The penny thing is happening again.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the webinar I’m preparing on “moving from frustration to abundance” – or if it’s just life. But the pennies are back.
It was last spring when I began to notice that everywhere I went, I found a penny on the ground.
A single penny. Not a dime, not a quarter – but whether on my morning walk, in my driveway, at the market, on my evening walk, there it would be, a single penny.
The first few times, I figured it was just a coincidence. “What a hoot! I found one of these yesterday, too!”
But after several weeks of finding pennies nearly every day – and after one long walk in which I found six of them, one after another – I began to mention it to others. Some of them remarked that yeah, they find stuff all the time, too. Most of them, though, replied with almost the identical retort: “Gee it’s too bad you’re not finding $20 bills.”
But I knew this wasn’t about the value of the penny, or about finding stuff in general. There was something going on, even if it was only going on in my own mind – in the fact that I was noticing, that I was meaning-making out of the sheer coincidence that pennies were appearing, some shiny and new, some crushed by cars, old and barely legible.
It was also last spring that I finally got to meet Zach Braiker face to face. Zach and I have known each other on line and on skype for several years, but finally, Dimitri and I got to spend a whole day with Zach and his lovely-in-every-way partner, Purnima.
We talked about everything and anything, mostly just life and fun. We went to Cosanti, the mystical place where I have a bad habit of falling in love. We went to lunch and investigated the Musical Instrument Museum. We talked about everything but work, a fact that was magical all on its own.
And then, at the end of the day, Zach did ask about work. We talked about feeling overwhelmed, as we are in start-up and that is always overwhelming. Zach told us, “There are so many people like me, who love what you’re doing – we want to be part of this! Find ways for us to help. And then find others who also think it would be an honor to be part of this.” And then we went back to just enjoying the day and each other.
The next day, sitting in my corner at Crave, I thought about Zach’s advice. I thought about the fact that sometimes it is hard to remember that there are resources all around us, just waiting to be tapped.
I thought about the book series Lizzie and I loved when she was a kid – the Dragon series by Patricia Wrede. I thought about the king who had the ability to see strands of magic everywhere he went, so that when he needed that magic, all he had to do was reach up and take hold of the strands that were already all around him. It’s not that the strands were only there for him – they were always there, all the time. It’s just that he was able to see them.
And that’s when it hit me. The pennies! The pennies were a reminder that an abundance of resources is all around us, if only we would see it. The pennies were those strands of magic!
That was a year ago.
Shortly after that realization, the pennies disappeared as quickly as they came. I guess whether they were really “suddenly appearing” or I just happened to have been noticing them, it was the lesson that mattered – a lesson we are continually reminded of as we work to get Creating the Future off the ground. We already have everything we need to do this work; we just need to see it.
That lesson, reinforced time and again, is what led to our deciding we need to teach this. We need to show that this is not magic or a matter of faith. It is a simple matter of practical fact. We all already have what we need to move from frustration to abundance.
And all of that is back story.
Because last week, we taught a workshop here at home in Tucson. A longer version of the 30 minute webinar we’re about to do next week, we taught about finding the abundant resources that are already all around us, waiting for us to reach up and grab them like the king grabbing strands of magic in the forest.
The message resonated. People had aha after aha, which they shared with each other, embedding what they learned so they could be sure to immediately put it into practice.
But at the end of the workshop, packing up our easels and flip charts and supplies to get it all to the car in one trip, my mind wasn’t on the great thing we had just done. Instead my mind was racing, listing the 9 million things we still had to get done that day. The wind picked up, almost carrying me away on the sail of the flip chart I was wrestling across the parking lot. With each step, I felt myself getting more tense, feeling overwhelmed, and then…
There it was.
Beat up, yet shining against the gravel parking lot.
I took a deep breath. I smiled. And I bent down to thank that shiny little orb for the reminder.