Whenever, I am on a walk or go outside by myself, there is a game I play. (Oh, and by the way, I am an adult woman, professional career and business coach, mom and grandmother…) The game goes like this: I simply say, “God/Spirit/Universe, show me a coin; any spendable coin (penny, dime, nickel, quarter, etc.).”
It has become a game I play just like a little child; and, oh the excitement I exhibit when finding a coin. I cheer and say “thank you so much God/Spirit/Universe.” Then, once back home with my findings, I put them in a gallon jar; again, celebrating my compounding finds from over time.
So, you may be saying to yourself… who is this writer and where in the world is this story going that could be of any value to me as an adult reader. However, you are still curious, right? Okay, I will reveal the real message I wish to share that will, I promise, add value to your personal and professional living.
One beautiful day last week, I went for an exercise and self-renewal walk; and of course, playing the game described above. This specific day I took an extra-long walk and paid close attention to where I was walking. My past experience had told me that the best coin find areas are where people park their cars and in front of their homes where the driveway meets the street (close to where the garbage cans are sitting weekly).
This particular day on my journey, I was super determined to find a coin. My strategically planned walk started by first going to a small park where a couple of families were playing tennis and a young man was shooting some hoops on the neighborhood basketball court. The plan was to scan the parking area where those individuals had parked and where others park on a routine basis as they visit the homeowner’s recreational area. If I did not find anything on the first pass through, I would look again on my return trip. My strategy was in place and my vision was clear…bring home a coin!
Part of the plan was to extend my walk that day by going to a strip mall area parking lot where a fitness gym, restaurant/bar, clothing store, frozen dessert shop and karate studio were located. That offered greater opportunity as there were businesses there; even though they were all closed due to the public shutdown focused on containing the spreading of the Coronavirus.
Midway through my walk and having not yet seen a single coin, I put the pressure on by repeating my request to God/Spirit/Universe; just in case my earlier message had become garbled in the initial transmission.
Weaving around in the mall parking lot making an effort to cover all areas, then taking a slow return walk through the recreational park area parking lot and finally; feeling somewhat disappointed from a lack of reward, stepped into the street to head back home. I felt like a kid from the neighborhood who had excitedly come to play a game of something; but, and no one else showed.
Continuing on my walk and finally letting go of the need to find a coin that day… I consoled myself with the thought that at least I was getting exercise. In the letting go, I noticed the beautiful flowers in bloom, said hello to a few neighbors, tweeted back to a bird in the tree and enjoyed the sunshine and a slight breeze that pushed me along making the inclines easier to navigate.
Just as I rounded the corner to my home, which was about two houses away, my eyes suddenly focused downward on the street directly in front of me. It was almost as if my eyes were pushed to look down at that moment… and to my surprise, I saw a coin. Reaching over to pick up the nickel… I wondered to myself how I could have noticed that coin as it was exactly the same color as the street and was beaten up and dulled by the number of times the neighborhood traffic had run over it. After cleaning it off, I carried the coin in my hand the rest of the way home careful not to lose it.
The remaining short walk to my home brought an awareness and a multitude of thoughts flashing through my mind; as if there was a voice speaking directly to me. What I began to realize was that I had given up on my desire and expectation of finding a coin that day and had accepted that it was just not meant to be; therefore, settling for what was.
While the exercise was a great gift it became clear to me that so often in life, we get excited about our desires and goals, plan a strategy and take action; but if the action does not immediately lead to the exact expected outcome we give up and accept what is. That particular scenario is exactly what happened to me on my walk. I had given up on finding a coin that day and decided; maybe tomorrow. I had accepted what seemed to be the obvious as I was only two houses from my home still with no coin… tonight was not going to be a coin finding night was my accepted position.
After arriving home while sitting on my front steps, I thought about how that happening is so symbolic of what many of us do in life. We give up just short of the finish line and success because it does not fit our timeframe or image of how it will happen. Yes, two houses from home and I had quit believing that success was possible.
Now in looking back at that moment, I am, also, curious about what nudged me to look down on the street, after giving up on my mission. Was my walk that day more about learning a life lesson than finding a coin? It is for sure that life and all its journeys may not fit our strategic plan and perfect vision, but one thing is guaranteed; it is still full of wonderful surprises.
Maybe the message here is to: be clear about your goal, lay out a plan, take action; then be open to the multitude of ways it might come about. OH, AND PAY ATTENTION TO THE NUDGES YOU RECEIVE ALONG THE WAY, TOO!
Blessings in 2020, Patricia Leonard
Speaker, Coach, Author Patricia Leonard & Associates