Monday, August 3, 2015

Question For You

"Right now, if you could be anywhere, doing anything, with anyone, where would you be, what would you be doing, and who would you be with?"

I used to ask this question a lot. You know me... I'm a lost cause when it comes to being a Possibilitarian. Questions that are loaded with possibility stretch me and call me out of complacency. They clean my perception filters of stuckness gunk and give me the grace-gift of gratitude. Entertaining possibilities lurches me forward into the romance of the present moment.

This morning, I was feeling overwhelmed with all the epic (truly epic, I promise I'm not using that word lightly) goals and "finish"lines for this month. And, that question came to mind.

Now, again, I must reiterate, the question isn't meant to provoke murmuring or complaining. Ugh. Talk about a possibility-eraser. There's just something whimsical and romantic about dreaming of what could be... that inevitably reveals the miracle right where I am.

One of my mentors gave me sage advice: Do all that you can with all that you already have. For me, dreaming outside the lines opens my eyes to the poetry of the present. Ah! So that's what I can do with (fill in what you already have) ________! It helps me re-purpose an otherwise ordinary moment into... well, dreamy.

So. To answer my own question...  (and then I'd love to hear your answer!)...

There's this quaint little hair salon in the Piazza di Santa Maria in the Trastevere Neighborhood in Rome. I would love to be at this corner salon getting my hair cut and colored by the owner Fabio or any one of his talented stylists.

Oh, by the way, there are two ways to consider possibilities: 1) based on a previous experience or something you read or heard about, and 2) something completely out of your imagination. (Think, Middle Earth and Sindarin language or phones that don't have buttons, antennas, or wires or... see what I mean?)

Anyway, today, on this particular morning, I'm more of a Reminiscent Possibilitarian than a Create-Something-New Possibilitarian.  

This morning, my hair looks like it did on the morning of June 5th, 2012.

On an otherwise ordinary day...

Visiting on the phone with my best friend, Amy, we discussed the possibility of the two of us meeting somewhere in the world to catch up and adventure together. A couple of months later, she flew up from Malawi, Africa and I flew down from Germany. We met in Rome, Italy.

Oh. my. heart. I'm telling you, my life plays out like a movie. (Yes, including "dark night of the soul" seasons that are just plain yucky. Still poetry. But yucky poetry.)

Anyway, back to the movie...

I swooned. We were in Italy. staying in an Abbey. ...with nuns who didn't speak English. And everywhere, terra cotta colors peel from the sides of buildings. Everything feels Medieval and Renaissance and art and romance. And I really, really wanted to hear Italian opera.

The first day we made our way over to the Trastevere neighborhood, the area "beyond the Tiber." With no set agenda, we meandered content. There on the corner, in Piazza di Santa Maria, (the square), Amy noticed a hair salon, took my arm, and insisted we'd take my husband up on his encouragement to pamper ourselves.

{whimsical sigh}

You know how the hairdresser always puts the drape over you, snaps it in back, and then as they run their fingers through your hair they ask, "What are we doing to your hair today?"

And... yes. Yes, I said it. The line I had wanted to say for oh-so-long. Waaaaaiiitt for it...

ohmyword, it was such a dreamy moment...

and, yes, as a matter of fact, I DID feel as though I was Audrey Hepburn!

I told Fabio, (yes, that's his name), to cut it "all off."

I mean, because surely it's exactly what princesses do when they're on a Roman Holiday!

Although we didn't talk too much with the gals as their English was limited, it was a treat to hear Fabio tell the business story of his salon, Hair Spa. Passionate and genuine, he went on to tell us about his wife and family, what he enjoyed about living in Rome, and where he recommended we visit while there. I'd definitely go back. Um... I have time this week... who wants to join me for a world-class hair stylist experience?

New hairstyles. Shared salad... with a large dollop of mozzarella. Outside seating. Coca-Cola. Such grace!

And that whole thing about seeing the miracle in the moment...

And the extravagant grace of traveling with a friend who shares a passion for people-watching, for listening. For noticing all the whimsical, poetic grace-gifts along the way...

For all the photos we captured, I noticed we didn't capture the moments where we laughed so hard that we had snot coming out our noses and tears streaming down our cheeks -- dripping from our chins! (Come to think of it, we may be posted on someone else's blog... "These two girls couldn't even breathe as they were in hysterics over who-knows-what.")

So... where would you be, what would you be doing, and who would you be with?

It's a question loaded with possibilities. It's a re-focusing question: are you doing all that you can with all that you have right now? Because... Grace satisfies with all that we need, to do all that we're called to do, in the present. And then...

Then, Grace invites us to dream and envision and step into the tension between now and what can be.

The question makes me think about the areas of my life where I have all that I need -- but I'm still holding back. To see where I need to pull triggers. To realize the power of an idea, the value of a friend insisting that we seize the moment.

In reality, I am ready for a new hairstyle. Mine is tired. I'm eagerly anticipating a change.

But then, this is the theme of our season. I'm anticipating change on many levels. In fact, I've laughed at myself a lot lately. Research shows it's better to make only one big change at a time.

I'm only changing... everything.

And you? It's your turn.

 *For the record, (and a shameless plug), I have to tell you that there's a world-class hair stylist/motivational coach/encourager/soul-nourisher on North Pines in Spokane Valley, Washington. Not only is Katrina a phenomenal hair stylist, but her passion is infectious.

You'll walk out inspired, motivated, and ready to take that next big step of faith. She's the one who taught me to put my feet on the floor each morning, stand up, and declare, "Reporting for duty, God." If you're looking for a great haircut and a little extra courage to get out of the boat... {For those of you living in the inland Northwest -- not traveling to Rome any time soon -- there's my little tip for ya!}

**By the way, I heard the most incredible, dreamy opera one morning while we were getting ready to go out for the day... I'll tell you about that, too...

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