It’s the small things.
Maybe it was because of the long flight, the punishing jet lag and the refrain “it will all feel better once I get there” but when I opened the little fridge and I noticed that someone had deliberately replaced the milk with almond milk, decanted in a pretty glass jar, my hand suddenly lay itself on my heart and I gasped.
It was a simple gesture, but it meant that someone had come all the way to my cabin with this cargo in hand, that action preceded by the thoughtful remembering that I don’t drink milk but love my morning coffee. I had been anticipated before I arrived.
Isn’t that the most delicious feeling? To be anticipated.
To be held, even in our absence.
There is something so delicate and tender in these small gestures, often overshadowed in this era of big gifts and reality shows of “extreme moments”.
I remember arriving to stay at a friend’s parents home overseas and after a long day of sightseeing and feeling homesick, I retired for the evening and discovered that his dad had turned down the bedcovers for each of us. A perfect opening was made in the duvet and it made me want to leap into bed, warm, cozy…my need for safety and gentleness anticipated. That was 30 years ago, the dad and the friend have sadly both passed but I remember the feel of that gesture still. It enveloped me then, as it does now, in its memory of kindness.
I’m excited about this new collection I am making - of really noticing these often overlooked moments of anticipation.
And I relish in the possibility of giving them; micromoments of meditation that welcome someone into my heart space well before they arrive and lingers in theirs after the moment has passed. Emotional time shifting.
A dear friend once called from a funeral in a maelstrom of emotion and minutes later arrived at my house, heartbroken in grief. In the moments between her call and her arrival I was driven by the intention of somehow creating ease. In my own moments of breathless sorrow I need things that are familiar, enveloping and soft. I remember scrambling, running from room to room, intent as a fall squirrel on making a nest; a safe place for her to fall.
I folded her into a hug before she crossed the threshold of the front door and whispered “you can’t grieve in those clothes, go upstairs and change” and there, on my bed, I had laid out my coziest pair of leggings, my favourite sweatshirt and wooliest socks.
Stepping out of her funeral attire, she stepped into the knowing that she was held, not only in the present moment but also in the moments before her arrival, as I anticipated her, raw and weary, and had set about my tender healing.
Intentional acts of anticipation. They appear as small gestures, but they require forethought of compassion and fore knowing. A most delicate act of love, necessarily intimate because the giver must choose to place themselves in the experience and the needs of another.
You were already with me before you arrived. I saw you here and I waited.
Somehow these intentional moments of anticipation are a part of a global healing. What if we made it a part of our intention for this year ahead? To really pause, take a moment to drop into receiving another and set about creating a welcoming space in our mindsets, our actions and our hearts. Intentionally hold someone before they arrive and foreknow the smallest gesture that will draw them in; the glass of water, the 5 minutes to debrief, the enveloping hug, the pair of slippers, the intentional question... What powerful web of acceptance and connection we could weave together in this simple act of intention.
Who are you anticipating today?
I was anticipating you, I saw you here and I waited.
In Celebration, Tania
Will you join us? Radical Sabbatical - press pause – reflect, realign, recharge. Kent, England. April 27-May 3, 2019. See yourself and your life differently. Leave inspired about whatever this year holds for you! if not now, when?
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN – 6 SPOTS REMAIN. www.advivumjourneys.com/retreats