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I believe we all experience them throughout our lives.
Maybe you call them coincidences, fate, or random chance—depending on where you stand with your beliefs and your perspectives on life—I call them my magical encounters.
It is the people who show up out of nowhere and who have a safe spot in our heart only a few moments into a conversation, sometimes well before we even realize it. They seem to be brought into our lives by pure serendipity, yet they are making an impact as if it’s meant to be.
I met mine entirely heartbroken and alone in a rooftop bar, at the wedding of one of my best friends, on the first day of university while having lunch, in the doorstep of my new temporary home, in the breakfast area of a hotel and an event venue, on the plane seat next to me, at a social dancing event, in a seminar at school, at a friend’s summer party, on a 17-hour train ride, and while crossing a border on foot.
Not all these people have become “friend-friends” who are a regular part of my life. The roles they have taken include “only” sharing this single encounter, being irregular contacts, being close friends, or becoming lovers.
The magnificence of these connections is not really correlating with the number of times we met or whether there was physical intimacy shared with one another. It much rather lies in the depth of the initial connection, leaving aside what some grew into and others didn’t.
You might well wonder, what makes these encounters magical or different from other acquaintances and friends we meet throughout our lives?
While many of our relationships are certainly built on love, affection, interest, shared values, and a ton of other things, not all of them are connections from one soul to another.
And with that, I don’t necessarily mean soul mates.
But what I mean is this:
Part of each of those encounters were two souls who recognized each other—enabled through a combination of awareness and presence.
In some cases, it needed a third party involved to seat us on the same table or to introduce us with intention. In other cases, one of us invited the other one in to connect. And yet again, in other cases, there was a mutual feeling of: “Oh hi, it is you, so glad we are both finally here.”
And once or twice, there was even absolute clueless anticipation and excitement or maybe a sense of inner knowing preceding the magic—which is maybe the magic itself?
The one thing that my magical encounters have given and continue to give me beyond friendship, love, and guidance, is recognition of my true self. They mirror back to me who I am at my core.
Simply connecting to them, sometimes even just by revisiting that sweet memory of our initial meeting, will clear out heaps of the cloudy confusion about what is right for me, what my values are, or where I am supposed to go.
Having had a rather turbulent recent past, where I often felt like I have trotted way off my path, I observed how I retreated more and more from those who could see right into my soul. And I suppose it is a form of shame for having walked away so far from myself at times, which is a fact that any exchange with them would have brought to the surface in an undeniable way, leaving me no choice but to course correct.
Some days, pushing the shame aside and reconnecting takes me a lot of strength, but whenever I do, I am so glad I did—because all of you make me feel me again. You all have different kinds of roles in my life, but you all have one thing in common:
You serve as north stars in my life.
If you find yourself thinking: “Good for you” or “nothing like that ever happens to me,” I invite you to consider this:
Under non-pandemic circumstances, we meet a lot of people all the time, mostly under relatively foreseeable or totally random circumstances. Now, we all know that the latter hasn’t really benefited from the fact that many of us are hardly going anywhere without listening to a podcast, calling someone, reading the news, an email, or scrolling the infinity of social media world.
Allowing our attention to be widely consumed wherever we go arguably reduces our chances to meet people unless someone dares to actively interrupt our constant consumption. But I feel chances for that are shrinking by the day, as it can feel quite challenging to reach out to a stranger when having to cut across boundaries such as headphones.
In all my magical encounters, I was either present with my attention or somebody else made me aware, and thus, created my presence.
It is no news that the world’s constant grab for our attention keeps us from connecting with our loved ones and with ourselves for a large amount of our awake time—even though, whatever is grabbing our attention rarely makes us feel alive.
So, maybe what we need to invite more magic into our lives is to be present and aware enough to recognize when it is right there waiting for us to see.
Now, go grab a pen or close your eyes for a moment and take note of all your magical encounters. Whether you already knew you had them, or whether you have never given this a thought, I am sure you had some throughout the course of your life.
Maybe you will feel inspired to reconnect or simply remember how meeting this person made you feel. I would be delighted if you felt like sharing some of yours in the comments below!
But be gentle with yourself and remember that some of them are to be lived and some are just to be kept in mind.