If you have ever crossed my path, thank you.

I had a crazy epiphany today. It’s not earth shattering in the sense that I’ve long believed that everyone who comes into my life does so for some (often unknown) reason, but still, it was enlightening on many levels to recall the beautiful mystery of the process. For starters, at least five different people in the past week have reached out to me as they were going through their own challenges and wanted to talk to me because they knew I could truly relate. A few of these people went so far as to say, “you’re like an angel. Thank you for showing up.” After the third time, I realized how it’s no accident that these are the people whose path I was encountering as they obviously needed a bit of my light and positive energy to more easily get through something blocking progress in their current field.

On the flip side, I’ve also been noticing how many people show up in my life for “whatever” reason that really makes no sense at that time but always makes perfect sense later on. This was the basis for today’s epiphany: I really don’t even have to try to understand why certain people are showing up in my life, I just have to embrace the experiences I am having with these people and know that it’s all a big mystery that will unfold in good time. When I live my life with this attitude, it results in a much calmer, more productive and enjoyable day to day way of life so why not go that route? Every morning, I already wake up with the philosophy that “anything can happen” and lately, the more I embrace this theory the more interesting and exciting my life has become.

A few weeks ago, at the Deepak Chopra retreat I attended on Maui, there were a few times when we were asked to pair up with someone we did not know. Each time I ended up talking to someone that I had multiple things in common with or will stay in touch with for various reasons, be it because they need someone to book their travel or because we share common friends and a love for dogs. Whatever. After my third or fourth random conversation with a “stranger” it no longer mattered why we were paired up, it just made sense as you apparently always sit next to the person you’re meant to be next to.

Earlier this year, I sat next to an incredibly dynamic and fun woman at a business lunch who I had never met before. We couldn’t stop talking the entire time and months later, she’s become a close friend and someone who said to me today at lunch: “I don’t know why we met but we will know in good time. There is definitely a reason we are in each other’s lives.”

It’s along the same lines as not really knowing why it is that whenever I find myself thinking about someone, be it an old friend I’ve lost touch with or even an ex-boyfriend I’ve not heard from in decades, they inevitably reach out as if to let me know they know I’m thinking about them. These strong connections rarely, if ever, fade entirely into history as they are part of our lifetime of experiences that makes up who we are.

Every person we choose to talk to has a story to tell or a lesson to teach us. I’ve become a much better listener over the past few years as I’ve realized the importance and the excitement of possibly being able to learn something from everyone I meet. I don’t always get it at the time, but later on, something happens that typically makes me go, oh yeah, that’s what that was all about.

The moral of the story? Don’t worry about trying to decipher who is in your life for what reason, just sit back and enjoy the adventures and the excitement of meeting fascinating people along the way. It will all make perfect sense — or maybe not — someday.

This topic of throwing caution to the wind and just going with the theory that the right people enter (and depart from) your life when it’s their time to do so reminded me of another favorite Deepak saying I heard today: “The only way not to drown is to learn to ride the wave.” This was especially appropriate as I took a headfirst spill into the ocean last week on Lana’i, Hawaii instead of turning to face and dive straight into the oncoming wave. It was the perfect reminder that you can always get back up and ride the wave, and when you’re in the right place at the right time, the right person will be there to teach you how to ride the waves. Until then, keep trusting the unknown and enjoying the beautiful mystery that will continue to unfold as long as you set intentions for what you truly want and allow yourself to steer clear of trying to control anyone. All we can do is show up for those who need us, always with the best of intentions. You get what you give is especially true when it comes to deciphering the mystery of who shows up for us and why.

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