By Angela Noel
September 22, 2016
I love finding money in my pants. I know it’s my own money in my own pants, but it still feels as if I’ve unearthed a hidden treasure. The routine of daily living can cause me to overlook something of value only to be surprised and delighted when I discover it again. I experience this same thrill whenever I encounter playful reminders of the creativity and kindness of my fellow humans in everyday life.
The owners of Modo Yoga Minneapolis, where I have practiced hot yoga for the last three years, noticed a problem. To address the issue, they posted a sign.
Phil and Ryann Doucette, owners of Modo, assume positive intent, offering a lighthearted reminder instead of a warning. Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, authors of the book The Art of Possibility call this practice “Giving an A.”
The Zanders’ invite all of us to define the world differently. “The actions in a universe of possibility,” they write, “may be characterized as generative, or giving, in all senses of that word — producing new life, creating new ideas, consciously endowing with meaning, contributing, yielding to the power of contexts.” Whether someone offers a bit of goodness into the world purposely or accidentally, I believe it’s up to me to create meaning from their action, to enjoy it or ignore it.
At The Lowry, the favorite restaurant of my seven-year-old, every table comes equipped with little notepads and pencils, inviting doodles, poems, and endless tic-tac-toe games. The previous occupant of the table my son and I sat at recently probably didn’t intend for me to notice his or her portrait. But I’m glad I did.
Eating out is like being in a play with a small amount of improv: the hostess seats me, the server takes my order, the food comes out; I eat, pay and leave. This restaurant improved the chances for a memorable experience by providing the tools for a tiny bit of whimsy to happen. Then, the patron who sat at the table used the tools to create something lovely. I admired it. Each of these elements; the tools, the creative mindset, and the awareness of others to catch the spark, plays a role in creating a thriving universe of possibility.
A year or so ago, before a massage at Healthy Touch Massage and Wellness, I used the restroom. A shelf in the corner held extra toilet paper, plastic flowers, and an intriguing enameled box. Curious, I opened it.
Why did I open the box? I certainly didn’t expect to find this little note. I just wondered “what if?” I’ve never asked Norm, owner and exceptional neck tension specialist, if he knows about the note. But I check the box every time I treat myself to a massage. I’m hoping for a new message, some new gift from the universe. But why wait for someone else? Maybe next time I go, I’ll add a note of my own.
When I find money in my pants, I’m the one that put it there. Stepping into possibility means fostering the capability to both see the greatness in others, and to offer the best of myself. I am seeker, finder, and architect of wonder in a world full of possibility.
What delightful surprises have you found? What have you offered?