When my younger son was very little, his grandma told him to be sure "not to talk with strangers."
She wanted to keep him safe, and in the process, she confused the heck out of him. With his already very logical and adventurous mind, her advice had puzzled him. He thought for a second, and then, truly wanting to understand how this worked, he asked: "But... how do I make new friends if I don't talk to strangers?"
Which is an excellent point.
Last night, my kitchen was filled with "strangers." Two groups of Airbnb guests whom I had never met and who had never met one another. Within minutes, we were all sitting around the small kitchen table sharing about our lives, laughing and learning from each other. As I went to bed, they stayed up talking, and I could hear their happy connecting for quite a bit longer. When they left, this morning, we had each gained three new friends.
From strangers to friends. Strangers who did not know that they had new friends to meet, but who walk the world assuming that that's probably the case.
I love that. And I love that my son got that, so very young.
Richard Renaldi is another person who believes we are all connected, and goes about life with his camera, inviting that, and catching it.
This morning, I am sharing with you this very short film that will help remind you how not alone you are, how many "strangers" are out there waiting to celebrate being your friends.
I think you will like it.
Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.