My heart is brimming with gratitude, stemming from an intertwined set of experiences with three women I love. Before I explain why, I want to share some of the how.
In January 2010, I met a phenomenal group of women entrepreneurs. We gathered in person with our mutual business coach, 3 times per year, for 3 days each time, for 5 years. We built strong connections for which I am forever grateful. To this day I consider several of these women dear friends, including Paula and Lynn.
In October of this year, I spent a soul-nourishing weekend away with Paula and her wife Kim, who live in Pennsylvania. As we sat down to a home-cooked dinner the first evening in our Connecticut AirBnB, Kim said to Paula, “My good thing today was ______. What I appreciate about *you* today is ______.” Paula acknowledged what she heard and then completed the same prompts to Kim.
I was so impressed! When I inquired, I learned they’ve been doing this practice every evening for the past year. As Paula and I had been seeking a low time-commitment way to stay in closer touch, I asked whether I could text my own good thing to them daily. They responded enthusiastically and said they’d each reply with theirs too. We have continued this beautiful habit for the past 9 weeks and counting.
Earlier in that month, I kept meaning to call Lynn in Texas. After a decade of connecting frequently, she and I had not been in touch at all since the pandemic started. Lately I had found myself thinking of her often. In the process of returning to work and life after my first bout of Covid, one day I decided to table the important task of calling her until I could complete seemingly more urgent action items. To my surprise, the very next morning she emailed me a lovely message of appreciation. She shared that she had dreamt about me the previous night (the same evening I had put calling her on my mental back burner). Instantly, I knew that the Universe had proactively signaled it both urgent *and* important that we reconnect now.
A couple emails into our exchange, Lynn shared that she is in the process of dying. Never before have I witnessed anyone so young express such true peace with that knowledge. We made loose plans to Zoom that weekend when I would be in person with Paula and Kim, so we could all talk together. But that weekend Lynn had too little energy to talk out loud.
When I asked whether she preferred to communicate with me via email or text, she chose text. Knowing that Paula wanted to connect with Lynn too, I asked whether I could start a group text for the three of us. When they both immediately agreed, I had a flash of intuition to extend our good-thing-each-day tradition to include Lynn too. Lynn and Paula loved the idea.
Since then, Kim and I have continued to exchange our good things via one-to-one text, while Lynn, Paula and I have shared in our three-way group. In the process, Paula, Lynn and I have quickly developed new awareness of each other’s current day to day experiences. Lynn has shared a lot of the wisdom she has gained in her recent years of terminal illness, without having the physical burden of a phone or video conversation. I have felt so honored to witness Lynn’s consciousness about dying.
Each of us has benefited tremendously from our exchanges. Lynn feels less isolated while her husband is at work. I feel less isolation from living alone; daily connection with Lynn, Paula, and Kim has overflowed my internal love tank, in the best possible way. We all feel more connected and more seen.
As Lynn shares the changes in her quality of life, Paula and I listen and respond. Sometimes Paula has the perfect response. Sometimes I have a fast response. Other times I don’t. Throughout, I am consistently grateful that the Universe reunited us at the moment I temporarily set aside our relationship. Had Lynn had not dreamt about and emailed me, who knows when I, a person who always has more I want to do than hours in a week, would have felt “ready” to prioritize calling her? I would have missed the laughter and fulfillment that now adds energy and bonus capacity to my days.
Thank you to Paula, Kim, Lynn, and the Universe.
What has filled your own love tank lately? I’d love to hear in the comments below.