Connect the Dots.
When I little, I used to love connect-the-dot pages. Taking my crayon or marker and drawing the line from one number to the next was both challenging and exciting. I was always attempting to guess what the outcome would be – the image that was created at the completion of the activity. Most of the time my guess was wrong.
As I got older, I no longer did connect-the-dot coloring pages. I do, however, love to look back at my life and connect the dots. It’s fascinating to me to see how some of my smallest moments set the trajectory for my future. It’s always in hindsight that we can tell these little things are really big things.
For instance, follow these dots: I lived with a roommate who introduced me to @iamhertribe who went on a road trip with @travelingmats. I then followed @travelingmats and discovered her retreat in Bali. Later, I hired her as a life coach and bought a one-way ticket to Barcelona because of a song I heard on the radio, all because she taught me to listen to my intuition. In Barcelona, I met a friend and discovered we’d be in Thailand at the same time. He recommended I stay at Nanan House Hostel in Chiang Mai, a city I hadn’t even considered visiting. At Nanan House, the owner’s daughter designed journals. Each day at breakfast, I watched the family completing some phase of the journal creation. In Sydney, I got a spark to design a journal which I wanted to hand stitch. And, I knew just who to call for advice!
At any point throughout my life, had I not said yes to any one of those things, had I chosen not to engage in a conversation, look at that social media account, slow down and meet a friend for coffee, ask questions while I ate breakfast, I would not know the richness my life holds today.
In my past, I’ve had friends and family question how I can look back with gratitude at all that has happened to me in recent years. Here’s my secret – nothing happened TO me. Those moments happened FOR me – for me to wake up, listen, connect the dots and move forward to the next number creating the beautiful image that is my life. Had any single thing not occurred just as it did, my image would look very different. True, it might have been a cow instead of a kangaroo, but it wouldn’t be the same image.
So, I challenge you to look back at the last 6 months or year. What has happened FOR you? How has God shown up in the smallest of ways – through people, conversations, emails, commercials, etc.? Where did you say yes to engaging and how has that set the course for your future? Can you look back and connect the dots?
Just like when I was a child, I can guess at the picture my life will create. However, I’’m pretty sure it will be incorrect. I don’t know where the dots lie in my future or how things will show up for me. I choose to let go of expectations, go with the flow, look around, listen, and don’t take any moment for granted. I never know when that small sidewalk conversation can change the trajectory I am currently on. What I do know is, that in the end, the image my dots create will be beautiful because it’s uniquely mine.