Cliff's Blog

A feel-good morning microblog of 10-second takeaways offering advice, insights, and inspiration to brighten your outlook and give you a lift.

Stones Become Fishes

I have this cycle I go through whenever I have an appointment with a client.

About an hour ahead of the appointment, I start to get anxious. Well, not exactly anxious. If I am to be honest with myself, I would say that it’s not anxiety so much as resentment of the fact that I have this appointment at all. It’s going to interrupt my flow, pull me out of the beautiful trance of writing resumes and working on business development stuff.

I’m in the zone, baby. And I don’t want to get out!

But this new thing is pulling me in a different direction and the current is getting stronger. So I pop open the client’s intake form and begin reading their life story. It always draws me in. As I learn about crucial events, goals, insecurities, and sources of real pride, the client materializes. These anecdotes and insights, like fishes in an aquarium, begin to catch the light and reflect a pattern back to me. What was once just a few dark shadows, minute by minute, turns into something more. The first and last name in my calendar become a person, with something to offer and obstacles to overcome.

By the time I get on the phone, I’m in.

There is potential for this cycle to play out in other aspects of my day as well: the woman at the traffic light, the Facebook friend of a friend, the store clerk, the wrong number.

And since they don’t have an intake form to hand in…

These folks can be stones in my stream, or they can be something more. They can rise out of the sand and become a school of colorful fishes with bodies like fragments of mirror turning this way and that until enough of them align to create a captivating glow, to reflect a little bit of me back to myself.

It doesn’t take long. Whatever they become is up to me.

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12 March 2019