A couple of months ago,* In February, I met a new friend for the first time. (*I’ve been sick a ridiculously long time, and I started this post back when I was well.)
We met at Zeitgeist, a cool coffee shop/art gallery in an older part of town, a place roughly mid-way between us, a place it turns out we both liked from earlier times living in Seattle.
Being an older part of town with the city grown up around it, parking can be a bear. I arrived first, parked directly across the street, and claimed a table in sight of the door.
I knew Dorothy right when she walked in – thank you, facebook and instagram – and we stepped easily into our first hug.
“Oh, the parking!” she said.
I agreed, “It’s bad, and the construction doesn’t help. I have good parking karma, though. Actually, I have a Parking Buddha.”
You might have the same puzzled look now that Dorothy wore then. Parking karma you understand. But Parking Buddha? Then I told Dorothy a (slightly) abridged version of this story. I just launched right into it, before we even had our coffees ordered.
Later, after a couple of hours of easy conversation, we talked about how we met: through Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks.
Early last fall, Karen ran her Path Finder course for the first time. Dorothy and I each signed up, and soon connected through post comments, #chookfinder tweets, and facebook. Something clicked, as it does when you meet someone who will be part of your tribe.
There is recognition, comfort, ease.
Even though we met online, we both live in and near Seattle, and began to throw out the idea of getting together “sometime”. Fortunately, that didn’t languish as the elusive-never-quite-there sometime, but became a real, person-across-the-table-laughing-and-sparkling sometime.
One of the
tasks adventures of the Path Finder course is to figure out – to identify clearly – what lights you up, in order to seek out more of that in life. Each of the participants came up with their own 3-5 light words, the distillation of much longer lists, words that would help guide us in creating our best life in everything from the to-do list of the day to life’s biggest decisions.
For Dorothy and me, sitting together for the first time at Zeitgeist, our shared vocabulary included everything from Path Finder. Almost shyly, Dorothy asked, “What were your light words?”
I told her. One of them is storytelling.
“Of course,” she said. “The first thing you did was give me a story.”
I was struck by this observation. It was true. (And I loved the way Dorothy received the story as a gift). I often phrase what I am sharing in the language of story. I say (often with chagrin) that I cannot tell the short version of anything, but what if this is a strength?
What if this is a superpower? What if I own this as I make my way in the world?
When Dorothy shared her light words, they rang with the same clarity, the same truth. I recognised them in her.
It was a wonder to have this shared vocabulary, the shared foundation of the course work to draw us together – so that we might discover all the other stories we have in common, so that we might enjoy that shared new friend-crush feeling, so that our friendship might deepen over the hours of conversation, so that we might expand each other’s tribe with the inclusion of someone new to love.
For countless reasons, I am beyond glad I signed up for Path Finder. Dorothy makes one more.
If you have the chance to take this course, DO. You are filled with wonderful things – Path Finder helps identify them.