I keep practicing my way into paying better attention to the many people, places and situations that enter my life . . . all those things I don’t think I’ve intentionally had a hand in causing. And since I no longer believe in coincidences, I’ve taken to thinking of the random, interesting and unexpected in my life as flashes of intuition, insights, and potential opportunities, landing in front of me to either take advantage of or reject.
My backstory is where cats come in: My life narrative is full of experience that tells me I’m allergic to cats – cat dander, cat saliva, cat fur or whatever. My nose runs, my eyes itch, my voice gets husky . . . yada, yada, yada. This past reality warns me I shouldn’t have a cat on my own, because no matter how cute and loving it might be, the amount of time we’ll be together in close quarters is bound to wreak havoc on my allergies, and that hassle has just not been worth it! Sigh . . . .
But here’s where opportunity comes in: over the past months, cats have continually and randomly crossed my path. Whenever they show up, I catch myself talking to them, grinning like an idiot, and making time to pet them before I move on. These creatures have always filled my heart with a kind of delight. I’ve both happily shared a home with them, and also been forced to give them up in the name of comfort. So I’m now wondering . . . is my intuition providing an opportunity to take stock of my present life – what’s important and what’s missing? The question I’m living now is: Should I take advantage of a new, possibly positive challenge or pass on a very real and present opportunity that will certainly demand a change in my lifestyle?
Get a grip, Jane; it’s just a cat!
And here’s when I get to tell you that this conversation isn’t about cats or allergies or any past reality I’ve lived. It’s about opportunity and what we do when it comes calling.
Opportunities, I think, are born of inspiration . . . intuition that bubbles up within each of us in the form of ideas, wonderings, hopes and passions. They show themselves as a potential, a possibility, a worry, a reminder. Opportunities, even at their best, are often inconvenient. Accepting them means we’re going to need to change something familiar, to shift slightly . . . or greatly, our pathway as we move onward. I picture them as uniquely personal and ever present; they circle around, giving us some time to notice, choose and then, regardless of the risk, accept them into our lives. And, should we miss them by mistake, or on purpose, they move on . . . maybe to circle back to us in a different shape, or maybe to offer themselves to another.
Opportunities feel like offerings, providing me the gift of not only observing my present reality, but also of considering if I might like or need to live my life differently. Potentially inconvenient and uncomfortable or ultimately and surprisingly enriching, this particular one just happens to look, sound and feel like a cat.
How about you? What’s the look, sound and feel of your latest opportunity? Let me know; I’d love to hear about it.
As always, wishing you grace for your journey . . . and an open heart to be aware of all the opportunities circling around you every day.