[success] The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye, but found by the heart. ~ Unknown [/success]

Yep, you read this correctly.  I did fly with Usher.  Yes, that Usher.  The one who just won a Grammy.

Well on the same flight to be precise.  That count’s as flying with him.  Right?  He wasn’t at the awards ceremony, because he was on a flight with me!

I first noticed him at the airport and had to speak to him…honestly I couldn’t help myself, much to the consternation of my Darling One. He definitely said I shouldn’t go chasing after stars at airports, but I’m just going to check out that it’s really him I said.  Of course it wasn’t all I did.  I just had to say something, anything. I wasn’t a pest…well I didn’t think so…I just told him I loved his music.  He flashed that amazing smile, said thank you and as I was walking away he called to me, hey have a safe flight.  He was totally unfazed, unperturbed.  He was gracious.

And would you believe it, it turned out he was on the same flight, sitting just across the aisle from me.

Not the first time I’ve shared a flight from Los Angeles with a well known someone.  There was Kris Kristofferson, who spent the flight holding hands with his love.  Tory Spelling, who was kindly sharing something with a woman sitting in front of her, who was afraid of flying.  And I musn’t forget Richard Simmons who travelled in his silky gym shorts carrying an oversized pillow.  He decided I should be a writer and I told him he had the ability to impact everyone with his positivity and he then proceeded to walk around the plane telling everyone how great they were.

Pretty cool.

But Usher.  Aaah he was something else.  And no, I didn’t bother him again.  But there were passengers who asked for his autograph…he smiled and gave…graciously.  Those who just wanted to stop by his seat for a chat.  He chatted, smilingly graciously.

All in all he was a very cool dude.  And I thought about all the people who walked away from their encounter with him, feeling happy, with a big grin on their face.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’ve no idea how he behaves in his private life, but here was a man who was displaying an awakened heart.

We all have the opportunity to display our awakened hearts.  And we don’t have to be a famous someone to do it.

Every time you reach out to someone in need, without a second thought, you’re speaking the language of the heart.  Who hasn’t slammed on the brakes in the car and reached their arm across to protect their passenger?  Or stopped to help someone who slid off the road and landed in a ditch.  I remember one cold and rainy winter’s day in England stopping to do just that and I was still in my carpet slippers.  Don’t ask.

When my brain got into gear later, and I became aware of my soaking, icy cold feet, I confess to a fleeting thought of whattheheck are you nuts?  If I swear it’s because I was thinking I was nuts to be wearing my slippers in the car…would you believe me?  Nah, didn’t think so.

But whenever you reach out, unthinkingly, to support and aid another…however large or small the gesture, you’re displaying an open heart. An awakened heart. And that’s worth an icy foot or two.

You’ve entered a path of energy, a vibration much higher than the one you dwell in when you’re simply preoccupied with the day to day livingness.  You might not stay there for longer than it takes to smile, or lend a hand, but you’ve vibrated at an energy that returns gifts to you a hundredfold.  An energy that leads to greater happiness and joy.

I wrote about Ubuntu recently and the oneness of us all, but we can never know this intellectually.  It’s the heart that hears the call, it’s the heart that recognizes there is no separation, that as I do for another, I do for myself.

The heart longs to be of service, to nurture, to love.  Simply to be kind. 

[success] The heart has reasons that reason does not understand. ~ Jacques Benigne [/success]

As we open our heart more and more and allow it to awaken to it’s full potential, we discover something wonderful.  Our awakened heart teaches us to love ourselves.  To nurture ourselves.  We discover self-love doesn’t send us galloping down the path of the bonfire of vanities towards greed and self destruction.  On the contrary it takes us towards self appreciation, and on to a greater ability to appreciate all life and those we encounter along the way.

Have you noticed it isn’t always easy to love and appreciate yourself? Let’s face it many of us fall short of the impossible ideals laid before us by our culture.  We can’t all be the waif like model, or the Ushers of this world.

We won’t all match the measurement of riches or beauty, or success.  And I say chuck those measuring sticks away.  They’ve got it backwards anyway.  Forget trying to be something other…and listen to your heart.  It doesn’t care about those things.

Nurture yourself with gentleness and kindness, and, as you discover the goodness within, you’re more able to recognize the goodness, the humanity, the beauty in others.

Are you perfect? Probably not.  I know I’m not.  But you have an inner beauty that stems from your heart and that can be poured over others because what lives in you is all you can give away.  The only things we can see in our world are what lie in our consciousness.

Usher was sharing his humanity, his awakened heart with all who came into contact with him on that trip and it felt good just to watch.

It was a brilliant reminder to me to ~

Encourage one another.

