One Wintery morning when in Greymouth, New Zealand, I walked into a little funky shop which had some vibey electronic music pulsing through the door.
I met a French man named Cedric who was running the shop, and from the first minute we fell into conversation about some things I can’t speak to most people about (not due to any fault of their own; there are just some wavelengths that only the very occasional person is willing to meet me on). What started as a curiosity about a little shop, a whisper in my ear to investigate, turned into hours of conversation over a cup of coffee, exchanging ideas about people and the world.
Cedric and I are similar in many ways.
He is also a runner – although runs much further than I can! – and he also connects with the more mental/spiritual aspect of this sport. He allowed me to hold eye contact as much as I felt comfortable – most people will break away their gazes first (I’ve written more on this topic here). He also sees himself as a child of the universe, being able to construct an identity more than just based on his country of origin and life experiences. If you’re thinking “Kirsten, what the hell?” at this point, then this is an affirmation of how I can only speak my “mumbo jumbo” with very particular people 😉
One big thing that I took from my conversation with Cedric was about breathing.
He said the best way to breathe and truly connect with yourself is to breathe deeply through the nose, being aware of your chest and stomach, and out through the mouth. Very simple indeed, but how often do we actually direct our attention to this? For a long time, I’ve had a theory that many of the benefits of yoga and those kinds of sports come from a heightened awareness of breathing, and the associated benefits. Cedric encouraged me to take this awareness to my running, saying that I could be running ultramarathons if I become more aware of my breathing.
This conversation went further to speaking about gut feelings, making decisions, and finding answers. What you might call a co-incidence, I call a synchronicity. Same concept, just a very different interpretation. Both times I have been in New Zealand I have felt overwhelmed by the number of synchronicities that happen around me – many of them per day. When I walked into the shop, I was feeling very overwhelmed by these. A big one had just happened in the shop across the road from where we were talking.
Don’t get me wrong, synchronicities are great.
I just felt like I was receiving so many “answers” for questions I hadn’t asked. All of these answers were affirming to me that everything is as it should be – but I wasn’t so sure what to make of this; whether I should simply sit back and enjoy these, or whether I should do something about all of it. Should I extend my stay in NZ since everything is so right here? Should I develop relationships with people I have met whom I clearly have a very deep connection to? How can paths cross for a moment yet feel like there is a lifetime of significance with these chance meetings? I certainly would never want to force anything to happen that otherwise would not have. But by not doing anything, am I ignoring all of the signs placed right in my path?
I was struggling with all of this, and I walked into this little shop where an answer was waiting for me in the form of Cedric. By simply reminding me to follow what I feel within, he said the rest will naturally come. When I left his shop hours later, I felt rid of the nervous energy I felt about all of the synchronicities (and even more of these had happened during our conversation!) I felt an acceptance of everything that has been happening around me; acknowledging where I am at as well as the beautiful reminders I’ve been getting that everything is unfolding as it should. I trusted that what needs to happen will happen, so I don’t need to be stressing thinking “what should I be doing with all of these signs?”
So long as I remain as I have been lately: true to my spirit, receptive to all of the people I encounter, open to experience; so long as I carry on following my intuitive voice which has been so loud, I think I’ll be alright.
Cedric was mirror for me to see within and find these answers. I think he really benefited from the conversation we had too, and we both agreed that we have found a friend in each other for life. I look forward to catching up again some day!