cream. He took it. I explained that even though I had offered him the gift of hand cream, he was not obliged to take it. He could choose to say “Thank you, but no thank you”
The comments or remarks of another is like being given verbal hand cream. You can choose to take those words, put them into your pocket and hold them close. You can rub them on your body and feel the words as they soak into your skin. Or you can not -
You can choose to in your mind say “Thank you, but no thank you” and let the words float into the air and away. You are not obliged to take the gift. They can keep their gift of those words. That doesn’t mean that you need to be angry at them, but rather be compassionate in knowing that they more than likely put in their pocket gifts of negative words from another. They have not yet learnt how to say “No thank you”.
I said to my son, that when you are content with who you are inside and know that you are worthy, loved and enough you have the strength to choose your own gifts. Gifts that you can receive and those that you give to others. There is power in that.
I see this in coaching and riding too. I see my coaching as a gift (not in the arrogant, special kind of way, but metaphorical). I am offering something of myself to another to help them grow. That is all I can do. I can’t make them take it. To another, sometimes my gifts may look like hard work, something that is difficult or challenging. There are times when I will do this to provoke them to question what they truly believe and help them find the strength and resilience that they don’t yet know they have.
If a rider chooses not to put that into their pocket, it is totally OK. I am not offended or disappointed. Everything is their choice, much like everything I do is my choice. But when a rider chooses to take those gifts and let into their skin, they then have an opportunity to be much more than they though they could. They have an opportunity of taking the gifts of grit, courage and opportunity.
They can then share that with others if they so choose.
We are surrounded by offers of gifts. Be very specific on what ones you choose to take and those that you are happy to say Thank you but, No, Thank you to. Choose only the gifts that will serve you and ultimately help you to grow and flourish. Be grateful for all of them, even the ones you choose not to take, as they show you how you sense of self is boundless.
I can only hope that you see this, as a gift of curiosity and compassion. No problem for me if you choose not to see it that way and let the words pass you by. Your choice. I'm cool with that
Lots of love...