He asked us to close our eyes and imagine a moment of pride.
I was utterly surprised when I was transported to a cold December night in my memory. I sat across the table from my grandfather at the pub. We were sharing a meal before his annual Christmas concert. He was a tenor in the church choir, and loved sharing the performances with us every year. This time, I was the only one who could make it. At first, I was disappointed that my siblings and cousins didn’t find a way to make it happen. But sitting across from him and sharing this moment felt so special, just the two of us.
In the last few years of my grandfather’s life, we became very close. That night, the conversation turned to spirituality and he shared some of his most profound experiences with me.
“I’ve never told this to anyone,” he said. As we shared our journeys, it became so clear that we were kindred spirits. We had grown to enjoy the long silences just as much as the conversations themselves. We held our gaze, really seeing one another.
My proud moment is exactly that. A moment of silent eye contact with my grandfather, where it was clear that we both truly saw one another.
I am proud of the meaningful moments I’ve co-created.
I’m proud of the capacity I’ve developed to be present.
I’m proud that I choose to value the people in my life and choose quality time often.
I am proud that I learned how to slow down and make time for what matters and to really be there and take it all in.
When I started writing this, I said I was surprised that this is the moment that arose when I was prompted to think of a proud moment. I had assumed that I would remember some moment of accomplishment – receiving an award, earning my degree, or hitting some meaningful milestone.
But that’s not what I gravitated towards, and for that I am truly grateful. Because in that moment, my imagination showed me what I value most, and it was a beautiful, gentle reminder to insist on living life on my own terms.
I’m not going to try to live my life on leftovers. You know, doing what matters to me after I’ve given my time, energy, money, creativity and presence to things that aren’t my choice.
I choose to live with intention, because that’s where meaning and fulfilment come from.
What’s a moment you’re proud of?
What hints does it hold about what matters most to you?
How can you cultivate more of that in your life?