My neighbour died last night. It was sudden and unexpected. He was in his early seventies, but seemed in good health. One day he was here and the next gone.
He lived opposite me. I didn’t know him well. But whenever our paths crossed he was friendly and we had a nice chat.
The last time we saw each other, we took the little mountain train together. It was morning. He joked that he was going to hit the town and party that day. He was in fact being a good friend - going to the hospital to support someone close who was having a scan on his shoulder.
I felt really sad when I heard the news. And since then I have been haunted by a deep sense of loss. The force of which has been unexpected... My mind keeps reminding me that we were just acquaintances. But my heart deeply feels the loss of his presence.
He just had this lovely peaceful, loving, joyful way about him. Not artificial, not forced. You could really feel that he was at peace with himself and happy with his life. And whenever we bumped into each other he was completely present with me and genuinely kind.
I realise now that knowing he was next door made me feel safe. It wasn’t what he did for me or what he had accomplished in life, it was who he was... his way of being. By his presence, he reminded me of the goodness of life and of what was real.
This is often the part that we forget. In a world that values the ‘to do list’ over quality of presence, our tasks take over. We focus more on what we want to accomplish. Rather than the person we are being in the process.
In my line of work, I hear people yearn to do more good - to leave a legacy. They believe that they need grand plans for that. Starting usually with setting up their own business.
The thing is that we impact the world everyday. We touch it with our unique presence. As someone once said: ‘People don’t remember what you say, they remember how you make them feel.’ You make a difference minute to minute - just by how you show up. A lot of the time you are probably not even really conscious about it. Still it is a big part of your legacy.
Today I was sitting on the train. There was a guy in a grey suit sitting across the aisle. He had that focused, sharp, successful feel about him. He was busy.
We have all been there. He spent the two hours of the journey hammering his computer. He never looked up or made eye contact. I thought to myself ‘just another busy, successful guy’.
My everlasting memory of him will be this... As he left the train, he lost it. I don’t know for sure what triggered it. But the next thing I know, he is literally throwing someone’s suitcases out of the way and pushing a guy to get through. And he runs out followed by angry shouting.
Busy, impatient and angry that is what I will remember. I hope that the meeting he was running to made him successful. I am left wondering if he is aware of his legacy - of how he showered us with his frustration and rage. And that that is the taste of him that will stay with us.
What a contrast...
And so... I thank you neighbour. You taught and modelled to me the power of presence. You truly lit up my world with your quality of being. You changed my life at a time when I was scared moving on my own to the mountains. Your smile and peace gave me courage and faith. It is not what you did, but who you were that made all the difference.
Until Next Time,
Photo by Anita Austvika on Unsplash
More about Louise Le Gat...
I help leaders who are successful, but feel that something is missing align to their real purpose and step into their true leadership.
I am an experienced facilitator, transformation coach, and creator of the ‘Positive Energy Leaders’ Transformation Journey to Remember Who You Really Are, Do What You Are Truly Here To Do And Evolve The World By Being Uniquely You.
To work with me...
My flagship programme is The Positive Energy Academy: A School For Visionaries, Disruptors and Innovators To Create Inspiring Meaningful Work That Has A Positive Impact. And To Become The Positive Energy Leaders They Can Be.
I also lead Personal Retreats for leaders who feel that they have got out of alignment with themselves and want to reconnect to their mission and next level of flow, meaning and impact.
To find out more contact me at [email protected]
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