You know how you don’t think that you’re thinking about anything and then realize that some thoughts are coming together and maybe there’s a blogpost forming in your mind? Yah. Me neither. And yet I find myself having thoughts…
Glen and I have belonged to “The Next Big Idea Club” (NBIC) for years. It’s a group of thinkers who curate non-fiction books (self-help/growth/thought/improvement). The curators are Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain and Adam Grant – all prolific thinkers and authors themselves. Every quarter, they send out two books and then there are various methods of connecting with others in the “club” to discuss them. I have utilized the NBIC podcast and Facebook group for this purpose.
On the NBIC Facebook page the other day, I read a blog post by Julie Harris, a fellow NBICer who was inspired by Susan Cain’s Bittersweet to walk alone for 12 hours…completely unplugged. She spent her time listening. And wondering. She shared her awe of the world around her. She learned that throughout her walk, she found herself enjoying the humanness of the people she met – the kindness that she exchanged as she passed young mothers and old couples; the connectedness that she experienced as they passed each other. It made me reflect on all the walks that I take with earbuds in my hears keeping my brain busy on the podcasts or music that I’m listening to, instead of listening to the world around me or interacting with the people I pass. I always smile, but do I engage? Do I allow myself to mindlessly let my brain wander? To just think? Hmmm…Here’s Julie’s blogpost. You might enjoy it.
Thinking about all that walking reminded me of my friend Kathy and her husband Jim (and a friend), who are currently walking 500 miles on the “Camino” from France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Am I right? Did she say 500 miles??? Kathy is brilliantly sharing their incredible journey in her blog, Andherewego.blog. Recently, her post was about all of the people that they are meeting on the camino – fellow peregrinos (pilgrims) and the people who live in the villages that they pass through. It truly does take a village to accomplish an adventure like that. I am in awe of their journey and what they’re learning and experiencing along the way. Here’s the link to the post that introduces her readers to some of the people they’ve met along the way. And I’m definitely begging forgiveness for sharing her blog before asking for permission! xo KFlo
Then a couple days after reading Julie’s blog about her unplugged walk, I was watching The Beat with Ari Melber and he had Neil deGrasse Tyson on his show. As usual, they talked about all kinds of things emanating from Neil’s latest book, but eventually they moved on to the universe. At 13 minutes, Ari asked Neil a question about what we should do with the information that we are now able to see more of the galaxy than ever before. What does that information mean for humans in our day to day lives? Neil explained that we might look up at the night sky and think, I am small and the universe is big. And he said that it’s a true thought. AND he went on to explain that incredibly, we humans are made of the same atoms as the stars.
Wait. What? We are made of the same ingredients as the stars. We are literally stardust. All the stars, near and FAR (aren’t all stars FAR???) – the stars are literally alive within us. So when we look up to the night sky, we can say YES!!! The galaxy is huge and we are small, but we must also know that we are the universe and the universe is us. Wait. What? We are all literally related to the stars. We are all related! We are all stardust.
So that BIG thinking will have me pondering some new ideas on my next walk and it brings me to a big gratitude…
For twenty+ years, I’ve been a part of a book club. We are a group of women who came together while our kids were roaming the halls of elementary school and we were sitting on the sidelines of the soccer and baseball fields cheering them on. We’ve literally read 100s of books together, shared more bottles of wine and more recently cocktails than we should admit to and many, many delicious meals. We’ve shared so many laughs that I blame my “laugh lines” on them and we’ve shed more tears than I might want to remember. We’ve shared our hearts and souls and still last week when we met, I learned deep things about these friends that surprised me.
So before I close, I must share my deep, heartfelt gratitude to these women who during various recent challenges, have provided me so much care and love – I can’t imagine getting through these times without them. xoxox
And finally, I want to remember that as I journey through life – walking, thinking, listening, talking, looking at the night sky…I want to remind myself to always have an appreciation for my humanness, for my weaknesses, for my strengths and for the importance of all the connections I have to all the people in my life because…
we are all stardust.