There's Something Special About You
I was in the back of a Lyft last week coming home from teaching a workshop at my former corporate employer. I was feeling grateful for the experience and keeping to myself after exchanging some initial niceties with the driver. For the first half of the ride I was happily lost in appreciative thought, watching the world blur by through the backseat window, contemplating my own cycles and journeys of learning and teaching thus far.
My driver was listening to NPR, and though I tend to prefer to relax after I teach, something told me to engage. I asked him his thoughts about the latest happenings in the world. His perspective (that of a 60ish-year-old black man) was one of openness and understanding – even in the face of political unrest and racial disrespect.
I told him how fascinating his opinion was as we mused about people’s pasts, various upbringings, the nature of forgiveness, and the truth.
This man had had quite the intriguing and unexpected life for a driver: after serving as a counselor for many years, he was now also a lawyer who enjoyed driving in his free time. He said he had learned over the years to read people’s body language and energy. He had learned to read between the lines of their words to find more authenticity and truth in a given situation or conversation. I was happily stunned as I thought to myself how wonderful this world is that in the most unexpected places, we can engage in deeper, meaningful conversation about the force of things.
Then he turned his attention to me.
“You know, there’s something…something special about you”, he said. “I can tell by your energy.”
I was amused, I smiled and let him continue: “I interact with a lot of people, and I can sense something about you. Something different.”
At this point, we were almost at my destination.
I laughed and after a few moments I said: “well, I’m a yogi.”
“A yogi, eh? I’m going to look that up. That’s very interesting.”
As I got out of the car he asked what yogis say when they say goodbye.
“Sat Nam,” I replied. Explaining that it means – truth is my essence or I point myself toward the truth.
I thanked him, walked out smiling and thought about what it means to be “special.”
Yes, I am special. And there is something different about me. But it’s not because I am any different from you. It’s because I’m walking my talk. Practicing what I preach, and tapping into – as best I can each day – my highest destiny in this life.
That may sound like an impossible fairytale dream, but it’s not. It’s deeply possible. It’s highly accessible, and it actually doesn’t take all that much after we get over a little bit of inertia.
It starts with a taste – a desire to be different, act different, feel different from the norm. The norm of the news, and the happy hours, and the barrage of sugar, or complaining, or a broken routine we’re somehow addicted to.
It starts with listening to a little voice inside that is always kind though it may be soft. Guiding you to drink more water, or forgive yourself, or thread your breath through your lungs more deeply. Or try something new you’ve never ever considered as a possibility for you.
Maybe in this way special simply means “activated.” There is something activated about me, yes. Because I am activating an expression of my best self in the ways that work for me. Creativity, meditation, gratitude, teaching, etc. Though I’m certainly not perfect, this is the overarching order of the day, each day of my life.
The truth of it all – the root of the root, is that we are all special. You have something deeply special about you. Uniquely patterned into your DNA just waiting, hoping, praying, for you to remember, to activate, and to feel how deeply special you really are.
Here’s to my incredibly special Lyft driver and to celebrating what is special, true, and authentic about each and every one of us.
photography by Darden Creative