Have you ever met someone briefly and thought, “This is someone I will never forget?”
Last week was incredibly memorable. I was in three cities (Boston, Chicago, and St. Louis) within 5 days time, and it was all such a whirlwind! I feel sort of like there might never be another week in my life where so many heartbeeps come at me sooooo quickly.
I went to my favorite city, Chicago for an epic 24 hours of food, friends, and seeing Hamilton (someday I will blog about the words in this show, but I need more think time on that one) for the first time. Then, I traveled to St. Louis where I visited two schools in the Lindbergh District, Crestwood and Dressel. At both schools, there was so much LivBit spirit! Kids were soooo excited to hear my message AND learn how to make their own Bits. At one of the schools, the assistant principal dressed up as Helen the Shark, and the principal wore a ginormous shark head that he later gave me! I ended my time in St. Louis at the METC conference, where I was the closing keynote speaker. I saw old friends AND I made new friends everywhere I went.
But, heartbeeps find you at just the right times. You only need an open heart to feel them.
On our way from the STL airport to our hotel, we hopped in an Uber. Our driver, Michael was chatty and kind. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anyone to hear, I usually talk a lot whenever I’m in a taxi or an Uber. My mum and me make friends wherever we go. So, it was no different when we were in STL. I told Michael all about what I was looking forward to, including getting to share my story with METC as the closing keynote speaker.
Michael shared a lot of beautiful ideas with us as we chatted. He talked about his path to peace, loving other people, and having a heart for the world. He also shared about how a lot of this came from feeling disappointed by others, but finding faith in ideas bigger than people. I don’t think it’s an accident Michael found us that day. If you’ve read any of my other blogs (check out #ForGood here: http://www.thelivbits.com/blog/previous/2), you know about my mum and me having incredible taxi and Uber karma.
I think good people find each other. I also believe the universe gives you gifts bigger than any material gifts you can ever be given. So, hearing Michael’s words that day were a reminder for my heart about how beautiful the world is. And, how loving through a hard time is so important. I thought about Holly McGhee’s words in my podcast, where she said Pascal Lemaître, her illustrator friend, sent her a message after 9/11 that touched her heart so much, she held onto it for years, until eventually they wrote a book together. Come With Me commemorates their friendship, and it also tells a story about love and light.
Michael dropped us off at the hotel for the conference that day, and, if I’m completely honest, I said goodbye, thanked him, and didn’t think I’d ever see him again. But, it’s ok, because when people share beautiful ideas, the heartbeeps they give you, stay with you forever. I carried around those heartbeeps from Michael for the entire conference.
My mum and I were sooooo busy at the conference! We presented together and we presented individually. Then, the big day was here before I knew it. As we were walking to the huge ballroom where I was going to speak, my mum gave me the same words she always gives me before I share my LivBit work: Be present, give love, listen to my heart and let it carry me through my speech.
As soon as I arrived in the room, I quickly mic’d up, tried out my step stool at the podium, and did a sound check. Then, the doors were opened and people began to stream in.
Minutes before I was going to step on the stage, someone tapped on my shoulder. When I turned around, I immediately grabbed my mum’s hand to get her attention. It was Michael, our Uber driver! He said he volunteered for the day at the conference, so that he could come to hear me speak. He was even wearing his BEST message shirt! I was stunned. I was honored. I let Michael’s surprise carry me onto the stage.
As I was speaking that day, I felt the kind of love for the world that comes when you realize strangers can quickly become people you will never forget. Strangers can be the people who teach your heart the kind of lessons that last for a lifetime. Strangers can give you the kind of heartbeeps that never fade away. Strangers can become friends.
Michael brought us back to the airport at the end of the conference. It was the best Uber ride ever. He couldn’t wait to talk to me about my speech, and he gave me a new word to think about. He said I was refulgent. I had no idea what that word meant. Then, he told it means to shine brightly.
So, think about the people you might see today, but not know. Take a minute, give them a smile, ask them a question, listen as they speak. In a world filled with strangers, think about how every, single person has the potential to be your Michael. Everyone has a Michael waiting for them. And, just like my Michael, you’ll be changed forever by knowing each other. Your light together creates heartbeeps for the world. Find that light and share it. The world needs more refulgence, and you have the power to make that happen, just like Michael made it happen for me.
A stranger is only unknown to you, until you ask them a question. As soon as you hear them answer, they have the potential to become a friend.
Share your light with the world. Share your light to change the world.
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Hi, I'm Liv and I am super excited to share my thinking with you!