Breakfast Serenade

Where: Jackson, Wyoming - September, 2015.
Setting: Beautiful days, chilly nights. Upon arrival the aspens began to change, by the end they were in full-gold-force. The skies were blue and the people were beautiful. The mountains were rugged and the water reflective.

A week ago I was reminiscing the lessons of 2015 and as I revisit the subject I can't help but expand the thought, tell you the story behind the discovery. Part of the post was about the idea of time and our attachment to it; our constant need to organize and plan it. We are so busy inventing the future we forget the beautiful pleasures of being spontaneous. Instead of trying to escape the present moment, with thoughts of tomorrow, we should be living it in the fullest, truest sense. So that's what I decided to do... The most beautiful stories are those that had no rough-draft. Some of the people who’ve influenced me the most were random strangers I bumped into on the streets (or in this case, the grocery store) . So practice, just for a day, maybe even a week, true openness to whatever comes your way.

It was the Monday after Labor Day I decided I wanted to go to the Tetons, and on Tuesday I left.
I spent the next two weeks bumping into beauty.

A day of paddle boarding Jackson Lake, sleeping in my hammock near Granite Creek, hiking Paint Brush Canyon, multiple solo movie theater trips, swing dancing at a cowboy bar, I mean the list could keep going on.... The days were flying by, and with only one left, I bumped into this bright soul. I walked into the grocery store with a hungry tummy and left with a full heart. Doug the sandwich artist. He made mine with love and insisted on buying it for me, too. So I gave him my number and a loyal friendship. I picked him up for breakfast, my last stop before leaving Jackson, Wyoming. He walked out with a guitar strapped to his back and the brightest smile 8 a.m. could shine. We went to his favorite cafe. I don't remember what I ate or the name of the restaurant... But ask me what songs he played and I could list them. This random bearded stranger I met the day before, in a grocery store, while he was working, and here we sat, eating breakfast, in a full-service restaurant, while he serenaded all the songs I wanted to hear. I mean, how do these things just happen?

It starts with openness and a warm-welcoming smile.

{Benefits of smiling: Current research, and common sense, proves how contagious smiling really is. A bright, genuine smile is seen as attractive and can boost our mood along with those around us. Smiling, chemically and biologically, has a profound impact on the brain. Each time you show those pearly whites you begin to activate neural messaging that benefits your health and well-being. Dopamine, endorphins and serotonin flush your system which ultimately aids in relaxation while lifting you to a higher state of being. When you smile people see you as sincere and reliable therefore creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere. How about this: when you smile at someone else, there brain thanks you with one in return. It's an unconscious response to the small, simple favor you just gifted away. So let that grin shine. The more you do it, the more others will too.}

We ate breakfast and told stories about life, dreams, and everything in between. It was like reminiscing with a childhood friend. That's the beautiful thing about being yourself, you have nothing to hide. His creativity and passion matched mine and all we wanted was to share it. Never once did I feel he had an ulterior motive, he was just friendly, opening his arms to a new connection. I was in awe with his happy, outgoing ways. You never know who you're going to meet and you never know how they will impact you, so don't cut yourself short. Open up your arms and welcome the strangers that turn to friends. I gave him a hug and hopped in the car with an 8 hour drive ahead. As Chuck and I went south, jamming out to the Rollings Stones and James Taylor, the Teton Range filled the rearview mirror. The jagged ridge-line, yellow aspen, and morning mindfulness had me smiling ear to ear. That day was simple and it was beautiful. It was all about love, but not as a possession. More like something you give unconditionally, to all those you meet, and when you can do that, you will receive in return. The less you 'do' and the more you 'be', the more you see things for what they really are. Present moment awareness is where magic comes to life. It's the synchronicities of the Universe speaking to your soul. Be in the moment, not in time, and truth and love will expand and hold you.