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Gratitude in Unexpected Connection

forest path

“Join me in the pure atmosphere of gratitude for life.” -Hafiz

I was an exhibitor at a national tradeshow for adult novelty this weekend. My work in sexual health and building the Good Clean Love brand has been more in the natural product industry and in medical circles where just uttering the words oral and sex together was sometimes looked on with suspicion. I have only recently been finding a place among the adult product market as it has swung in my direction.

Let me say that in this crowd I am far from racy. My message of relational love and healthy ingredients have found its mark, but sometimes I am surprised by some of the products and careers of my neighbors and visitors. At first glance, I presume we will have little to say to one another. Yet over and over again I learn this lesson that we often have no idea who someone is by our first view. Connection has so much more to do with how people are living their lives than what they are living.

My neighbors, Buck Angel and his wife Elayne Angel are covered in tatoos. Elayne, the author of the Piercing Bible has more body adornment than I could count. Her husband became transexual at the age of 28 and is a famous porn star and advocate for sexual freedom. There I was selling my organic lubes and natural aphrodisiacs. We were polite but not engaged.

Until we somehow got on the topic of gratitude. I have been training my mind around the thoughts and experiences that remind me of the wonder of my life. Low and behold, this is the core value of their lives. I learned so much from listening to Elayne explain the many ways that living in this consciousness blesses her and her telling me with wide eyes, how happy she was that I had found my way here. We agreed it is a magical space that many walk by with eyes wide open,unable to bear witness.

I told her all the things that occur to me when I see multiple piercings and tattoos and she told me what hurt and what it meant. I shared the terrifying poisonous henna tattoo story of my daughter a few years ago that has made her ill for months. I loved her right away. I loved how she looked at me with compassion and honored my work. I loved her stories of her home and her love of small dogs. Here was my tribe and I am so grateful to be recognized among the grateful.

What we look like, what we do without time is the details of our lives. How we think, how love, how we see is everything. Living gratefully, eyes wide open will surprise.