Escape the Great Tragedy of Life

havannaOften the great tragedy of our lives is that we don’t take time to notice.

Frank MacEowen, Author of The Celtic Way Of Seeing

Our lives move so fast that we often don’t stop long enough to notice the beauty around us. When we do stop we often find the exact thing we’re looking for… joy, happiness, love.

In 2006, I traveled through Argentina. During this time I was in the throws of Corporate America and moving faster than the speed of light. Everything I did, thought or pursued was on a time clock — and if it didn’t revolve around my email and task list it fast became a back-burner item. Immersing myself in the South American culture wasn’t going to change that…. so I thought.

My first week in Buenos Aires I had an appointment at 9:00 am. Waking up late I rushed into the coffee shop down the road and asked for a latte to go. The man behind the counter just stared at me. Frustrated and stressed because I didn’t want to be late, I again asked for my latte to go. The man again just looked at me and calmly said, “No.” My response, “What? I have a bus to catch and an appointment to get to. May I please have my latte?” He just looked at me,  pointed to a table by the corner window and said, “Yes, but you’ll drink it over there.” At that point I was on edge, stressed out and wanted my damn latte! So I agreed, and thought to myself, I’ll just quickly chug it down for the much needed caffeine and then make a run for it. I took my latte (like an eight year old who didn’t get her way) and sat at the corner table by the window. 

Then the Universe did what the Universe does… the moment I sat down and began to relax I was offered a profound life lesson. As I stared out the window of this quaint South American coffee shop I began to notice this little thing called life.  Shopkeepers were sweeping their sidewalks, neighbors greeted each other with a smile, children played on the corner laughing and the birds were feasting on breadcrumbs outside the shop. Even the strangers walking passed the window smiled at me as though it was their most important task of the day–and what I learned that morning is that it was.

I have tremendous gratitude for that coffee shop barista who clearly understood what I did not–the great tragedy of our lives is that we don’t take time to notice life. Everything we’re looking for… joy, happiness, love… exists in the moment we are in. No matter the storm or stress, serenity can only be found when you take time to sit by the corner window and notice the life that surrounds you. And remember, that smile from the stranger is the most important task of their day.

Author, speaker & coach, Gina Soleil is acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy.  Visit Gina Soleil  and follow her on Twitter.

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