Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't Stay In The Shallow End Of The Pool

It was a perfectly harmless coffee encounter. I had just grabbed my piping hot large coffee and found a table in the corner of the little coffee shop. There was a soft mellow jazzy vibe to the place and each table seemed to contain one cool cat after another. I don't mind saying I felt a bit intimidated as if I wasn't quite hip enough to be hanging with such a crowd but hey when in Rome do as the Roman's do.

I grabbed my coffee and nervously ventured out into the array of couches and urban chic tables and chairs. I located a nice quite spot in the corner and thought it to be a perfect spot to cop a squat. As I began to unpack my bag and pull out my laptop a man in his late thirties tapped me on the shoulder. He motioned to the empty chair on the other side of my table and asked, "Do you mind?" clearly expecting to sit down. I looked up expecting to see other empty tables he could have chosen but then realized the little place had grown quite full so I sheepishly agreed.

We both pecked on our laptops for a few minutes when I decided since I was sharing my space with this guy the least I could do was engage the chap in a little conversation. I asked him what he was working on and he proceeded to tell me about what he did for a living but that he had stolen a few moments of his busy day to work on his true passion - digital art. He fancied himself a pseudo digital artist and loved sneaking away from the office for a cup of inspiration and a few stolen moments with his passion.

My casual stop for a cup of coffee turned into a multi-hour visit with this very interesting guy. We talked and shared stories about our mutual loves - his in art and mine in writing and Rippling. I discovered that though he loved digital art he was not quite ready to reveal his work to the world. In fact aside from his wife I was on a very short list of a few people who had ever seen his work. It was amazing and I am quite certain when he does finally decide to put his wares out for the public, he will be very very successful.

It would have been easy to ignore the inconvenience of this stranger asking to share my space that day. I was inclined to do it, let me tell you. But in looking back I am sure glad I didn't. I would have lost the opportunity to meet someone very cool and truly inspiring - something I needed on that day. Funny how life always seems to know that isn't it!?!

You see we can hang out in the safe confines of the shallow end of the pool, fearful of the dark deep abyss of a building upon a new encounter because the shallow end is what we know and where we are most safe. However it's in the deep side of the pool where you are most challenged and where your world opens up and expands to unlimited potential and possibility. Sure it's scary to take a casual conversation to a much deeper level, especially with a stranger. I know it can be intimidating to think about venturing beyond your comfort zone but those feeling last only until you get out there. After all it's the deep end of the pool where all the cool and interesting kids hang out and of course it's where all the fun happens!

So quit worrying about start paddling and watch as the Ripples of your actions take your connections to a whole new level.

Ripple On!!!

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