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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.
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.
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