Love Elle

Flickr Photo credit 


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Cool story. I really like it when famous people act so friendly towards their fans. I haven’t heard the term awakened heart. I like the sound of that. I’m going to think about this as I continue on with my day. Thanks for sharing.

    • Elle

      Thanks Eric and I’m happy the term awakened heart resonated with you. But I can’t claim the credit…I read it somewhere and it stuck in my head and just popped out as I wrote. 🙂

  2. I like that ‘Awakened Heart’ We all need to wake up our heart and love this life. Never meet any famous people here in Colorado. Been to concerts, but never had the privilege. I take that back if you are a football fan, I have meet John Elway, (If anyone knows who he is). He isn’t the most friendly guy in the world, but he does say hi.

    I have found that when you are kind to people, it is amazing how you can change there day. When i have a cashier check me out whether its for food or clothing, they will always say,, ‘thank you’. I look at them and say, ‘Thank you for checking me out, other wise I would not be able to purchase the stuff I am in need of..” They look at me with a smile and say, ‘your welcome.’ I than tell them to have a good day. It really is cool to see the look on there face.

    Thanks for the reminder Elle and you have a wonderful week. Thanks for sharing your flying experince. Love hearing it.

    • Elle

      Debbie – I think you’re absolutely right, it’s the old sowing and reaping thing isn’t it? And what a wonderful encourager you are…I like you’re story about checking out. 🙂

  3. Wow. Usher, eh? That guy can mooooove! He works very hard at what he does. How nice that you got to meet him!

    I loved this “The heart has reasons that reason does not understand” – and the best part? Doesn’t have to because what follows is a wonderful outcome, so does it really matter whether reason understands?

    So feel-good, this post, Elle! Thank you.

    • Elle

      Thanks Vidya, it was pretty cool – even though my hubby thinks I’m ‘star struck’. 🙂 Mostly it was just lovely to see the awakened heart in action and experience an aha because of it. You never know what impact you’re having on someone now do you? 🙂

  4. Hi Elle,
    It’s awesome he is able to take all that and still be friendly to his fans. Unfortunately alot of famous people seem to lose that ability when they get sick of being chased around.

    I agree that self love is at the core of it all. You can’t really love another if you don’t love yourself first, because if you don’t you will just hope others will complete you. Which they won’t unfortunately.


    • Elle

      Good point Ben…and yes I too thought there might be times when fans can become annoying – but as I say – he was totally gracious to all. 🙂

  5. *grin* If I flew with Usher, I’d write about it, too! You have us all swooning…

    When I first moved to So Ca, I lived in Pacific Palisades and “star sightings” and interactions happened daily. I began to realize how alike we all are–they just have very public jobs. I tend to see beyond external, to the inner essence, and I think I have the same enthusiasm upon meeting a stranger in the grocery store who stops to share “their best” of the day, as I do upon meeting a “star”…it’s all a celebration of spirit!

  6. Hi Elle,

    What an uplifting post! I was smiling all the way through. Thank you.

    My main experience with ‘celebrities’ has been with writers, and it seems to me that the more the more secure they are in their success, the nicer they are. I’ve studied with two US Poets Laureate, Ted Kooser and Natasha Trethewey, and you won’t find anyone sweeter, gentler, or more helpful than the two of them. Each of us, when we discover our own awakened hearts, has the opportunity to radiate that joy!



  7. Elle,
    I couldn’t agree more about kindness! Usher is an incredible example. You wonder why everyone isn’t that way. And there’s that word again, Ubuntu. I need to find out more. Thanks for the reminder.


    By the way: your unknown quote is this one, I believe (one of my favs):
    “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. ”
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery from the Little Prince

    • Elle

      I keep thinking about Ubuntu too Betsy. The concept that we are all one is near and dear to my heart. And thank you for the quote…google doesn’t always bring up what we want, when we want it!

    • Elle

      Thanks Betsy – you have such wonderful quotes all the time it doesn’t surprise me you knew this. 🙂 I feel I’ve replied to you already, and if so, sorry to be doing it again. My blog has just been moved to another server and it’s sometimes like a bump in the night…strange things happen!

  8. It is great to hear that celebrities can be kind and generous. So many are, but it is nice to hear your personal story. It is a good reminder that we can be just as generous and kind, no matter who we are. Thanks for sharing. Take care.

    • Elle

      Isn’t it lovely Cathy when we experience the awakened heart right in front of our eyes. I’m going to be looking out for it more and more, because it’s such a lovely sight to see.

    • Elle

      So true Cathy…nothing to stop us all from keeping an open heart…every day. Plus it makes our life flow so easily. 🙂

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