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Skies over Big Bear Lake photo by Lon Levin

I’m reposting this wonderful article I just read from Mark Susnow’s “Inspire Possibilities”

Mark is a regular contributor to the Illustrators Journal digital magazine and His articles always seem to give me that little extra push I need. Hope it does it for you too.

“Take Time”
I am amazed at the number of times that I have met someone who knew me at a different time in my life. Sometimes I don’t even remember who they are or how I met them until they tell me the story. I “Take Time” to listen, to smile and to say, “Thank-you.”
We always seem to remember the story. That’s what connects us. When you’ve lived for a while those meetings, which remind you of the story, seem to occur more frequently. The synchronicity of these meaningful coincidences becomes the norm rather than the infrequent occurrence.
You begin to expect them. They add a richness to your life that contributes to your sense of fulfillment.
By the time you’ve reached the wisdom years you’ve gained perspective and more stories. You’ve seen the changes and lived through them.  You know that it’s never as bad as it seems, and if something is too good to be true, it usually is, but not always.
My journey so far in this new millennium has been full of changes, more than I anticipated. Even though there’s part of me that accepts that life is a great mystery I haven’t stopped trying to make sense of it all; trying to make everything fit into a nice package which it never does.
Each time that I experience one of those chance encounters that provides a missing piece to the puzzle, there is a thought that deeply resonates within me. It makes greater sense to me now than it ever did. We are in the process of gathering our tribes!
What we do and say attracts our tribe. Unless we speak from our heart and share what has meaning, it will be difficult for our tribe to find us, or for us to find them.
What also gets in the way, is that we seem to find ways to occupy every minute of our day.  We’re always busy “doing.”  Rather than taking time and just being present, we think about the next item on our “to do” list. If we don’t “Take Time” to really know ourselves how can we get to know others. WE ARE MISSING A GREAT OPPORUNITY. Recently, at a gathering, a friend read a poem that is a great reminder.
TAKE TIME
Take time to Think
It is the source of all power.
Take time to play
It is the source of perpetual youth.
Take time to Read
It is the fountain of wisdom
Take time to Pray
It is the greatest power on earth.
That time to love and be loved
It is a God given gift.
Take time to be Friendly
It is the road to happiness.
Take time to Laugh
It is the music of the soul.
Take time to Give
It is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to Work
It is the price of success.
Take time to Receive
It is the key to giving.
Anonymous
Sometimes a story is the best way to give us perspective.  “Take Time,” to be in this story with me.
“You’re on the way to the airport. You get on the plane with a book that you’ve been planning to read for quite some time. As you open your book, you notice that the person sitting next to you is trying to catch your eye so that they can start a conversation.  A few minutes later you are asked a question and you reluctantly answer. You lower your book a bit to be polite and after a few minutes you find yourself putting your book down and engaging in a brief conversation, although with a lack of enthusiasm. A few minutes later, the process is repeated, until the person next to you, let’s call him John, makes an observation about you that’s quite perceptive and sensitive. You start to become curious about who John is and in the course of the conversation, he tells you of an experience he has only shared with a few people. You let John know that you have had a similar experience. By now you’re totally engaged and listening to every word he says. You notice every nuance in the inflection of his voice and the way he is animated. Time seems to stand still and the next thing you know the plane lands. You say goodbye to the kindred soul you have just met.”
We all would love to experience these moments more often. We crave deeper connection in our lives, but our ability to connect is a lost art. Until we take time to really listen and to be fully present, we won’t be able to develop the art of connecting with another.
Connection transcends titles, race, gender, age and anything we can think of. From this bond of  connection anything is possible, but we have to be in a receptive place; a place in which we take the time to be present. As with most things in life, the journey is a process that starts with the intention to experience more connection in our busy lives.
As your commitment deepens, you’ll notice that those magical moments, when you experience true connection, seem to occur more often.
This new found magic then becomes the gateway to a more fulfilling life.  When you think about it, it’s the way it should be.  In the bigger picture, we are part of one human family. At our core we have the same human needs and desires. We have the need to love and be loved. We want to know that our life has meaning. When we connect with a kindred soul we are reminded that we are not alone and that we are connected to something much greater than ourselves.